Weather on the Move

Teri Cosentino
National Science Teachers Association Recommends
December 30, 2008

This combined DVD and student activities program is appropriate for elementary-aged (in grades 3-5) students. The components balance one another, presenting a well-thought-out program, planned for maximum student learning. There are specific, reasonable, and attainable learning goals that go with student assessments of the lesson’s objectives. The many infused elements to this integrated program allow for student involvement in a variety of ways, including looking, listening, doing, thinking, and questioning. These elements can be found throughout five sections. An objective student pre/post assessment helps teachers assess progress. A video review asks students questions that challenge them to decide, observe, or review. A vocabulary list is included, with a word bank format. A writing activity consists of a fill-in-the-blank paragraph with a word bank and short answers. Finally, three activities to complement the video are a "Model of a Front" experiment with question/answers; "Name That Hurricane," a reading comprehension paragraph with focusing questions; and "Thunderstorm Safety Tips." The main foci of the program are different types of air masses, how cold/warm fronts move, and severe weather such as hurricanes, thunderstorms, and tornadoes. The vocabulary includes terms from the main focus areas as well as thunder, lightening, cumulonimbus, storm surge, Tornado Alley, and precipitation. These are appropriate topics for the targeted grade level. All in all, this program and others from this series are full of detailed information, precise learning goals, systematic reinforcements, and unambiguous assessments presented using visual, auditory, and kinesthetic methods. This varied approach makes learning fun and motivating for the young student of science, all the while keeping in mind the teacher’s need for individualized assessment and comprehension.