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Middle School Curriculum

Back in 1963 when LAB-AIDS® shipped its first kit, we had a vision, to revolutionize the middle school classroom with one of the first inquiry-based approaches to learning science through hands-on activity. More Info

Weather and Atmosphere

Weather and Atmosphere

25-34 (6 weeks)

In the Weather and Atmosphere unit, students investigate local weather and climate data and consider the impact of weather and weather-related disasters. They then explore the relationship between weather and climate as they take on the role of a climatologist, hydrologist, meteorologist or atmospheric scientist. Through laboratory activities, investigations, and simulations, students investigate the factors that cause weather and climate, including energy from the sun, the water cycle, and global ocean currents.

Content in Weather and Atmosphere is organized into 21 activities, as follows:

Activity Title Activity Type Activity Overview
50. Weather Effects Talking it Over A fictional story focuses on how weather affects people’s plans and activities. Students are introduced to four kinds of careers related to the science of weather.
51. Investigating Local Weather Computer Investigation Students record and analyze five days of daily weather data, then record and graph local monthly weather averages. They compare daily weather conditions to the monthly weather data.
52. Local Weather History Project Students design and conduct a survey to learn about the history of weather disasters in the local area and then compare the level of risk.
53. Weather and Climate Problem Solving Students examine a climate map along with photos and descriptions of different climates. They identify their local climate as well as the climate for three different regions.
54. The Earth’s Surface Problem Solving Students use a gridded world map to estimate the amounts of earth’s surface covered by water and land. They then calculate the mean, median, and mode of their estimates to determine an “accepted value.”
55. Heating Earth Surfaces Lab Students design an experiment to measure how the sun’s energy heats land and water, as well as how quickly both of those substances cool.
56. Ocean Temperatures Problem Solving Students investigate the range of mean ocean surface temperatures around the globe. They map and discuss patterns of surface temperatures in particular regions of the oceans.
57. Oceans and Climate Role Play Students learn more about how oceans affect climate. They participate in a role-play that discusses the history of the identification of the Gulf Stream and how modern technology is used to gather ocean data.
58. The Causes of Climate Reading Students read about more factors affecting climate, including the sun’s energy. A literacy strategy helps students comprehend the ideas presented in the text.
59. Water as a Solvent Lab Students compare the solubility of solids in three different solvents. The concept of water as the universal solvent is introduced.
60. Changing States of Water Reading Students are introduced to the different forms of water and how they change from one to another. The class then discusses the relationship between the changing states of water and the water cycle.
61. Investigating Groundwater Lab Students investigate the ability of water to filter through gravel and sand. The concept of groundwater is introduced.
62. Traveling on the Water Cycle Modeling Students simulate traveling with water molecules through the water cycle. After at least six stops, students write a story that describes traveling with their water.
63. Investigating Air Lab Students explore the nature of air by focusing on air pressure and the interaction of air and a chemical indicator. This gives them direct evidence that, although air is invisible, it is made up of gases that have distinct properties.
64. Earth’s Atmosphere Computer Simulation Students use a computer simulation to sample air composition, temperature, and pressure at different altitudes above earth’s surface.
65. History of Earth’s Atmosphere Investigation Students place in chronological order cards describing the history of earth’s atmosphere. They examine the role of living organisms in determining the composition of the atmosphere.
66. Atmosphere and Climate Reading Students read about the relationship between earth’s atmosphere and its weather and climate. A literacy strategy helps them comprehend the ideas presented in the text.
67. Measuring Wind Speed and Direction Lab Students are introduced to the Beaufort wind scale. They work in groups to design, build, and test instruments for measuring wind speed and direction. After improving their instruments, they collect wind data.
68. Worldwide Wind Computer Simulation Students use a computer simulation to identify the most common wind direction in a particular location. They then construct a map of global wind patterns.
69. Forecasting Weather Investigation Students work together to interpret a weather map and construct a weather report. Students use this information to forecast the next day’s weather.
70. People and Weather Talking it Over Students analyze reports from a hydrologist, climatologist, atmospheric scientist, and meteorologist about the fictional town of Sunbeam City. They consider what role people play in affecting a region’s weather and atmosphere.

LAB-AIDS® provides several useful tools to guide you and your students through the Weather and Atmosphere unit:

Weather and Atmosphere

Student Book

The Weather and Atmosphere soft cover Student Book guides investigations and provides related readings. The Student Book uses a variety of approaches to make science accessible for all students. SEPUP’s integrated literacy strategies help students process new science content, develop their analytical skills, make connections between related concepts, and express their knowledge orally and in writing.

The built-in assessment system helps teacher’s identify students’ strengths and weaknesses from the beginning of the course. This allows them to adjust activities when needed so that all students get the best chance to build their knowledge and appreciation of science.

Weather and Atmosphere

LAB-AIDS® Science Lab Notebook

The use of a science journal or notebook in SEPUP is strongly recommended. The journal not only models the way scientists work, but it helps to develop and reinforce students’ science learning and literacy skills.

The LAB-AIDS® Science Lab Notebook is 112 three-hole punched pages which allow students to store the completed pages in their binder. It has a 2 column design and plenty of room for notes and responses to Analysis Questions. Graph Anywhere allows data tables and graphs to be drawn in a fraction of the usual time. The Science Lab Notebook was designed with “Best Practices” in mind.

Weather and Atmosphere

Complete Materials Package

All SEPUP materials packages are designed with teachers, students and environmental considerations in mind. Traditional laboratory style classrooms are not necessary to teach SEPUP..

Materials packages include most of the items needed for the activities. They support multiple classes – typically up to five classes of 32 students (160 total students) – before consumables need to be replaced. It’s important to note that materials are consumed at various rates; therefore, it will not be necessary to replace all consumable items every year. Exclusive to SEPUP programs are the molded tray liners that keep everything in place and easy to locate – even in a hurry.

Weather and Atmosphere

Teacher's Guide

The Weather and Atmosphere Teacher’s Guide takes you through each activity in the Student Book and helps you see the development of concepts within the big picture of the units and the course you are teaching. It helps you set up the equipment from the kit, organize the classroom, conduct activities, and manage practical details, all of which enhance students’ learning environment.

The Teacher’s Guide is packaged as a series of loose-leaf binders that you can personalize with annotations, rearrangements, and insertions. The Teacher’s Guide provides full support for teaching the program. Additional support resources can also found in the Teacher’s Guide.

Weather and Atmosphere

Teacher Resource

The Teacher Resource provides background and suggestions to increase the overall effectiveness of implementing the program across all levels of learners. Sections include: SEPUP’s Approach to Teaching and Learning, Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners, Literacy Strategies for Supporting Reading Comprehension and for Enhancing Students’ Writing and finally Comprehensive instruction on the SEPUP Assessment System.

Weather and Atmosphere

Books Online

Individual, classroom or district licenses can be purchased for access to our student books on-line. It features editable Word documents for each set of Activity Assessment Questions which allows students to e-mail their finished work back to the teacher. Microsoft Word® Tools provide strong support for diverse learners. The Spelling and Grammar Checker uses red and green underline squiggles representing spelling (red) and grammar (green) errors alerting students to potential errors. The thesaurus helps to refine writing as well as expose students to new vocabulary words. Students with poor spelling skills often have difficulty using a dictionary. This feature provides an instant definition for a highlighted word, eliminating the task of dictionary look-up. Students can also use the Thesaurus to find the synonyms of words.

All pages were created using Adobe Acrobat Reader. A great feature of the Adobe program is “The Read Aloud Function”. The program audibly reads the text, allowing the student to follow the reading on the page. You can speed up or slow down the program based on the student’s ability. This helps all students increase their vocabulary.

Weather and Atmosphere

ExamView® Test Generating Software

ExamView® for Issues & Earth Science makes it easier for educators to use your content to assess, track, and analyze student performance. Comprised of the Test Generator, Test Manager, and Test Player, ExamView® is the industry standard for paper, Internet, and LAN‐based question and test development.

Test Generator Educators can create assessments, quizzes, study guides, and worksheets using multiple question formats, pictures, tables, graphs, charts, and other multimedia elements. Works exclusively with eInstruction’s CPS™ student response systems for real‐time results.

Test Manager Educators collect results and generate comprehension reports in minutes. Test Manager also manages class rosters and automatically collects performance data from the school network to analyze student results and identify areas of concern.

Test Player Gives students the ability to take tests and view study guides over the school network. ExamView® adds even more benefits to your content.

QuickTest Wizard New tests can be created in a matter of minutes with easy step‐by‐step navigation. Simply select the question banks and the number of questions and ExamView® does the rest.

Style Gallery ExamView® tests can be easily formatted to match state or national standardized tests. Simply choose a layout based on predefined formats (e.g., TAKS, FCAT, GED, GMAT, NCLEX, etc.) and print a comprehensive answer sheet.

Multiple Question Formats ExamView® supports 14 question formats. An ExamView® question can contain pictures, graphs, charts, tables, and other multimedia elements. You can create dynamic questions (algorithms) for any subject area which allow infinite customization of a question using mathematical definitions.