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Instructional Focus Document
Grade 3 Science
TITLE : Unit 06: Investigating Weather SUGGESTED DURATION : 5 days

Unit Overview

During this Unit

This unit bundles student expectations that address day-to-day weather changes in different locations at the same time. Students demonstrate safe and healthy practices as outlined in Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards while engaging in descriptive investigations. They use weather instruments and technology to observe, measure, record, and compare air temperature, wind direction, and precipitation for different locations at the same time. Additionally, students communicate and discuss their observations, and record data in their notebooks. Furthermore, students consider environmentally appropriate and responsible practices with resources during investigations.

 

Streamlining Note

There are no revisions to TEKS 3.8A. However, there may be revisions to the process standards associated with this unit. See the Science TEKS Streamlining Side by Side Grade 3 (link in System Resources below).

 

Prior Content Connections

  • Kindergarten
    • K.8A – Observe and describe weather changes from day to day and over seasons.
  • Grade 1
    • 1.8A – Record weather information, including relative temperature, such as hot or cold, clear or cloudy, calm or windy, and rainy or icy.
  • Grade 2
    • 2.8A – Measure, record, and graph weather information, including temperature, wind conditions, precipitation, and cloud coverage, in order to identify patterns in the data.
  • Grade 3
    • 3.5A – Measure, test, and record physical properties of matter, including temperature, mass, magnetism, and the ability to sink or float.
    • 3.8A – Observe, measure, record, and compare day-to-day weather changes in different locations at the same time that include air temperature, wind direction, and precipitation.

After this Unit

In Grade 4, students will measure, record, and predict changes in weather.

 

STAAR Note

The Grade 5 Science STAAR will directly assess student expectations in the following reporting categories:

  • Reporting Category 3: Earth and Space
    • 4.8A – Supporting Standard
    • 5.8A – Supporting Standard

 

According to Research

“Technology is essential to science, because it provides instruments and techniques that enable observations of objects and phenomena that are otherwise unobservable due to factors such as quantity, distance, location, size, and speed. Technology also provides tools for investigations, inquiry, and analysis.”

National Academy of Science (1996). National science education standards. Retrieved from http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=4962&page=166.

 

“By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that:

  • Air is a material that surrounds us and takes up space and whose movement we feel as wind. 4B/E4*
  • The weather is always changing and can be described by measurable quantities such as temperature, wind direction and speed, and precipitation. 4B/E5** (NSES)”

American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2009). Benchmarks on-line. Retrieved from http://www.project2061.org/publications/bsl/online/index.php?chapter=4#B1.


Scientists investigate the natural world in order to understand and explain its systems.

  • Why is it important to know and understand how the natural world works?

 

Scientific investigation is an orderly process to ensure that scientific claims are trustworthy.

  • What processes help scientists investigate their claim?

 

Data is collected and organized in an orderly manner, and analyzed by observing patterns and relationships in order to develop reasonable explanations and make predictions.

  • What are some ways data can be organized?
  • How can data be used to make reasonable explanations?

 

Scientists analyze, assess, and review each other’s work using processes of scientific investigations, and build on one another’s ideas through new investigations.

  • How can we know what to believe about a scientific claim?
  • Why is it important to know and understand how things work and why things happen?
Unit Understandings
and Questions
Overarching Concepts
and Unit Concepts
Performance Assessment(s)

Daily weather conditions at a particular time and place can be observed and measured, as well as inform our decisions.

  • In what ways can weather conditions be described?
  • Why might it be important to understand day-to-day weather changes in different locations?

Systems

  • Weather

 

Classifications

  • Temperature
  • Wind direction
  • Precipitation

 

Properties

  • Hot
  • Warm
  • Cool
  • Cold
  • North
  • South
  • East
  • West
  • Rain
  • Hail
  • Sleet
  • Snow

 

Constancy

  • Data collection
  • Timeframe

 

Change

  • Weather
Assessment information provided within the TEKS Resource System are examples that may, or may not, be used by your child’s teacher. In accordance with section 26.006 (2) of the Texas Education Code, "A parent is entitled to review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered." For more information regarding assessments administered to your child, please visit with your child’s teacher.

MISCONCEPTIONS / UNDERDEVELOPED CONCEPTS

Misconceptions:

  • Students may think cold days are caused by the clouds covering the Sun, rather than temperature change.
  • Students may think wind speed is related to air temperature, rather than wind speed being caused by air moving from high pressure to low pressure.
  • Students may think a west wind is one that blows things toward the West rather than a wind that blows from West to East.

Unit Vocabulary

Key Content Vocabulary:

  •  Atmosphere – air that surrounds the Earth; made of a mixture of gases
  •  Meteorologist – a scientist who studies the weather
  •  Precipitation – water that falls to the Earth’s surface as rain, snow, sleet, or hail
  •  Rain gauge – a tool for collecting and measuring the amount of precipitation that falls
  •  Temperature – a way of measuring how hot or cold something is; temperature is measured using either the Fahrenheit (F) or Celsius (C) scale
  •  Weather – day-to-day condition of the atmosphere in an area; weather has short-term variations (minutes to weeks)
  •  Wind vane – a weather instrument used to show the direction of the wind; often ornamental

 

Related Vocabulary:

  • Cardinal directions
  • Celsius
  • Fahrenheit
  • Hail
  • Rain
  • Sleet
  • Snow
  • Thermometer
Unit Assessment Items System Resources Other Resources

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Unit Assessment Items that have been published by your district may be accessed through Search All Components in the District Resources tab. Assessment items may also be found using the Assessment Center if your district has granted access to that tool.

System Resources may be accessed through Search All Components in the District Resources Tab.

State:

Texas Education Agency – Texas Safety Standards

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=5483 (look under Documents)

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Interactive Science Glossary

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/interactive-science-glossary

 

General:

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research ("UCAR") – Elementary GLOBE: Do You Know That Clouds Have Names?

https://www.globe.gov/documents/348830/350460/ElementaryGLOBE_Clouds_en.pdf


TAUGHT DIRECTLY TEKS

TEKS intended to be explicitly taught in this unit.

TEKS/SE Legend:

  • Knowledge and Skills Statements (TEKS) identified by TEA are in italicized, bolded, black text.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) identified by TEA are in bolded, black text.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) are labeled Process standards as identified by TEA of the assessed curriculum.
  • Portions of the Student Expectations (TEKS) that are not included in this unit but are taught in previous or future units are indicated by a strike-through.

Specificity Legend:

  • Supporting information / clarifications (specificity) written by TEKS Resource System are in blue text.
  • Unit-specific clarifications are in italicized, blue text.
  • Information from Texas Education Agency (TEA), Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (TxCCRS), and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Project 2061 is labeled.
  • A Partial Specificity label indicates that a portion of the specificity not aligned to this unit has been removed.
TEKS# SE# TEKS SPECIFICITY
3.1 Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student conducts classroom and outdoor investigations following home and school safety procedures and environmentally appropriate practices. The student is expected to:
3.1A Demonstrate safe practices as described in Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards during classroom and outdoor investigations using safety equipment as appropriate, including safety goggles or chemical splash goggles, as appropriate, and gloves.
Process Standard

Demonstrate

SAFE PRACTICES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Wearing safety goggles or chemical splash goggles, as appropriate
  • Wearing gloves
  • Washing hands
  • Using materials appropriately
  • Follow classroom and outdoor safety guidelines, as outlined in Texas Education Agency-approved safety standards
  • Use safety equipment appropriately

Note(s):

3.2 Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student uses scientific practices during laboratory and outdoor investigations. The student is expected to:
3.2A Plan and implement descriptive investigations, including asking and answering questions, making inferences, and selecting and using equipment or technology needed, to solve a specific problem in the natural world.
Process Standard

Plan, Implement

INVESTIGATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Descriptive investigations
  • Asking and answering questions
    • Focus for the investigation
  • Making inferences
    • Possible proficiencies may include:
      • Making claims
      • Providing evidence to support the claim
      • Using reasoning to explain the evidence
  • Selecting and using equipment / technology 

Note(s):

  • TEA:
    • Descriptive investigations involve collecting qualitative and/or quantitative data to draw conclusions about a natural or man-made system (e.g., rock formation, animal behavior, cloud, bicycle, electrical circuit). A descriptive investigation includes a question, but no hypothesis. Observations are recorded, but no comparisons are made and no variables are manipulated. Descriptive investigations (Texas Education Agency. (2007-2011). Laboratory and Field Investigations –FAQ, August 2010. Retrieved from http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=5483)
3.2B Collect and record data by observing and measuring using the metric system and recognize differences between observed and measured data.
Process Standard

Collect, Record

DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Observing
  • Measuring (using the metric system)
  • Recognizing differences between observed and measured data
3.2C Construct maps, graphic organizers, simple tables, charts, and bar graphs using tools and current technology to organize, examine, and evaluate measured data.
Process Standard

Construct

MAPS, GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS, TABLES, CHARTS, AND BAR GRAPHS TO ORGANIZE, EXAMINE, AND EVALUATE MEASURED DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Using tools and current technology
    • Computers
  • Maps
  • Graphic organizers
  • Simple tables
  • Charts
  • Bar graphs
3.2D Analyze and interpret patterns in data to construct reasonable explanations based on evidence from investigations.
Process Standard

Analyze, Interpret

PATTERNS IN DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Student investigations
  • Teacher demonstrations
  • Visuals such as graphs, charts, tables, illustrations, etc.
    • Possible types of graphs for analysis include:
      • Bar graphs
      • Dot plots
      • Pictographs

Construct

REASONABLE EXPLANATIONS BASED ON EVIDENCE

Including, but not limited to:

  • Information from investigations
    • Making claims
    • Providing evidence to support the claim
    • Using reasoning to explain the evidence
  • Data from investigations
    • Numerical
    • Visual
    • Written

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • Grade 5 students may be asked to make predictions based on evidence of Grade 3 concepts, such as making predictions of the effect of pushing and pulling on objects from a visual such as an illustration (3.6B / 5.2D).
3.2E Demonstrate that repeated investigations may increase the reliability of results.
Process Standard

Demonstrate

REPEATED INVESTIGATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • May increase the reliability (consistency) of results
  • Repeated trials within one investigation

Note(s):

  • Student group or individual investigations conducted within class may be used as repeated investigations for purposes of multiple trials.
3.2F Communicate valid conclusions supported by data in writing, by drawing pictures, and through verbal discussion.
Process Standard

Communicate

VALID CONCLUSIONS SUPPORTED BY DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Methods of communication
    • In writing
      • Possible examples may include:
        • Written narratives
        • Observational notebook entries
        • Reflective notebook entries
        • Creating charts, graphs, and tables
    • By drawing pictures
    • Through verbal discussions
3.3 Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student knows that information, critical thinking, scientific problem solving, and the contributions of scientists are used in making decisions. The student is expected to:
3.3B

Represent the natural world using models such as volcanoes or the Sun, Earth, and Moon system and identify their limitations, including size, properties, and materials.


Process Standard

Represent

THE NATURAL WORLD

Including, but not limited to:

  • Model – a picture, idea, or object that represents an object, a system, or process and is used to help with understanding; models have advantages and limitations
  • Using models
  • Models representing
    • Earth processes
  • Identifying limitations
    • Size
    • Properties
    • Materials
    • Relative distance
3.3C Connect grade-level appropriate science concepts with the history of science, science careers, and contributions of scientists.
Process Standard

Connect

GRADE-LEVEL APPROPRIATE SCIENCE CONCEPTS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Connection with
    • History of science
    • Science careers
    • Contributions of scientists
      • Possible examples may include:
        • Anders Celsius (invented the temperature scale Celsius)
3.4 Scientific investigation and reasoning. The student knows how to use a variety of tools and methods to conduct science inquiry. The student is expected to:
3.4A

Collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, wind vanes, rain gauges, pan balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, spring scales, hot plates, meter sticks, magnets, collecting nets, notebooks, and Sun, Earth, and Moon system models; timing devices; and materials to support observation of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.


Process Standard

Collect, Record, Analyze

INFORMATION USING TOOLS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Use lab equipment appropriately
    • Computers
    • Celsius thermometers
    • Wind vanes
    • Rain gauges
    • Notebooks
3.8 Earth and space. The student knows there are recognizable patterns in the natural world and among objects in the sky. The student is expected to:
3.8A Observe, measure, record, and compare day-to-day weather changes in different locations at the same time that include air temperature, wind direction, and precipitation.

Observe, Measure, Record, Compare

DAY-TO-DAY WEATHER CHANGES IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS AT THE SAME TIME

Including, but not limited to:

  • Weather – day-to-day conditions of the atmosphere in an area; weather has short-term variations
    • Observations and measurements including:
      • Air temperature (thermometer)
      • Wind direction (wind vane)
      • Precipitation (rain gauge)
    • Possible examples of different locations at the same time may include:
      • Different cities within a state
      • Different states within a country
      • Different regions within the world
    • Possible examples of record keeping processes may include:
      • Graphs
      • Tables
      • Charts
      • Maps
    • Possible examples of comparisons may include:
      • Different cities within a state
      • Different states within a country
      • Different regions within the world

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • Although not identified as a Supporting Standard, this student expectation builds the foundation for the content of Supporting Standard 4.8A.
The English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), as required by 19 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 74, Subchapter A, §74.4, outline English language proficiency level descriptors and student expectations for English language learners (ELLs). School districts are required to implement ELPS as an integral part of each subject in the required curriculum.

School districts shall provide instruction in the knowledge and skills of the foundation and enrichment curriculum in a manner that is linguistically accommodated commensurate with the student’s levels of English language proficiency to ensure that the student learns the knowledge and skills in the required curriculum.


School districts shall provide content-based instruction including the cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills in subsection (c) of the ELPS in a manner that is linguistically accommodated to help the student acquire English language proficiency.

http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter074/ch074a.html#74.4 


Choose appropriate ELPS to support instruction.

ELPS# Subsection C: Cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills.
Click here to collapse or expand this section.
ELPS.c.1 The ELL uses language learning strategies to develop an awareness of his or her own learning processes in all content areas. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.1A use prior knowledge and experiences to understand meanings in English
ELPS.c.1B monitor oral and written language production and employ self-corrective techniques or other resources
ELPS.c.1C use strategic learning techniques such as concept mapping, drawing, memorizing, comparing, contrasting, and reviewing to acquire basic and grade-level vocabulary
ELPS.c.1D speak using learning strategies such as requesting assistance, employing non-verbal cues, and using synonyms and circumlocution (conveying ideas by defining or describing when exact English words are not known)
ELPS.c.1E internalize new basic and academic language by using and reusing it in meaningful ways in speaking and writing activities that build concept and language attainment
ELPS.c.1F use accessible language and learn new and essential language in the process
ELPS.c.1G demonstrate an increasing ability to distinguish between formal and informal English and an increasing knowledge of when to use each one commensurate with grade-level learning expectations
ELPS.c.1H develop and expand repertoire of learning strategies such as reasoning inductively or deductively, looking for patterns in language, and analyzing sayings and expressions commensurate with grade-level learning expectations.
ELPS.c.2 The ELL listens to a variety of speakers including teachers, peers, and electronic media to gain an increasing level of comprehension of newly acquired language in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in listening. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.2A distinguish sounds and intonation patterns of English with increasing ease
ELPS.c.2B recognize elements of the English sound system in newly acquired vocabulary such as long and short vowels, silent letters, and consonant clusters
ELPS.c.2C learn new language structures, expressions, and basic and academic vocabulary heard during classroom instruction and interactions
ELPS.c.2D monitor understanding of spoken language during classroom instruction and interactions and seek clarification as needed
ELPS.c.2E use visual, contextual, and linguistic support to enhance and confirm understanding of increasingly complex and elaborated spoken language
ELPS.c.2F listen to and derive meaning from a variety of media such as audio tape, video, DVD, and CD ROM to build and reinforce concept and language attainment
ELPS.c.2G understand the general meaning, main points, and important details of spoken language ranging from situations in which topics, language, and contexts are familiar to unfamiliar
ELPS.c.2H understand implicit ideas and information in increasingly complex spoken language commensurate with grade-level learning expectations
ELPS.c.2I demonstrate listening comprehension of increasingly complex spoken English by following directions, retelling or summarizing spoken messages, responding to questions and requests, collaborating with peers, and taking notes commensurate with content and grade-level needs.
ELPS.c.3 The ELL speaks in a variety of modes for a variety of purposes with an awareness of different language registers (formal/informal) using vocabulary with increasing fluency and accuracy in language arts and all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in speaking. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.3A practice producing sounds of newly acquired vocabulary such as long and short vowels, silent letters, and consonant clusters to pronounce English words in a manner that is increasingly comprehensible
ELPS.c.3B expand and internalize initial English vocabulary by learning and using high-frequency English words necessary for identifying and describing people, places, and objects, by retelling simple stories and basic information represented or supported by pictures, and by learning and using routine language needed for classroom communication
ELPS.c.3C speak using a variety of grammatical structures, sentence lengths, sentence types, and connecting words with increasing accuracy and ease as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.3D speak using grade-level content area vocabulary in context to internalize new English words and build academic language proficiency
ELPS.c.3E share information in cooperative learning interactions
ELPS.c.3F ask and give information ranging from using a very limited bank of high-frequency, high-need, concrete vocabulary, including key words and expressions needed for basic communication in academic and social contexts, to using abstract and content-based vocabulary during extended speaking assignments
ELPS.c.3G express opinions, ideas, and feelings ranging from communicating single words and short phrases to participating in extended discussions on a variety of social and grade-appropriate academic topics
ELPS.c.3H narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.3I adapt spoken language appropriately for formal and informal purposes
ELPS.c.3J respond orally to information presented in a wide variety of print, electronic, audio, and visual media to build and reinforce concept and language attainment.
ELPS.c.4 The ELL reads a variety of texts for a variety of purposes with an increasing level of comprehension in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in reading. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. For Kindergarten and Grade 1, certain of these student expectations apply to text read aloud for students not yet at the stage of decoding written text. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.4A learn relationships between sounds and letters of the English language and decode (sound out) words using a combination of skills such as recognizing sound-letter relationships and identifying cognates, affixes, roots, and base words
ELPS.c.4B recognize directionality of English reading such as left to right and top to bottom
ELPS.c.4C develop basic sight vocabulary, derive meaning of environmental print, and comprehend English vocabulary and language structures used routinely in written classroom materials
ELPS.c.4D use prereading supports such as graphic organizers, illustrations, and pretaught topic-related vocabulary and other prereading activities to enhance comprehension of written text
ELPS.c.4E read linguistically accommodated content area material with a decreasing need for linguistic accommodations as more English is learned
ELPS.c.4F use visual and contextual support and support from peers and teachers to read grade-appropriate content area text, enhance and confirm understanding, and develop vocabulary, grasp of language structures, and background knowledge needed to comprehend increasingly challenging language
ELPS.c.4G demonstrate comprehension of increasingly complex English by participating in shared reading, retelling or summarizing material, responding to questions, and taking notes commensurate with content area and grade level needs
ELPS.c.4H read silently with increasing ease and comprehension for longer periods
ELPS.c.4I demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing basic reading skills such as demonstrating understanding of supporting ideas and details in text and graphic sources, summarizing text, and distinguishing main ideas from details commensurate with content area needs
ELPS.c.4J demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing inferential skills such as predicting, making connections between ideas, drawing inferences and conclusions from text and graphic sources, and finding supporting text evidence commensurate with content area needs
ELPS.c.4K demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing analytical skills such as evaluating written information and performing critical analyses commensurate with content area and grade-level needs.
ELPS.c.5 The ELL writes in a variety of forms with increasing accuracy to effectively address a specific purpose and audience in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in writing. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. For Kindergarten and Grade 1, certain of these student expectations do not apply until the student has reached the stage of generating original written text using a standard writing system. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.5A learn relationships between sounds and letters of the English language to represent sounds when writing in English
ELPS.c.5B write using newly acquired basic vocabulary and content-based grade-level vocabulary
ELPS.c.5C spell familiar English words with increasing accuracy, and employ English spelling patterns and rules with increasing accuracy as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5D edit writing for standard grammar and usage, including subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, and appropriate verb tenses commensurate with grade-level expectations as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5E employ increasingly complex grammatical structures in content area writing commensurate with grade-level expectations, such as:
ELPS.c.5F write using a variety of grade-appropriate sentence lengths, patterns, and connecting words to combine phrases, clauses, and sentences in increasingly accurate ways as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5G narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail to fulfill content area writing needs as more English is acquired.
Last Updated 09/17/2018
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