Grade 6Science

Focus: In this unit, students investigate the phenomenon of weather, including the water cycles and climate. The subtitle of this unit is Why does a lot of hair, rain, or snow fall at some times and not at others? This is a phenomenon that students experience, as weather changes, sometimes day to day or sometimes month to month. What is causes this to happen? Why are the conditions that allow precipitation to occur? Can people predict the weather ahead of time? This unit allows students to observe weather and climate phenomenon in detail and then start asking questions, formulating explanations, setting up and conducting activities and research, and working with classmates to analyze the shared experience and formulate new questions and developing new strategies for answering them. Students explore concepts that include the following:

  • What are the conditions like on days when it hails?
  • Why is the air near the ground warmer than the air higher up?
  • How can we explain the movement of air in a hail cloud?
  • Why do clouds and storms form at some times but not at others?
  • How do oceans affect whether a place gets a lot or a little precipitation?

As your students move through their day-to-day activities they will also read Core Knowledge literacy selections. These include factual articles, history of the sciences, art and literature, spotting bad science in media and advertisements, graphics comprehension, research-type articles, reliability of sources, and other areas of science literacy.

Lesson Numbers:

  • Teacher Guide: 22 Lessons
  • Student Reader: 7 Collections

Lesson time:

  • Lesson can be competed in one or more class periods.
  • A Pacing Guide, found in Online Resources, offers the suggestion that the entire unit should take about 42 days to complete if class is held each day.
  • A complete list of materials needed to complete the unit is also provided in the Online Resources.
  • The Core Knowledge Student Reader includes one reading collection per week for every week of the unit. A week’s reading collection relates to the lessons completed in the previous week.
    • The reading is assigned at the beginning of the week with the accompanying writing exercise due at the end of the week.
    • The reading and writing exercises are designed to be completed by students independently, with brief, supporting, teacher-facilitated discussions at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the week.

Additional Search Terms for the Student Reader:

• science literacy • severe weather • latitude • atmospheric pressure • heat island
• glacier • transpiration • evaporation • cloud seeding • condensation • cyclone • barometer
• weather front • jet stream • radiosonde • water cycle • nonfiction • informational text

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