What you’ll need
- A large map of the UK, Europe or the world attached to a wall or screen
- Weather symbols and numbers to record the temperature (you could get the children to draw these and laminate them or Microsoft Word has great examples in “icons”) or our editable printout
- Blue tack or similar for sticking symbols on
- Weather props such as: raincoats, umbrellas, wellies, hats, scarves and gloves, sunglasses, sun hats, sandals and a windmill
- A weather forecast to watch on the IWB or iPad
- iPad or equivalent to record the forecast
- The meteorologist poster
10 minutes or so.Meteorologist poster
Challenge the children to present a weather forecast.
Early Learning Goal links
- Mathematics ELG: Numerical Patterns
- Understanding the World ELG: Past and Present
- Understanding the World ELG: People, Culture and Communities
- Understanding the World ELG: The Natural World
- Expressive Arts and Design ELG: Creating with Materials
STEM vocabulary to introduce
Meteorologist, weather, rain, sun, wind, fog, ice, snow, thunder, lightning, hail, hot, cold, freezing, clothes, material, waterproof, warm, cool, record, play, forecast.
What to do
Tell the children that some people who present the weather forecast on the television are meteorologists. You could show them the meteorologist poster. Watch an example weather forecast with the children. They are curious about what the weather will be like tomorrow and for the rest of the week. They are going to observe the weather and choose the best clothes to wear.
Challenge the children to present the weather by sticking the weather symbols to the map.
Encourage the children to select and wear the appropriate clothes for the weather.
Record the children presenting the weather and encourage them to record each other.
Questions to ask to support and extend learning
- What will the weather be like today?
- Which symbol will you use to show that?
- What would you wear for that weather?
- Can you put it on?
- Why would you wear that? What is it made from?
- Where do you think it might be sunny today?
- Can you put the sun symbol on the map?
- Where might it rain today?
- Can you put that symbol on the map?
- Can you tell us what the weather will be like in all of the places on the map today?
- Can you record your friend presenting the weather?
- Higher numbers mean the temperature is hotter and lower numbers mean it is colder. Can you match the temperature to the weather symbols?
Other things to try
Remember to refer to the children as Meteorologists and praise them for using the attributes. You could say things like:
“Well done, you observed the weather and chose the best clothes to wear…”
The science of weather forecasting
We have put together some useful information about the science of weather forecasting to accompany this activity. Don’t worry this is for your information only and to help you answer any questions children may have. We don’t expect you to explain this to the children in your setting!
What is weather?
Weather is how the atmosphere is behaving at any time and includes the temperature, precipitation, air pressure and cloud cover. Daily weather changes are due to winds and storms but seasonal weather changes are due to the earth orbiting the sun.
What causes weather?
The sun shines more directly on the equator, so surface temperatures are warmer here. The polar regions get the least light from the sun, so temperatures are coolest here. Air rises at the equator and travels north or south towards the poles where it cools and falls. Air moves from places of high-pressure (where there’s a lot of it) to places of low-pressure (where there is less of it). This causes a restless movement of air and water vapour in swirling currents to distribute the heat energy from the sun across the planet.
How do meteorologists forecast the weather?
To forecast the weather, Meteorologists need to know what the weather is doing now, calculate how this will change in the future and use their expert knowledge to refine the details. Weather is observed and recorded 24 hours a day across the globe and used with satellite pictures to see what the atmosphere is doing. Meteorologists use thermometers to measure temperature, barometers to measure air pressure and anemometers for measuring wind speed. They also use weather balloons which carry instruments that measures temperature, air pressure, wind speed and wind direction in the troposphere (the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere and where nearly all weather conditions take place). The data collected is fed into a supercomputer which performs complex equations to create models which predict the future weather. Meteorologists check these models to make sure they match the ‘real world’ and adjust them where necessary.