In this lesson students describe the observable landscape and weather features of the place in which they live.
Use slides 1 and 2 of the PowerPoint presentation Where in the World? to set the learning context.
Show the students the video clip Australian children’s song – True Blue Wonders to give them clues about this science unit.
Ask the students for suggestions on what they will be learning. Display slide 2 and explain unit focus.
- Big picture
Show slides 3 and 4 of the PowerPoint presentation Where in the world? to start a discussion about a broader view of our home, the Earth. Proceed through the remainder of the slides showing students the examples of children who live in different parts of the world. Suggest to the students that the daily lives of children can vary greatly depending on where they live. Invite students to share some experiences of living in different countries.
- Focus on Australia
Open the PowerPoint presentation Our home, Australia. Invite students to name the country we live in and then the town or city where their school is located. Display slide 2 (the map of Australia) and ask students to share what they know about Australia (eg surrounded by water, desert in the centre). Select a student to point to where their school is located on the map. Use warmer and colder clues to help the student identify the school location. Mark with a label. Click on the different images in slide 3 to demonstrate that even in Australia lives can be very different depending on where people live.
- Focus on the local area
Organise students into pairs to discuss how they would explain their school and local area to someone from another part of Australia. Regroup and record ideas in the class science journal. Use the questions on slide 4 to prompt discussion on local weather.
Teacher note: Information on class science journals can be found in the Background information from Unit 1: Needs of living things.
- Field walk
Take students outside to observe the current weather conditions and the features of the sky. Model observation techniques they will be using in small groups during the unit. Emphasise using all their senses. Model using a streamer blowing in the wind to observe wind strength and use terms like ‘light’, ‘strong’ and ‘gusty’. Allow students to use streamers. Ask students the following questions.
- How could we describe the weather at the moment?
- What features can you see in the day sky?
- Do you know what season we are in at the moment? What tells us this?
- Do you think this is what the weather is usually like during this season?
- Has the weather changed since this morning? In what way?
- What do you think the weather might do later in the day?
- How is today’s weather affecting us – our clothes, playtime, how we feel, what we can do?
- What other types of weather do we get here?
(If appropriate, discuss setting up a container for collecting and measuring rainfall and a thermometer to measure temperature.)
- Return to class
Students sit in front of class science journal. Display an A3 example of the Weather observation chart the students will use and slide 5 on the PowerPoint presentation Our home, Australia. Model and discuss how to use the chart to record weather observations. Display a clipboard with an A4 chart attached and nominate a group of three students to do the next day’s observations.
Instruct students to open their science journals and draw a picture of their favourite type of day sky. Leave slide 5 displayed for simple examples of day sky shapes.