Saturday, January 19, 2013

Weather, Weather!

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In fifth grade, my students have been learning about weather and how forecasts are made. Luckily, we know someone who is an expert on this topic who was willing to spend an hour with us yesterday. Our fifth graders got a surprise visit from Tom Tasselmyer, our local weatherman on the news! Needless to say, the students were ecstatic and so were we! He showed us so many weather instruments and how they are used. (I even learned a few things.)
Here is Mr. Tasselmyer speaking to us in the fifth grade suite.  By the way, we are really excited about the Baltimore Ravens going to the AFC Championship Game!  Notice all of the purple in the pic?
Here, he shows us a barometer and how air pressure is measured by the air pressing down on the liquid.
This is a Galileo thermometer and the temperature reading is hanging like a charm from little colored glass pieces inside the tube.  The glass spheres are suspended in water and the one that floats closest to the bottom is the current temperature!
He showed us a weather balloon and told us that these are attached to a box (below) and launched around the world at 12am and 12pm in Greenwich, England.  When they go too far up into the Earth's atmosphere, the balloon pops and a parachute comes out of the attached box.  They then fall to Earth for collection!  Because of the parachute, no one will get bonked in the head at recess! :)
Inside of this box is a barometer, a thermometer, a hygrometer and more!  The piece on the bottom emits a signal that transfers the weather data to meteorologists around the world.
The last part of the presentation demonstrated how a green screen works in the television studio.  Students were amazed to watch when Mr. Tasselmyer placed an image over the green screen and it turned into a weather map.  They were even more astonished when he put on a green tie and jacket and the only thing we could see was his head floating on the weather map!  Anything green will turn into the image on the screen.
If your students are interested in the weather, check out a unit I made by clicking on the image below!  If you get the chance, have your students write to the local weatherman or woman in your area and have them come visit for an extra special treat!
In our Houghton Mifflin reading series, we read about Warren Faidley, the famous storm chaser.  The students enjoyed learning about his trips around the United States in search of weather.  Below, I have included a video of Warren Faidley's pictures that I found on You Tube.  We also watched his documentary that was featured on The Weather Channel.  
This is the link to the beginning of his documentary.
Here are some weather books I just happen to love! 

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