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Where's the best place to build a snow fort?
Stormy Skies Unit | Lesson 3 of 5

Where's the best place to build a snow fort?

Stormy Skies Unit | Lesson 3 of 5
Lesson narration:
Scroll for prep
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DISCUSS:

How do you know it’s winter where you live?

What changes do you notice?

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DISCUSS:
What temperature does the thermometer show here?
Do you see any OTHER clues that tell you if this temperature is hot or cold?
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DISCUSS: How do you think this place will change if the temperature stays ABOVE 32 degrees Fahrenheit for a long time? What will look different here?
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DISCUSS:
Will the weather be good for building a snow fort where you live next winter?
How do you know?
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DISCUSS:

Suppose you wanted to find a great spot to build a snow fort next December.

What kinds of data could you collect to find a place with great weather for snow fort building?

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Step
01/18
For this activity, you’ll work with a partner. Once you have a partner,
decide who will be Snowball and who will be Icicle.
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Step
02/18
You’re going to hear about the three different towns that want to
have the festival. But first, get your supplies.
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Step
03/18
You’ll look at the data from this town first. Icicle: Get your What’s
the Weather? chart and write “Madison, Wisconsin” beside Town #1.
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Step
04/18
Get your Thermometers worksheet. Look at the thermometers for
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Step
05/18
Snowball: On the Thermometers worksheet, find each day in Madison
where the temperature was ABOVE 32°F. In red, cross those days
off. Icicle: Count the number of days that are crossed off.
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Step
06/18
Get your Weather chart. Icicle: In the chart, find the row where you
wrote “Madison, Wisconsin.” Find the column for Too Hot days. Write
down the number of Too Hot days in Madison.
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Step
07/18
Snowball: Find days in Madison where the temperature was BELOW
25°F
. In blue, cross off each Too Cold day. Icicle: Write the number of
Too Cold days in Madison’s row under Too Cold days.
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Step
08/18
Any day that doesn’t have an X was just right—not too hot and not
too cold. Snowball: Circle those days. Icicle: Count the Just Right
days and write that number in Madison’s row under Just Right days.
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Step
09/18
Discuss:
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Step
10/18
You’re going to look at the data for Fairbanks next. Icicle: Get your
Weather chart and write “Fairbanks, Alaska” beside Town #2.
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Step
11/18
Snowball and Icicle: Switch jobs. Snowball: Mark Too Hot days, Too
Cold days, and Just Right days for Fairbanks. Icicle: Write the number
of each kind of day in the Fairbanks row on your chart.
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Step
12/18
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Step
13/18
José is here to tell you about his hometown, Truckee, California. You’ll
look at the data from this town next. Icicle: Get your Weather chart
and write “Truckee, California” beside Town #3.
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Step
14/18
Snowball and Icicle: Switch jobs. Snowball: Mark Too Hot days, Too
Cold days, and Just Right days for Truckee. Icicle: Count the number
of each kind of day. Write those numbers in the row for Truckee.
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Step
15/18
Discuss:
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16/18
So far, you have only looked at the temperature in these towns.
Discuss:
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Step
17/18
Icicle: Write “Snowstorms” in the box that says “More Data.”
Snowball: Count the snowflakes for each town. Icicle: Write the
number of snowflakes for each town under Snowstorms.
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Step
18/18
Discuss:
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DISCUSS:

What’s the point of making predictions about the weather if we know that at least some of them will be wrong?

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season

1 of 18

a time of year with specific weather that repeats every year
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summer

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one of the four seasons, the warmest season in some places
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winter

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one of the four seasons, the coldest season in some places
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measure

4 of 18

to describe something using numbers that can be compared
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temperature

5 of 18

how hot or cold something is
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thermometer

6 of 18

a tool that measures temperature
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Fahrenheit

7 of 18

one way to measure temperature; water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit
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Celsius

8 of 18

one way to measure temperature; water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius
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degree

9 of 18

a unit of measurement, such as for temperature
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freeze

10 of 18

when a liquid turns into a solid, such as when water turns to ice
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freezing point

11 of 18

the temperature when water starts to turn from liquid water into solid ice
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weather

12 of 18

what the air is like in a particular time and place, including things like temperature, wind, and rain
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storm

13 of 18

weather that usually includes strong wind and rain or snow
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snow

14 of 18

solid water that falls from the sky when it's very cold outside
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snowstorm

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a storm with lots of snow and usually strong winds
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predict

16 of 18

to guess what will happen based on things you know
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pattern

17 of 18

something that happens again and again and again in a way that can be predicted
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data

18 of 18

recorded measurements or observations
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🎉 That’s it for this lesson! How did it go?
Extend this lesson
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Lesson narration:

Weather & Climate

Seasonal Weather Patterns

3-ESS2-1

Activity Prep

Print Prep

In this lesson, students explore seasonal weather conditions across different regions. They investigate how weather patterns can be used to make predictions about future weather. In the activity, Snow Fort Weather, students organize daily temperature data from three snowy towns into a table so that they can compare weather conditions and predict which town is most likely to have the best weather for a snow fort festival next year.

Preview activity
Exploration

20 mins

Hands-On Activity

Wrap-Up