TornadoesTeacher Notes  

Created by:
Fran Pijor
Diocese of Orange

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UCI Summer Science Institute WebQuests - 2001

UCI Science WebQuests from all years

Suggested Grade Level: 6 

Science Content Standards: 
Grade 6: S.C.O.R.E. Lesson Standards (Earth Science  3a, 4e)
 Investigation and Experimentation (7a,b,c,d,e,g)

S.C.O.R.E. Lessons Standards Search by Grade and Subject
S.C.O.R.E. Standards and Framework
California Content Standards Grades K-12
California Content Standards Grades K-12 - Science - PDF Format

Students need a basic background in lab procedures, the scientific method, and cooperative team work.
(timekeeper, supplies, clean-up). 

Time:  (Total 3-4   45 minute class sessions)

Activity Lab Worksheet Criteria using "scientific method" approach: 
Title of lab  Problem/Question 
Materials  List 
Diagram (of lab set-up)  *optional
Step-by-step Process 
Observations/Discovery Task(s) 
Results (graphs, charts, tables...) 
Research material   *optional 
Bibliography           *optional

Interpreting data, making inferences, making predictions, graphing, math problem solving, 
diagramming, timing an action, observation, sequencing
Communication of ideas: verbal and writing format 
Computer literacy 
Cooperative learning
Effective use of Internet resources 

On the activity labs, a rubric can be used.  Factors for consideration are: labs reports are complete, the 
scientific method is used, data is well organized, work is neat, and accurate grammar and spelling is used

Student assessment and/or degree of engaged involvement may be used on other "discovery tasks." 


Although we don't really notice it much, air is all around us and is pressing on everything all the time.  Air pressure is caused because air has        weight and it is pulled down to Earth by gravity.  As it is pulled down it squeezes against things - creating AIR PRESSURE.  Slight changes               in air pressure give us a clue about weather changes.  We can measure air pressure and predict the weather with an instrument called a     BAROMETER.


1-new balloon 1-clean glass jar  1-drinking straw
1-toothpick 1-rubberband 1- 9x18 piece of cardboard
a piece of paper
(1)  Cut the neck off the balloon.  Stretch the balloon over the jar and hold it in place with the rubber band.

(2)  Tape the toothpick to the end of the straw.  Tape the other end of the straw to the center of the balloon lid.  Make a weather picture 
chart on the  piece of paper, with "good weather "marked at the top.

(3)  Make a 1/3 section fold on the piece of cardboard (and cut a triangle to form a support on the back), set the glass jar on the cardboard,  
position the weather picture chart  centered directly across from the end of the toothpick and watch to see if the pointer moves a little each day.

(1)  Check the movement of the barometer with that day's weather and determine if there is "greater or less" air pressure on a sunny  weather day versus an overcast or rainy day.  DISCOVERY = Sunny days require _________ air pressure.  (greater/less)  EXPLAIN in your science journal how your activity proves your "discovery "statement.

(2)  Now go ahead and collect air pressure data for a week (or month) and make a line graph with your results.



MATERIALS:  2-quart (sized) glass jars,  1-pan of hot water,  hemp rope (or incense),   ice cubes (enough to fit on bottom of one glass jar) 1-flashlight, 1-match.

(1)  Put one jar upright in the pan of hot water.
(2)  Have your teacher put smoke in the two jars.
(3)  Then stand the second jar upside down on the first bottle with the mouths of the jar together.
(4)  Put several ice cubes on top of the upper jar.
(5)  Darken the room.

(1)  Use the flashlight and observe the movement of the smoke.

DISCOVERY = The air in the bottom jar being heated will ____.  When it near the top of the second bottle, it will cool and begin to ___________________.

Air currents will ___________________ in the two jars.  (cool/rise/swirl)

Web Weather for Kids - Tornadoes
(First activity is excellent for a teacher demonstration)

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August 15, 2001