Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Define the jet stream and explain how air moves in the jet stream.
- Explain how global weather patterns like the jet stream can affect local weather.
- Cite specific and relevant text evidence to support analysis of the text.
- Use various vocabulary strategies to define academic and domain-specific words in the text.
- Integrate information presented in graphics as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of the jet stream.
- Construct a written informative text that clearly establishes the main point(s), contains relevant textual evidence to support the main point, utilizes transitions to maintain flow, effectively uses domain-specific vocabulary, and provides an appropriate conclusion.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
In regards to science:
- Students should recognize how air temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation determine the weather in a particular place and time. Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a given time and location. Climate is the average of the weather of a place over a long period of time.
- Resources to review weather and climate:
- Students should be familiar with our atmosphere and how it is layered. They can review the layers of the atmosphere here.
- Students should be able to define rotation and revolution and understand that Earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the Sun. This video titled "Earth's Rotation & Revolution" (4:00, uploaded by YouTube user Crash Course Kids) provides a visual demonstration.
- Students must know the locations of the Equator and poles on Earth. The Equator divides Earth into Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Students should be familiar with lines of latitude and longitude and understand how absolute locations on Earth are identified numerically using degrees that indicate distance north and south of the Equator (e.g. 45°N).
- Resources to review basic geography:
In regards to literacy:
- Students should have prior experience utilizing various vocabulary strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text. For this lesson, prior experience in using context clues to determine the meaning of words in a text would be beneficial. In addition, students should have some dictionary skills that will enable them to look up words with multiple meanings and determine the most appropriate meaning based on how a word is used in a text.
- Students should understand that the graphics used in informational texts can provide additional information, as well as depict information in a different, more accessible format.
- Students should be able to respond to a writing prompt in a clear, organized manner that includes use of an introduction to establish the main point(s), a body paragraph(s) that support the main point(s) and includes relevant and specific textual evidence, and a conclusion that supports the main point(s).
- Students should have some awareness that use of transition words or phrases can help a piece of writing flow smoothly from one point or idea to the next.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
1. What are jet streams?
Jet streams are relatively narrow bands of strong wind in the upper levels of the atmosphere that blow from west to east.
2. What do jet streams have to do with hot and cold air?
Jet streams generally move along the boundaries between hot and cold air. During the winter, the boundaries between hot and cold air masses are more pronounced, which causes jet streams to be strongest in both Northern and Southern Hemisphere winters.
3. How can jet streams affect weather?
Jet streams dip and rise in altitude and latitude around the globe. They occur between the high and low pressure systems and can affect the weather. They can bring cool northern air south or push warm wet air north.
4. How can lines that represent jet streams on a weather map be misleading?
Meteorologists often use a line on the weather map to represent the jet stream. The line can be misleading because jet streams are typically wide and not as distinct; instead, they are regions where the wind increases toward a core of strongest wind. They can extend hundreds of miles across and thousands of feet in height. The line generally points to the location of the strongest wind.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
1. Begin the lesson by asking students: "Did you know it is much faster to travel by plane to Europe than to return from Europe to the U.S.? Why do you think so?" (Accept all answers.)
2. Tell them that today's lesson will help them answer this question.
3. Ask: "Did you know that climbers on Mt. Everest who have reached the summit have experienced winds of up to 118 miles per hour at the peak? Why do you think so?" (Accept all answers.)
4. Ask: "Did you also know that local weather is often influenced by the same thing that speeds up planes as they cross the Atlantic and makes Everest so windy? What could that be?
5. Tell them that local weather is influenced by global patterns which include ocean currents and the jet stream.
6. Next, show the video "" (uploaded by YouTube user Seeker). Stop the video at 1:00. (You will finish the video AFTER reading the article and completing the writing exercise).
7. Ask: "What caused the airplane to go so fast?"
8. Students should now be able to answer that it is the jet stream that caused the plane to travel at record speeds.
9. End the discussion by informing the students that they will be reading an article titled "The Jet Stream."
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
1. Provide each student with a copy of the article "The Jet Stream."
2. For class discussions that will follow, it will be helpful to have students number each paragraph. There are 14 paragraphs total. It will also be helpful to letter each graphic. There are five graphics total and should be labeled as follows:
- A: "How the earth's rotation…"
- B: "North hemisphere cross section…"
- C: "Polar Jet" and "Subtropical Jet"
- D: Jet stream mph
- E: "The strength of the wind increases…"
2. Provide each student with a note-taking guide.
3. Before students begin reading, direct them to pay attention to the text features of the article to help them learn and locate information:
- Title: The Jet Stream
- Captions: Located under three of the graphics
- Graphics: A-E
4. Have students fill out the note-taking guide as they read the text. This can be done individually, in pairs, or in a small group. The teacher should monitor students as they work and provide support and guidance as needed.
How will you check for student understanding? (Formative Assessment):
1. Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' completed note-taking guides, checking their work, providing written feedback, or grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
2. Teachers can use this sample answer key to help them assess students' answers.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond:
1. Weather and climate are the same.
Weather and climate are NOT the same. Weather is the condition of the atmosphere in a particular location at any given moment, while climate is the average of weather conditions in a region over a long period of time.
2. The jet stream is simply a place where airplanes fly in the sky.
Jet streams are fast flowing, relatively narrow air currents. They form near boundaries of warm and cold air masses. Meteorologists use the location of the jet stream to aid them in forecasting. During airline travel, flying long distances along with the jet stream can cut hours off a long distance trip.
3. The jet stream only exists over North America.
Many times, the jet stream is shown by meteorologists on a map of the United States. However, the meteorologists are only showing one part of this band of wind that circles the entire Earth. Jet streams affect weather around the world, not just the United States and North America.
4. The jet stream is seasonal.
Winds in the jet stream are always moving throughout the year. However, the location shifts due to the position of the sun. During the summer, the average latitude/altitude shifts further north as the sun increases in elevation. During the fall and winter, the average latitude/altitude shifts toward the equator as the sun’s elevation decreases.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Provide each student with a copy of the text-dependent questions to complete. Students should be reminded to continually refer back to the text and to use relevant and specific evidence from the text to support their answers.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for understanding?):
1. Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting their answers to the text-dependent questions, checking their work, providing written feedback, and maybe grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
2. Teachers can use this sample answer key to help them assess students' answers.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond: Please see the Guided Practice section.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
1. After completing the writing assignment, show the "What is the Jet Stream & How Fast Does It Go?" again, this time playing through the part that explains the jet stream. Stop the video at 2:04.
2. After playing the video, ask the students to summarize the jet stream from the information provided in the video. Students are likely to state some of the following points:
- Jet streams are not unique to Earth. They have been observed on Jupiter and Saturn.
- Jet streams form in the troposphere, the lowest atmosphere level. (You can use this illustration to review the layers of the atmosphere.)
- Most head from west to east.
- There are polar and subtropical jet streams.
- Jet streams form at boundaries between warm air and cold air.
- Higher pressure cold air pushes into the low pressure area. In winter, the pressure differences are greater, so you get stronger winds.
- The spinning of the Earth deflects winds east.
3. Next, remind students of the opening statement: "Local weather is influenced by global patterns like the jet stream." Tell students that they will watch a short video that explains how the jet stream influences local weather, titled "What is a Jet Stream?" (1:55, uploaded by YouTube user Inside Science).
4. After the video, ask: "How does the jet stream influence local weather?" Have students write down their answers/ideas as an "exit ticket" for the lesson. Students should include some of the following points:
- Jet streams move weather systems.
- Jet streams bring storms to some areas and fairer weather to other areas.
- The polar jet stream dips further south in the winter, which brings colder air and sometimes strong storms further south.
5. Finally, remind students that jet streams are not the only global patterns that influence local weather. Ocean currents also influence weather (see extension activities for suggestions for teaching about ocean currents).
1. Before students complete the writing prompt, be sure to review responses to the text-dependent questions as a class, including covering the misconceptions and key points included in Guided Practice.
2. After students' written responses have been graded and returned with feedback, teachers might wish to use the provided sample response with the class. Students who are struggling writers can benefit greatly from seeing a well-organized, detailed written response.
3. The teacher could show the sample response on an overhead or with a projector and discuss some of the following:
- How the topic is introduced in the opening sentences of the introductory paragraph. Brainstorm with students other ways the writer could have opened the piece.
- How the author organized their response to the prompt in a multi-paragraph answer.
- How the author included specific text details throughout.
- How the author used transition words and phrases throughout.
- How the topic is concluded in the final sentences of the last paragraph. Brainstorm with students other ways the writer could have concluded the piece.
4. As one final option, teachers might want students to use the rubric to provide a score for the sample written response and have them justify the score they gave, possibly providing revision suggestions for any categories they scored lower than a 4.
1. Students will individually respond to the writing prompt. They should be directed to respond with a multi-paragraph response, with a clear introduction, body section, and conclusion. They must refer back to the text as they construct their response.
2. Provide students with a copy of the rubric and go over it with them so they will know how their written response will be assessed.
3. Go over the writing prompt with students and make sure students understand what the prompt is asking them to address. Encourage students to underline key parts of the prompt as the teacher goes over it so they will remember to answer all the required parts.
The prompt: Global patterns such as the jet stream and ocean currents influence local weather in measurable ways. These include temperature, air pressure, wind direction, wind speed, humidity, and precipitation. Summarize your understanding of the jet stream and how it might influence the local weather you experience. Cite evidence from the text in your answer.
4. Teachers will use the rubric to assess students' written responses.
Specific suggestions for conducting Formative Assessment can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for conducting Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"