You will will use real time weather data to
investigate what happens to air temperature at night.
Activity #1 As the World Turns
- Use the class room map to find some of
the countries in these locations.
- Access the World
Time Zone Map or the Official Time and
have students find
their location and time zone. Ask:
- Could it be daytime in one part of the world and night time in another?
- Explain why or why not.
- Where does the sun rise first, Mexico City or Madrid, Spain?
- How do you know?
Lead the class in a simple rotation simulation to demonstrate what causes
day and night. Put a piece of paper on a globe to mark your location. One
student will hold the globe and another the flashlight to simulate the
sun. Have the student holding the globe spin it counterclockwise.
Have the students identify places on the opposite side of the globe that
will be having night while they are having day. They should make the observation
that, as the earth rotates, new parts of it come into the sun's light.
- Look at the Global
Montage world map
and answer the following questions:
- When was this map was created (time and date)?
- What time is this in your
time zone? (GMT
refers to the same time zone as UTC)
- List three items you see on it (you may return to the map to review it).
- Go to the
Earth Viewer map showing the current day and night regions and answer the
- Which part of the world is experiencing night right now?
- Which part is experiencing day?
- Where is the sun rising and setting?
- Compare the Earth Viewer map with the Global Montage map. What similarities do you notice?
- Based on your comparison, what effect do you think day and night have on temperature?
Activity#2 Highs and Lows
- Answer the following questions:
- How much do you think the temperature changes each day?
- Will the temperature be the same tonight as it is this afternoon?
- What effect does the sun have on the temperature?
- At what time of day would you expect the highest temperature to be? Why?
- At what time of day would you expect the lowest temperature to be?
- Access the Weather
Underground and go to the Current Conditions for
your area. Ask:
What is the current temperature?
Are the high and low temperature listed? (No).
When will we know the high and low temperature for the day? (tomorrow)
- Tell the students that
this site will have the high and low temperatures for today available for
viewing tomorrow and that they are going to try to predict at about what
time of day those temperatures will occur by looking at previous data.
- Go to the Weather
Underground. Access historical conditions to view
the data from the previous day. Look at the high and low temperatures
for the day and then check on the chart on the bottom to find out at what
time they occurred. Students should record the high and low temperatures
and the times they occurred.
- Students should then use the site to access the weather data from the
last five days. They should record the high and low temperatures and the
times they occurred. Ask whether or not they notice any pattern in the
data. (The students will discover that the highest temperatures usually
occur in the afternoon and the lowest between midnight and dawn).
- Students will predict the approximate
times that the current day's high and low temperatures will occur.
The following day: Check the high and low temperatures for the
previous day on the Weather
Underground. How close did the students' predictions come to the actual
times given for the high and low temperatures for the day?
Ask the students to think of some things that could change the time
of day at which the high and low temperatures occur (Clouds, storms, wind
Extension: Making A Graph
Have the students choose a day (their birthday, a holiday) and access
the historical data for that day. They should plot the times (horizontal
axis) and temperatures (vertical axis) on a line graph. They should then
analyze the graph and write a statement about the relationship between
the two factors they plotted.