Meteorological phenomena and concepts students will be exposed to include: effects of cloud cover, snow cover and wind on forecasting temperatures, effects of cyclones and anticyclones on forecasting precipitation, the forecasting process, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and precipitation processes.
Students make a forecast for the next two days and in the two days that follow, record current observations to compare with their forecasts. Relevant scaffolding activities are available to teach students new skills and techniques to improve their forecasting abilities (hopefully). Each activity requires on average 90 minutes of class time.
Once the forecasting period is complete, students go back and analyze their predictions, determining accuracy of their forecasts and addressing possible reasons why they were wrong (if and when they were). Some questions that should be considered include; What type of weather conditions posed the most problems in forecasting? Did the forecasting accuracy improve over the time period as the students completed scaffolding activities?
Granted, students may figure out where to look up the National Weather Service forecasts, but these forecasts are often incorrect. These forecasts are made for large areas of the state, and are not always able to take into account local effects like, rivers, lakes and urban areas, which can have significant impacts on the local weather conditions. Students would have to consider local effects such as these. To provide students with an extra incentive to actually putting some thought into a forecast, there could be a contest among the students within the class, or even with students in other classes (or even other schools).