A lesson built around a single Internet Site
Grade level(s): 5th Grade
Lesson Title: The Cost of Disaster
Driving question for study: Which natural disaster is more costly? What area of the U.S. is more susceptible to these disasters and why? What economic impact do these disasters bring?
Internet Site Title: Billion Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters, 1980-2001 Internet Site
Author: Susan Brooks
Site Description: The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is the Nations Scorekeeper in terms of addressing severe weather events in their historical perspective.This web page/report describes those events that have had the greatest economic impact since 1980. Data with graphics is plentiful and details of each event is documented.
Site Purpose: In our study of weather, we have discussed and learned of the natural disasters that occur. We are going to further explore the impact of these disasters and how and why they affect specific areas of the United States. We will collect data from this site and draw conclusions on the costs of disasters on society and economics and where and why in the U.S. it would be less likely for natural disasters to occur.
Lesson Introduction: Set group size limits or establish roles at the start of this lesson. List here any classroom management details that will help this lesson run smoothly.
What causes our stresses? What makes them livable? Can we eliminate any of our stress? You will work with a partner of your choosing. Your task for today will be to use the lists and resources available to you and come to an agreement on the three things that most cause you and your partner stress, and then the three management techniques that you think will be most helpful to your classmates in dealing with their stress. One of you should be responsible for the things that cause you to stress, and the other will be responsible for the ways to deal with stress. Do not be distracted by other groups working around you on other topics related to stress. Work in a positive manner with your partner.
Lesson Description: Give complete instructions to students regarding how the work is to be done. If an additional Internet site will be required for the completion of this lesson, include it in your instructions here.
Set up a journal page and make your guess about the following: (1) What hour of day is the hottest? (2) What time of the day is the coldest? After making your guess, visit the weather data site and record the temperature for each of the last 24 hours. Write the numbers down in your journal before entering them into the spreadsheet. If you want to copy the data and paste into Excel, you will encounter several difficulties. To see how to deal with these problems, download a sample spreadsheet. You may be able to look at the numbers you wrote in your journal and see a pattern. But, if you put your data into Excel and create a column chart, the pattern will be much easier to find.
Instructions for using Excel to produce your chart of temperature data
Enter the data into a spreadsheet
Put the times into column 1
Enter the temperatures in column 2, use numbers only, do not try to enter a degree sign or Fahrenheit.
Highlight the times and temperatures only. Do not use entire columns or entire rows, just the data you entered.
Select the Chart Wizard button
A column chart is the default choice, so click on the Next button at the bottom of the window.
At step 2 there is nothing to change, so click on the Next button at the bottom of the window.
In the chart title section of step 3 enter "24 hours of temperature data."
Label the X and Y axes as time and temperature, then select the Next button at the bottom of the window.
On step 4, click in the top circle to place the chart as a new sheet.
Select the Finish button at the bottom of the window.
Look carefully at your chart. Go back to your journal page and record the time of the highest temperature and the time of the lowest temperature. Compare those numbers to your guesses. On your journal page suggest possible reasons why the hottest and coldest times of the day happen when they do.
Final Product or Task: Tell students what they will produce as a final product. If you expect them to use a specific application or tool spell that out for them. For example; "You will use an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the speed with which a line of thunderstorms moved across a given state. Your results and to be reported with a one-page Word document on which you have inserted an image from the Internet."
Print your "24 hours of temperature data" chart. Report the results of your inquiry on a one page MS Word document which you will turn in with your Excel chart. Your report must include:
your original guesses about the hottest and coldest time,
the actual hottest and coldest times,
your speculation as to why hottest and coldest times happen when they do.
Conclusion: Associate this lesson with work that has gone before, or is to follow. Challenge your students to go further with this topic. If appropriate, list another Internet site.
Stresses affect you and I each day--(Only you know quicker when my stress levels go up.) Use this site to learn how to control your surroundings and the things that punch your buttons. Use the associated links to learn more about how stress affects your total health, and your whole well-being. With a little effort on your part, you may find that I can become a bearable person in whose class you can come to learn and enjoy without the usual stresses that everyday school life is bound to bring.
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