Computer Skills Curriculum
Database Lesson Plans

Title: Database Problem Solving: Dressing for Travel

Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan
English Language Arts 2.1, 2.2, 4.1; Social Studies: (Gr. 7) Skill Goal I, Skill Goal II; Computer Skills: (Gr. 5) 2.2, (Gr. 6) 3.1, 3.2, (Gr. 7) 3.1; Information Skills 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2

Grade: 7
Competency 3.1: Given a prepared database, use sorting and searching techniques to solve a specific problem.

Measure 3.1.1: Given a prepared database of weather data for a number of travel destinations, identify the sites that would require both an umbrella and clothing heavier than what would be worn at home that day.

Materials Needed: Activity: Daily weather forecast, daily newspaper copies, U.S. map marked with travel destinations of database file, computer with database program and prepared weather database file. (Database--Weather)

Time: One class session.

Terms: Database, Sort, Search



Non-computer Activity:

  • 1. Have students bring the local daily weather forecast from radio, TV, or the daily paper.
  • 2. Discuss any variation in the forecasts and any advantages of the three different formats.

Computer Activity:

  • 1. Review the database operations of search and sort.
  • 2. Introduce the question of "What ways could a traveller staying in a hotel determine what type of clothing would be needed on a trip to the day's destination?" (e.g., TV, radio, cable weather channel, daily newspaper, USA Today weather map, airline information service, hotel front desk)
  • 3. Discuss the need for the traveller to dress appropriately for the local weather as well as for the destination. Ask the students to describe the local weather while two students study the daily newspaper to report the local forecast. Post the local forecast on the board or overhead.
  • 4. Select two students to operate the computer database and divide the remaining students into two groups.
  • 5. Identify one group as the "traveller." Provide the group with a map of the United States with destinations listed in the computer database clearly marked. (See list at the end of the lesson.)
  • 6. Identify the other group as the "hotel staff." Their job will be
    • a. to instruct the two computer operators on how to use the database (whether to search or sort) to determine the weather at the traveller's selected location.
    • b. to respond to the traveller's inquiry with suggestions on attire for the local weather and the travel destination weather.
  • 7. Once the groups understand their assignment, give each five minutes to organize: the travellers to pick their destinations; the hotel staff to review when they might want to search the database and when they should sort the database; the two database operators to practice sorting and searching.

    Note: The information in the database represents yearly totals, highs, and lows. Use the data to "make" a forecast for the day in question.

    For example:

    • a. Destination is Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Search for the information and compare to the local forecast.
    • b. Destination is Dallas, Texas for the day and on to Portland, Oregon for the night. Search for both records to gather information or sort selected fields of high temperature (for daytime), low temperature (for nighttime), and days clear/cloudy/precipitation to compare the cities with the local forecast.
  • 8. Have the "travellers" request 3-4 destinations and the hotel staff respond. For example:
    • a. Travel to Columbus, OH.
    • b. Travel to sites with cloudy skies over half of the year (days cloudy 182).
    • c. Travel to all sites needing an umbrella (days with precipitation 200).
    • d. Travel to sites with a low temperature lower than the low of the local forecast.
  • 9. Provide the "travellers" one or two "challenge" destinations to request. For example:
    • a. Travel to Pittsburgh, PA for a noon meeting, then on to Salt Lake City, Utah for the evening.
    • b. Travel to Denver, CO for a 10am-2pm meeting, then to Los Angeles, CA for a three-hour layover before travelling to Honolulu, HI.
    • c. Travel in January to a city without an airport but easily accessible from one of the 3 cities of Boston (MA), Burlngton (VT), and Portland (ME) which most likely would not be closed due to snow.
  • 10. Discuss the advantages of obtaining travel forecasts from a hotel staff using a computer database rather than using other weather forecast sources such as radio, TV, local newspaper, etc.


Provide students a prepared database file of weather data for a number of travel destinations. Ask them to identify the sites that would require both an umbrella and clothing heavier than what would be worn at home that day and describe the database operations used to find the response. (Directions: Have students decide on the database strategy in small groups of 3-4 students but have each student do his own database search and write his own response to submit.)