Computer Skills Curriculum

Title: Weather Project

Other Curriculum Objectives that can be addressed by this lesson plan English Language Arts 2.1, 2.2, 4.1; Science: (Gr. 7) 2.5, 4.1; Information Skills 1.5, 2.1; Computer Skills: (Gr. 6) 3.3

Grade: 6
Competency 3.3: Use telecomputing hardware and software to communicate with a distant computer or an online service.

Measure 3.3.1: Collect weather data for one week to exchange with another class in North Carolina.

Materials Needed: An account on a telecomputing service that provides e-mail access to other teachers in North Carolina; a computer with modem and phone line; LCD Panel (Optional); word processing and telecomputing software; thermometer and weather vane; weather map handout for every two students.

Time: Seven class sessions -- a Monday through Friday for about 15 minutes each, 15 minutes on the following Monday, and an entire class session on Tuesday.

Terms: Telecomputing, Modem, Upload, Download, Bulletin Board Service, E-mail, Log on, Log off, Internet, Information Highway

Glossary of Telecomputing Terms
Grade 6 Glossary



  • 1. Compose an e-mail message asking for classes across North Carolina to participate in a state-wide weather project. Explain that classes will be collecting weather data for one week and at the end of that week, they will telecompute the data to all participating classes. (You might check with the system operator of your online serve to see if he/she can set up a temporary group mailing system so that messages can easily be sent to all project participants.) The data will include temperature, wind direction, type of precipitation, and amount of cloud cover. (You may choose to include more weather data than this.) Include in the message the template below for reporting the weather data:

    The message should ask teachers who would like to participate to respond within one week so that you can better organize the activity. Students can then use the data to create weather maps using appropriate symbols. Send this message at least six weeks before the target week.

  • 2. Schedule time at the school telecomputing center for the Monday after the data collection week.


Day 1-5 (Monday - Friday)

  • 1. Explain to the class that they will be collecting weather data each day this week, while other classes in North Carolina will be doing the same. Tell them that at the end of the week, each of the classes will be sending their collected data to via telecomputing. Explain that the class will be using the data on the following Monday to create weather maps of North Carolina for the week.
  • 2. Take the class outside with a thermometer and weather vane and have a member of the class write down the temperature, wind direction, cloud cover, and precipitation.
  • 3. Return to the classroom and have a member of the class to use word processing software to record the data on the template shown below.

  • 4. Continue this process each day through Friday creating a new copy of the template for each day's data. The templates should all be on the same file.
  • 5. At the end of Friday's recording, take the class to the classroom or school telecomputing center. If available, use an LCD Panel so that the entire class can view the online session. Login to the online service describing the operation as it progresses. Ask students questions about what you are doing, requiring them to use the proper terminology.
  • 6. Upload the file that contains the week's collected weather data to all participating classes.

Day 6 (the following Monday)

  • 1. Take the class back to the classroom or school telecomputing center. Use an LCD Panel if available. Login to the online service and ask students questions about what you are doing. Retrieve all of the weather data that has been posted by the other participating classes.

Day 7 (Tuesday)


  • 1. Make copies of the weather data from each site for every two students in your class.
  • 2. Divide the class into pairs. Give each pair a copy of the collected weather data and a copy of the Weather Map Handout.

  • 3. Ask the class to record the weather data collected from all of the participating North Carolina sites on each day's map using appropriate weather symbols.
  • 4. At the end of the class period collect the maps, check them for accuracy, and then post them on a bulletin board.


Have students use the ideas from the Weather Project to write a paper on the following (or similar) topic: "The Pros and Cons of Using Telecomputing to Monitor Pollution in North Carolina Rivers."