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What Season Is This?

Summary

Grade Range
Kindergarten
Group Size
3 students
Active Time
1 hour
Total Time
1 hour
Area of Science
Weather & Atmosphere
Key Concepts
Weather, Seasons
Credits
Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies

Overview

In this lesson, students will investigate seasonal patterns by matching various pictures to the different seasons. In small groups, students will analyze the pictures for clues to a specific season, describe what they observe, and explain what evidence they have found in each picture to identify the season. By comparing the images, students will be able to recognize patterns and identify seasonal changes over time.

Learning Objectives

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices
Analyzing and Interpreting Data. Use observations (firsthand or from media) to describe patterns in the natural world in order to answer scientific questions.

Engaging in Argument from Evidence. Construct an argument with evidence to support a claim.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions. Use information from observations (firsthand and from media) to construct an evidence-based account for natural phenomena.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS2.D: Weather and Climate. Weather is the combination of sunlight, wind, snow or rain, and temperature in a particular region at a particular time. People measure these conditions to describe and record the weather and to notice patterns over time.
Crosscutting Concepts
Patterns. Patterns in the natural world can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence.

Materials

For each student group:

For the teacher:

Background Information for Teachers

This section contains a quick review for teachers of the science and concepts covered in this lesson.

Every place on Earth experiences different seasons over the course of a year. The mid-latitudes in the Northern and Southern hemispheres experience the classic four seasons that we call spring, summer, fall, and winter. Each of the four seasons is usually characterized by special weather conditions such as precipitation, sunlight, or temperature patterns that repeat every year. As the weather changes, living things such as plants change along with it, and animals, including humans, change their behavior to adapt to the varying conditions.

There are lots of animals that exhibit distinct behaviors during each season. For example, animals usually produce offspring in spring, either gather food for the winter or migrate to warmer places in fall, or hibernate in winter. An annual plant's life cycle follows a pattern that is dependent on the weather conditions in each season. They go dormant over the winter to survive the cold and come back to life in spring when the temperatures become warmer and the days become longer. They grow their flowers and fruit over the summer, so they are ready for harvest in fall. Once they have set their seeds, they are ready to go dormant for winter and the cycle starts again.

The table below shows some typical characteristics of each of the seasons in the mid-latitudes. Depending on the specific location on Earth, these characteristics might vary.

Spring Summer Fall Winter
  • Temperatures become warmer
  • Usually more precipitation
  • Weather can be variable
  • Days are becoming longer (more sunlight)
  • Flowers start to bloom
  • Trees start growing new leaves
  • Animals become more active (wake up from hibernation)
  • Many animals start breeding
  • Migrating animals start their journeys
  • Temperatures can become very hot
  • Usually less precipitation
  • Weather is more stable and warmer
  • Days are the longest in summer
  • Some plants become brown in the heat
  • Some plants go dormant to survive the dry weather
  • Animals are less active on hot days
  • Animals find less water
  • People wear light clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen
  • Temperatures start becoming cooler
  • Usually more precipitation
  • Weather can be variable
  • Days are becoming shorter (less sunlight)
  • Many plants are finished making their fruits, which can be harvested
  • Leaves of trees change colors
  • Trees start to lose their leaves
  • Animals prepare for winter and store food
  • Some animals migrate to warmer places
  • Temperatures can become very cold
  • Usually more precipitation, including snow
  • Weather is more stable and colder
  • Days are getting very short
  • Many plants go dormant to survive
  • Many trees lose or have lost their leaves
  • Animals hide in their nests, burrows, caves, etc. to stay warm
  • Some animals hibernate
  • Animals cannot find much food
  • People wear many layers of clothes to keep warm

In this lesson, students will investigate seasonal patterns by matching various pictures to the different seasons. In small groups, students will analyze the pictures for clues to a specific season, describe what they observe, and explain what evidence they have found in each picture to identify the season. By discussing and comparing the images, students will be able to recognize patterns and identify seasonal changes over time.

Prep Work (15 minutes)

Engage (15 minutes)

Explore (30 minutes)

Reflect (15 minutes)

Make Career Connections

Lesson Plan Variations

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