2003 Flight Forecast

2003 Flight Forecast

Wondering About Weather with Kitty and Hawk

Kitty's friend, Hawk, lives in Manteo, North Carolina. Manteo is close to Cape Hatteras and a little further inland. Hawk cannot live beside the beach because there are no trees there and he needs to build his nest in a very tall tree. He is a very strong flyer in good weather so visiting Kitty is no problem most of the time, but he must be careful flying when it is windy or rainy. A strong wind can also move the branches holding Hawk's nest - that makes sleeping in his rocking nest pretty exciting!

From Hawk's birthday weather list Kitty has kept it seems that he has been lucky, it has not been very windy at Manteo on most of those days. The numbers table and the picture, or graph, made from them are as shown here.

Here's Hawk!

Look at the way the height of the blue columns changes on different birthdays. The highest column means the windiest weather, so which birthday gave most trouble in keeping the nest still?

Were there any birthdays when the amount of wind was exactly the same?
Which birthday had the least wind?
Was it more windy when Hawk was nine or when he was six?
Can you now choose a question to ask about this graph?

Repeat the same exercise with the following graph of mean daily temperatures at Manteo.


Hawk's birthday this year will be very special. He shares it with the 100th birthday of powered flight which began when Orville and Wilbur Wright first flew their airplane at Kill Devil Falls in North Carolina, very close to the places where Kitty and Hawk live now.

We would like you to tell us what you think the weather will be like at 10:35AM on December 17 this year?

There will be a big party in North Carolina and maybe you would like to have a party in your school on the same day!

Classroom Activity

The story above helps to set the scene for this classroom activity.

Present the graph so that it can be viewed at the same time by all students. Discuss the presentation then ask each student to pose a question, based on the graph, to the others. Watch the resulting questions range from the simplest to the most complex. From

Which birthday was the warmest? (simple)
Which birthday was colder than Hawk's fifth but warmer than his ninth?

The type of weather is also important to the way we enjoy being ouside. The four most common types are: clear, cloudy, rain, or snow. Kitty made four pictures, or symbols, to use instead of the words and they look like this for the last four years:


Make a game in which some small teams have only the text version of conditions and others have only the symbol version. As they question each other, see how well each teams does in recognizing words and correlating symbols. Finally, ask for predictions about the weather for Hawk's birthday this year, when he is ten.

To show Kitty's treasured data in its full glory we must include her more precise decimal values on each y axis and the actual years of recording on the x axis Her complete tables and graphs are as follows:





Here's Hawk!

Visit Kitty and Hawk every school day for a Daily Detail.

Here's Kitty!

National Science Education Content Standards
[K-4] Content Standard D: Changes in earth and sky.
[K-4] Content Standard F: Changes in environments.
[K-4] Content Standard G: Science as a human endeavor.

Principles and Standards for School Mathematics
[Pre-K-2 | 3-5] Number and Operations Standard: Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems.
[Pre-K-2 | 3-5] Algebra Standard: Understand patterns, relations, and functions.
[Pre-K-2 | 3-5] Measurement Standard: Understand measurable attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes of measurement.
[Pre-K-2 | 3-5] Data Analysis and Probability Standard: Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data; Understand and apply basic concepts of probability.
[Pre-K-2 | 3-5] Connections Standard: Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics.

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