Acid Rain Lesson Plan
Activity 5 – Understanding weather maps and the importance of storm tracking
Time: Run by events; two to three storm events in 30 days
At the end of this lesson the student will be able to:
- Explain how storm tracking is important to understanding sources of acid rain pollution.
- Read and understand a weather map.
You will need:
- National Weather maps (these should be saved for the 30-day period of this activity. This will allow for tracking all storm events during the 30-day period). Collect them from your local newspaper.
- Inexpensive pH test kit for water (or comparative kit). Many scientific supply houses for schools carry these.
- Clean wide-mouth glass or plastic container for collecting rain samples.
- Accurate rain gauge
- Data sheet (Figure 7)
- Blank United States map (make as many copies as necessary; Figure 8).
Instructions to Teacher
- Refer to "Background Information," 3.0 to 3.10, 6.0 to 7.7.
- Instruct the students to collect national weather maps for a 30-day period. These maps will be used continually throughout the lesson.
- Figure 9 is an example of the National Weather Service map for Friday, March 11, 1983, (Knoxville Journal, March 10, 1983. Knoxville, Tennessee).
- Using a copy of the U.S. map (Figure 8), have the students track each storm event as it moves toward them (using a separate map for each event) during the 30-day period.
- Have the students collect all precipitation for the 30-day period, keeping track of the total rainfall with a rain gauge and also recording the total rain per storm event.
- At the end of the storm event collection period, assist students in measuring pH. Have them record information on data sheets (Figure 7).
Instructions to Students
- Set up plastic or glass collection container for rain in an open area away from buildings and trees. This will be left out for a 30-day period. the rain is measured after each storm event and recorded. Also, the total amount for the 30-day period is recorded.
- Each symbol on a weather map is important. The ones you should be mainly concerned with for this
- Warm fronts and movement
- Cold fronts and movement
- Occluded fronts and movement
- Rain, snow, showers, flurries
Questions to Students
- During the 30-day test period, were there any storm events? Which direction did they come from?
- Are there any large sources of pollution (No. 3 above) in this direction? How far did the storm travel from the pollution sources to your area?
- Was there any difference between pH calculated in this activity with the pH calculated for Activity 4? How such of a difference? How did this activity pH compare with GRSM pH?
- Why might there be a difference between Activity 4 and 5? GRSM and Activity 4?