I enjoy collaborating with colleagues of different disciplines with the opportunity arises, so I jumped at the chance when our Drama Director, Jeannie Clinton offered to work with my budding meteorologists in creating segments of a take-off of The Weather Channel. Students were all asked to pick a topic of under the umbrella (pun, intended) of weather. From there, students did preliminary research on their topics, which included: tornadoes, hail, cloud formations, hurricanes, floods, sand storms, and the Northern Lights. After 2 days of in class researching using books and iPads, our Drama Director came in to introduce the concept of story boards to help organize their projects. Students thought about how they would like to film their segment – whether it would be to interview with someone observing weather, or they themselves acting as a meteorologist reporting on a weather event that they researched. I challenged our students to watch the local weather here in Rochester, New York at night if they could, so they could see how weather is communicated to the public. We couldn’t have asked a more interesting day to do this, as it was an unusual weather event – there was every single color on the radar that night – red, yellow, and orange rain indicators, and blue, white, and pink for the snow and sleet. It almost looked like Art!
Students were able to watch clips from The Weather Channel to see how weather is reported, discussed, and described. They soon gained an understanding of the need of maps and visuals to help explain to the audience what they were observing. A lesson about weather soon developed into the need for the public to get accurate and current weather reporting for public safety. We are still on the storyboard stage, and I look forward to watching what the students come up with as far as their creativity with presenting their researching using this vehicle. Nothing grabs the attention of a middle school student better than the opportunity to get behind a green-screen acting like a tornado is off in the distance. More to come.