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Regional Focus


Climate vs. Weather

Author: ClimateScience
Grades: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th
Subjects: Science, Earth and Space Sciences
Format: PDF
Resource Types:
  • Lesson Plan
  • Worksheet
  • In this activity, students will read about the differences between climate and weather and sort various phrases into a weather column or a climate column. 
Teaching Tips


  • This straightforward activity teaches students the difference between climate and weather.
  • The teacher's handout contains an answer key for the handout. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers will have to read the phrases aloud to students who cannot read independently.


  • Advanced students could learn about weather predictions based on climate change with this ClimateScience resource.
  • Students could write a short paragraph describing the current weather and the local climate and explain how the two concepts are related, but not the same.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video on the differences between weather and climate, this digital picture book on the impact of climate change on extreme weather, and this video that explains why people confuse the weather with the climate.
Scientist Notes
This activity introduces students to the concepts of climate and weather and what differentiates the two. After defining terms, the students are tasked with sorting statements related to weather and climate into "climate" or "weather" columns. This activity is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • K-ESS3-2 Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 3-ESS2-2 Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
      • K-ESS2-1 Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns over time.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.4.K-2 Explain how weather, climate, and other environmental characteristics affect people's lives in a place or region.
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