Thursday, March 20, 2014

Using QR Codes to Learn About Weather

In this lesson, students used QR codes to do a collaborative project on weather! 

In our new Wonders curriculum, there is a unit on weather, and how weather affects our everyday life. We did lots of close reading, shared reading, and guided reading about weather. We're so lucky to live in beautiful Southern California, so many of the types of weather we read about were very unfamiliar to the students. 

For this project, students were randomly placed into groups of four. 

We wanted students to create a virtual "wall" using Padlet, which is a website that allows you to post "stickies" to the wall. One group member created the wall, then shared it with the other group members using the easy share feature! This meant that all students in the group were on the same wall, and could collaborate with each other and see one another's ideas! 

(We use the Qrafter app to scan QR codes!) 

Once in groups of four, students chose from a bag to determine which weather type they would be the "expert" on. 

Once students knew which type of weather they were responsible for, they began scanning the QR codes that matched their weather type. 

Each QR code would take them to a slide I created using PowerPoint. The slides were then exported as a PDF and uploaded to my Dropbox account. I then "shared" the link through Dropbox to create the QR codes. 

The actual slides look like this, and there were six slides for each weather type (so this is what the kids saw when they scanned the QR codes):  

Once they scanned the QR codes, they added the information they had learned to their Padlet wall to share with their other groups members. (Any sticky one kiddo posts, all of the other students can see on their devices!) 

Some kids even got really tech savvy, took a screen shot of the slide, and added it to the Padlet wall as a photo! By the end, some of them had even added videos of themselves SPEAKING about what they had learned! 

You can download all of the QR code resources for this project here! 

To evaluate how the project went, students took a survey on Google to determine how working with their group went that day. 

You can check out a video of this lesson here! 

As a follow up activity, students worked with their groups to create newscasts about their weather type! We used a green screen and iMovie

Check out one of the group's videos here! 


Here is the outline kids used to organize their news reports!
(Click to download!) 

Finally, we had a wonderful opportunity to Mystery Skype with a class from Montana. When you Mystery Skype, you connect with another class around the country (or world!) through Skype or Google Hangouts and students ask questions to figure out where the other class is located. 

This was an amazing opportunity because while we were enjoying 80 degree weather in Southern California, our buddy class's playground was covered in inches of snow! We got see what it looks like to have a playground covered in snow, and we got to ask questions about what it's like going to school in the snow! They also got to ask us all about the beach! This was such a fun way to collaborate and communicate with students from another part of the country! 


  1. Love this! Its a great project. I tried it today with my second graders but unfortunately it says the file does not exist in DropBox :(

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Lindsay- and thank you for letting us know about this glitch. I'm working on fixing it right now!

    2. Okay! Everything is all updated and working correctly now! Thank you again, Lindsay!

    3. Awesome! Thank you for sharing this. My kiddos will be excited to give it another try.

  2. What a great project! I would love to try this with our upcoming story on weather. Are your slides still available by any chance? I tried to scan the QR codes, but I get a message that says URL can't be shown. I am trying to become more tech savvy in my classroom, so any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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  4. Hello! Is this still available? I just started teaching 2nd grade and would love to use these QR codes, however, when I scan them, it says unavailable. Thank you!