Lesson plan

Weather - measuring weather

Build devices that model measurement of rainfall and wind speed. Make a simple barometer. Use thermometers
Science content
Earth/Space: Weather, Seasons, Climate Change (K, 1, 4, 7)

We can predict what weather is coming, and see weather patterns over time by taking measurements.
What kind of things might we measure? Hint: what is reported on the weather news?
Temperature (Cold and warm air fronts on a weather map - air masses of different temperatures moving around. Temperature can affect the type of precipitation that forms - rain, snow or hail (warm then cold layer of air in the atmosphere make rain which freezes into hail). If the air layers are dry enough, the moisture may evaporate before reaching the ground.)
Wind: Direction and speed tells us what is coming
Air (or barometric) pressure: Low pressure means clouds are coming. High pressure means clear skies are coming.
Humidity: How much water is in the air. That and temperature determines if it precipitates.

Make devices that measure weather, or model weather-measuring devices. Optionally, take the materials outdoors to measure weather conditions.
Optional: look at a real weather station to find the parts that do the measuring.

Primaries use thermometers to measure temperature. (Look at radiation shield in a weather station where the digital thermometer is housed.)
Intermediates are challenged to model a tipping spoon rain gauge.
Intermediates make a barometer.
Challenge for everyone to build a device that turns in the wind.


Add Wind vane to this lesson.
This is the third of a series of Weather lessons: 1. Weather - What causes it? 2. Weather phenomena 3. Measuring weather

Grades taught
Gr K
Gr 1
Gr 2
Gr 3
Gr 4
Gr 5
Gr 6
Gr 7