Need: salt(rock, kosher, table, epsom), magnifying glass, black
paper, paper and pencils.
Let children examine substances that, like snowflakes, have six
sides. When examining salt with a magnifying glass, it is more easily
seen on a dark surface, such as black construction paper.
After children have examined the different substances have them draw
(in a science journal) each of the different types of crystals they observed.
Need: tin can without a lid, rock salt, crushed ice.
Put 2 cups of crushed ice and 1/2 cup rock salt in a can.
Stir the mixture rapidly. This needs to sit about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes the outside of the can will have dew on it. If you
wait a while longer, this dew will change to frost.
Talk about where the dew came from and how it was formed. Also, talk
about the dew changing to frost.
As the can cools, the moisture in the air condenses on the cool
surface. As the can becomes colder, the water on the surface of the
can freezes causing the formation of frost.
Measure the Rain
Need: ruler and marker, measuring cup, small clear bottle, large
clear plastic bottle (2 liter pop bottle works great).
Cut the tops off both bottles.
Take a measuring cup and fill 1/4 cup full. Pour this water into the
small bottle and mark the level. Do this several times so that you
have a series of marks on the side of the small bottle.
Empty the small bottle and place it inside the large bottle. Put the
top of the large bottle upside down over the small bottle. It forms a funnel
Stand the bottles outside to catch the rain. Record the water level
in the small bottle each morning. This is the daily rainfall.
Add up the rainfall for each week or each month. Then make a chart to
show how much rain falls over several weeks, months, or even a whole year.
Tornado in a Jar
Need: tall plastic jar (pop bottle), 4 to 6 small balls of aluminum
foil, clear liquid soap, water, blue food coloring.
Place a teaspoon (5ml) of clear liquid soap in your plastic
container. Drop into the jar 3-4 vary small pieces of aluminum foil
rolled into balls. The foil should be folded and pressed so that it
will sink. Fill the jar to the top with water. Add 1 to 2 drops of
blue food coloring.
Rotate the container and a swirling effect should be produced. It may
take some practice. Set the container up on the table and watch. The
force of the foil at the bottom should keep the water in motion. The
action resembles the motion set up as circular rotations of air in
the atmosphere form a tornado.
Blowing in the Wind
Need: cardboard, string, vegetable oil or petroleum jelly
Using a piece of cardboard that is the size of notebook paper or
larger. Make a small hole on one end of the cardboard, and tie a
piece of string through the hole. Smear one side of the cardboard
with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly.
On a windy day, hang the cardboard from a tree using the string. Make
sure the oily side of the cardboard is facing the wind. Leave the
cardboard in the wind for an hour or more. Then go back and see what
the wind has carried onto the cardboard.
Hurricane Storm Center
Learn about hurricanes and make a hurricane spiral.
*Sites to See
You control the weather. Turn a sunny day into a windy day. Or create
a rainy day.
Weather Whiz Kid
Information, games, experiments
Weather Watch at Scholastic
Weather Basics for ages 7-13
Climite Lesson Plans Grades 3+
Weather Coloring Books
NASA's Our Mission To Planet Earth
program is recommended for grades K-4. Free.
at NASA site.
This teacher's guide for grades K-4 includes activities such as
setting up a terrarium as an Earth System model to demonstrate the
water cycle, the greenhouse effect, and the difference between global
warming and cooling. Students can also create their own models of
instruments and satellites and learn about careers in Earth System Science.
Click here to include your favorite weather activity in this theme!