Why Does It Rain?


Imara Abdullah


This lesson was created as a part of the SMART website and is hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology

The students will complete a project  explaining  why it rains.  This lesson is designed for second grade students.

 The goal of the lesson is to have students explain the conditions needed for rain and understand condensation and precipitation.

The student will  conduct experiments to observe condensation, and measure local precipitation.

The student will define rain, precipitation and condensation, chart days of precipitation and measure rainfall.  

Student Activities:

Give an example of condensation by performing an experiment.

If  condensation does not occur, then will there be  rain? Give reasons.

The lesson assessment for second graders is an rubric  for these questions.

  1. What is rain?
  2. Why does it rain?

Ask student questions orally and score on amount of explanation given.




The physical process by which a gas becomes a liquid; the opposite of evaporation.

Condensation:  A chemical reaction in which water or another simple substance is released by the combination of two or more molecules. The physical process is represented by a liquid being removed from a vapor or vapor mixture.



Any form of water particles, either liquid or solid, which falls from the atmosphere and reaches the ground.

Precipitation:  Precipitation is moisture that falls from the atmosphere as rain, snow, sleet, or hail. Precipitation varies in amount, intensity, and form by season and geographic location. These factors impact whether water will flow into streams or infiltrate into the ground. In most parts of the world, records are kept of snow and rainfall. This allows scientists to determine average rainfalls for a location as well as classify rainstorms based on duration, intensity and average return period. This information is crucial for crop management as well as the engineering design of water control structures and flood control.


The mixture of gases that surrounds the earth


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