Weather Facts

Dorothy Parker Beasley Academic Center
5255 S. State Street
Chicago, IL. 60609


(grades 3-9)
1) To understand why certain phenomena occur in the atmosphere
2) To learn how weather elements are measured
3) To learn to make and/or use weather instruments
4) To become familiar with weather terminology
5) To distinguish between myths, superstitions, and scientific

Materials needed:

(for groups of six-eight students)
large room thermometer, a weather vane, card-board, narrow jar or test tube,
balloons, red narrow balloon, red and blue food coloring, two large jars,
aluminum pan, ice cubes, plastic transparent container (shoe box, sweater box,
etc.), hot and cold water, candle, plastic wrap, piece of wool, torn scraps of
paper, comb, paper bags, tornado in a bottle, sponge, index cards

optional: patterns and materials to make weather vanes and/or pin-wheels


teacher preparation:

1. Make simple weather vane
2. Prepare activity sheets
3. Make tornado in a bottle
4. Make pattern worksheets for weather vane and pinwheel
5. Check books for myths, superstitions, and weather facts
6. Boil a quart of water
7. Have two trays of ice cubes available
8. Set up weather stations

Class activities:

1. Read and discuss myths, superstitions, truisms associated with weather
2. Present vocabulary: air mass, front, high, low, humidity, wind,
precipitation, pressure, temperature, tornado
3. Do demonstration with clear container, jar of hot water colored red, jar of
cold water colored blue (add salt to the water), divider. With divider
separating container in half, pour hot water in one side and cold water in
the other side simultaneously. Remove divider and observe
4. Students should report to a weather station

Weather stations 1. Wind-objective: to discover that wind is moving air. Use sponge to wet board. Fan with cardboard. Write north, south, east, west on index cards. Have child hold weather vane with index cards around him. Students will blow and child with weather vane will point it in the direction from which the wind is blowing. 2. Temperature-Thermometer: to learn to read a thermometer. To discover that temperature changes cause fog and clouds. Use room thermometer. Place ice cubes in aluminum pan and hold over jar of hot water. Place long red balloon in test tube. Blow balloon up slightly. 3. Thunderstorms/Static Electricity/Tornadoes: to understand weather phenomena. Blow up paper bags. Break two of them vigorously. (thunder) Rub comb with wool. Hold over bits of paper. Rub plastic, hold in palm of hand, turn hand over. Experiment making tornadoes using the tornado in a bottle. (15-20 ball-bearings, 1 liter plastic bottle, 2-3 drops of detergent) Conclusions:

After completing activities, students should:
1. Understand why certain phenomena occur in the atmosphere
2. Know that weather elements are measured by instruments
3. Be familiar with weather terminology
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