Friday, April 23, 2021
Home Education Tornadoes, Lightning, and Rainbows! 25 Activities for Teaching Weather

Tornadoes, Lightning, and Rainbows! 25 Activities for Teaching Weather

Spring is on the horizon, and with it some showers and sunshine to make the flowers bloom. This is the right season to check the climate and get your college students open air for hands-on actions. From finding out thunder and lightning to making a windsock and thermometer, listed here are 25 enjoyable climate actions for the classroom that may assist hold your college students engaged and studying.

1. Start with a climate journal.

a child's weather journal with illustrations of sun, fog, rain, wind, clouds and snow

What you want: Construction paper, scissors, glue, preprinted labels, crayons, recording pages.

What to do: Have college students fold a big piece of building paper in half to make a ebook cowl. Staple a stack of recording pages (see samples) into the center. Use scissors to chop out clouds, the solar, and raindrops, and glue onto cowl. Draw in snow and fog. Glue labels as illustrated onto cowl. Then enable college students a couple of minutes every day to journal the climate exterior.

2. Make it rain.

cloud in a jar experiment-mason jar willed with water and blue food coloring

What you want: Clear plastic cup or glass jar, shaving cream, meals coloring.

What to do: Fill the cup with water. Squirt shaving cream on high for the clouds. Explain that when clouds get actually heavy with water, it rains! Then put blue meals coloring on high of the cloud, and watch it “rain”.

Learn extra: The Happy Housewife

3. Create your individual miniature water cycle.

Ziploc bag with an inch of blue dyed water in the bottom taped to a window

What you want:  Ziploc bag, water, blue meals coloring, Sharpie pen, tape.

What to do: Pour 1/4 cup of water and just a few drops of blue meals coloring into bag. Seal tightly and tape the bag to a (ideally south-facing) wall. As the water warms within the daylight the water will evaporate into vapor. As the vapor cools, it would start becoming liquid (condensation) identical to a cloud. When the water condenses sufficient, the air won’t be able to carry it and the water will fall down within the type of precipitation.

Learn extra: Playdough to Plato

4. Ice and warmth make rain.

glass jar with a couple of inches of water in it topped by a plate filled with ice cubes

What you want: Glass jar, plate, water, ice cubes

What to do: Heat water till it’s steaming, then pour into jar till it’s about 1/3 full. Place plate filled with ice cubes on high of jar. Watch as condensation builds and water begins to stream down the edges of the jar.

Learn extra: I Can Teach My Child

5. Watch the fog roll in.

mason jar with steam coming out of it

What you want: Glass jar, small strainer, water, ice cubes.

What to do: Fill the jar fully with sizzling water for a couple of minute. Pour out nearly all of the water, leaving about 1 inch within the jar. Place the strainer excessive of the jar. Drop 3-4 ice cubes within the strainer. As the chilly air from the ice cubes collides with the nice and cozy, moist air within the bottle, the water will condense and fog will type.

Learn extra: Weather Wiz Kids

6. Make a cloud poster.

student poster of different cloud types made from cotton balls

What you want: 1 massive piece of building paper or small poster board, cotton balls, glue, marker

What to do: Using the knowledge information included, create various kinds of clouds by manipulating the cotton balls. Then glue them to the poster and label.

Learn extra: Science Spot

7. Reflect a rainbow.

sunlight reflecting through a glass of water, creating a rainbow on the table behind

What you want: Glass of water, sheet of white paper, daylight.

What to do: Fill the glass all the best way to the highest with water. Put the glass of water on a desk in order that it’s half on the desk and half off the desk (make it possible for the glass doesn’t fall!) Then, make it possible for the solar can shine by way of the glass of water. Next, place the white sheet of paper on the ground. Adjust the piece of paper and the glass of water till a rainbow types on the paper.

How does this occur? Explain to college students that mild is made up of many colours: pink, orange, yellow, inexperienced, blue, indigo, and violet. When mild passes by way of the water, it’s damaged up into all the colours seen in a rainbow.

Learn extra: Nerdy With Children

8. Predict rain.

four pinecones on a windowsill

What you want: Pinecones and a journal.

What to do: Make a pinecone climate station! Observe the pinecones and the climate day by day. Note that when the climate is dry, the pinecones keep open. When it’s about to rain, the pinecones shut! This is a good way to speak about climate prediction with the scholars. Pine cones truly open and shut primarily based on the humidity to assist seed dispersal.

Learn extra: Science Sparks

9. Create your individual lightning.

aluminum pie tin with a pen stuck in the middle, wool sock and block of styrofoam

What you want: Aluminum pie tin, wool sock, Styrofoam block, pencil with eraser, thumbtack.

What to do: Push the thumbtack by way of the middle of the pie tin from the underside. Push the eraser finish of the pencil onto the thumbtack. Place the tin to the facet. Put the Styrofoam block on a desk. Quickly rub the block with the wool sock for a few minutes. Pick up the aluminum pie pan, utilizing the pencil as a deal with, and place it on high of the Styrofoam block. Touch the aluminum pie pan together with your finger—you need to really feel a shock! If you don’t really feel something, attempt rubbing the Styrofoam block once more. Once you’re feeling the shock, attempt turning the lights out earlier than you contact the pan once more. You ought to see a spark, like lightning!

What is occurring? Static electrical energy. Lightning occurs when the unfavorable prices (electrons) within the backside of the cloud (or on this experiment your finger) are drawn to the constructive prices (protons) within the floor (or on this experiment the aluminum pie pan). The ensuing spark is sort of a mini lightning bolt.

Learn extra: UCAR

10. Create lightning in your mouth.

What you want: A mirror, a darkish room, wintergreen LifeSavers.

What to do: Turn off the lights and have college students wait till their eyes have adjusted to the darkish. Bite down on a wintergreen sweet whereas wanting within the mirror. Chew together with your mouth and you’ll see that the sweet sparks and glitters. What’s taking place? You are literally making mild with friction: triboluminescence. As you crush the sweet, the stress creates electrical fields, like electrical energy in a lightning storm. When the molecules recombine with their electrons, they emit mild. Why wintergreen sweet? It converts ultraviolet mild into seen blue mild, which makes the “lightning” brighter to see. If college students aren’t seeing it in their very own mouths, have them watch the video above.

Learn extra: Exploratorium

11. Track a thunderstorm.

lightning across a dark sky

What you want: Thunder, stopwatch, journal.

What to do: Wait for a lightning flash and then begin the stopwatch instantly. Stop if you hear the sound of thunder. Have college students write down their numbers. For each 5 seconds, the storm is one mile away. Divide their quantity by 5 to see what number of miles away the lightning is! The mild traveled sooner than sound, which is why it took longer to listen to the thunder.

Learn extra: Weather Wiz Kids

12. Make a thunderstorm entrance.

What you want: Clear plastic container (dimension of a shoebox), pink meals coloring, ice cubes made with water and blue meals coloring.

What to do: Fill the plastic container two-thirds full with lukewarm water. Let the water sit for a minute to come back to air temperature. Place a blue ice dice at one of many container. Drop 3 drops of pink meals coloring into the water on the reverse finish of the container. Watch what occurs! Here’s the reason: the blue chilly water (representing a chilly air mass) sinks whereas the pink heat water (representing the nice and cozy, unstable air mass) rises. This known as convection and the nice and cozy air is compelled to rise by the approaching chilly entrance, and the thunderstorm types.

Learn extra: Earth Science Week

13. Swirl up a twister.

two liter soda bottles duct taped together at the mouths. green liquid from top bottle is swirling down into bottom bottle

What you want: Two 2-liter clear plastic bottles (empty and clear), water, meals coloring, glitter, duct tape.

What you do: Fill one of many bottles two-thirds filled with water. Add meals coloring and a splash of glitter. Use duct tape to lock the 2 containers collectively. Make positive to tape tightly in order that no water leaks out if you flip the bottles over. Flip the bottles in order that the bottle with the water is on high. Swirl the bottle in a round movement. This will create a vortex and a twister will type within the high bottle because the water rushes into the underside bottle.

Learn extra: Discovery Express

14. Make a heat and chilly entrance mannequin.

Warm cold weather experiment with red and blue water

What you want: Two consuming glasses, pink and blue meals coloring, glass bowl, cardboard

What to do: Fill one glass with chilled water and a few drops of blue meals coloring. Fill the opposite with sizzling water and pink meals coloring. Cut a bit of cardboard in order that it matches snugly into the glass bowl, separating it into two sections. Pour the new water into one half of the bowl and chilly water into the opposite half. Quickly and fastidiously pull the cardboard separator out. The water will swirl and settle with the chilly water on backside, the new water on high, and a purple zone the place they blended within the center!

Learn extra: Preschool Powol Packets

15. Grow a snowflake.

sugar crystal suspended from a pencil over the mouth of a mason jar

What you want: String, wide-mouth jar, white pipe cleaners, blue meals coloring, boiling water, borax, a pencil.

What to do: Cut a white pipe cleaner into thirds. Twist the three sections collectively within the heart so that you just now have a form that appears one thing like a 6-sided star. Make positive the lengths of the star are equal by trimming them to the identical size. Tie the flake to the pencil with string. Carefully fill the jar with boiling water (grownup job). For every cup of water, add 3 tablespoons of borax, including 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir till the combination is dissolved, however don’t fear if among the borax settles on the base of the jar. Add meals coloring. Hang the snowflake within the jar. Let sit in a single day; take away.

Learn extra: Martha Stewart

16. Make magic snow balls.

a hand filled with an artificial snowball against a background of artificial snow

What you want: Frozen baking soda, chilly water, vinegar, squirt bottles.

What to do: Start by mixing two components baking soda with one half water to make fluffy, moldable snowballs. Then, pour vinegar into squirt bottles and let children squirt their snowballs. The response between the baking soda and vinegar will trigger the snowballs to fizz and bubble. For a snow avalanche, pour vinegar into a bathtub, then drop a snowball in!

Learn extra: Growing a Jeweled Rose

17. Catch the wind.

a hand holding up six colorful pinwheels

What you want: Paper minimize into 6″ x 6″ squares, wooden skewers, glue gun, small beads, stitching pins, a thumbtack, needle nostril pliers, scissors.

What to do: Make a paper pinwheel! Follow the simple, step-by-step instructions right here.

18. Observe the depth of the wind.

a homemade wind sock made from a blue plastic bag suspended by rope

What you want: One massive blue recycle bag, one empty plastic container corresponding to a yogurt or bitter cream tub, clear packing tape, string or yarn, ribbons or streamers to brighten.

What to do: Make a windsock. Start by slicing the rim off the plastic tub. Wrap the sting of the bag across the rim and safe it with tape. Using a gap punch, make a gap within the bag slightly below the plastic ring. If you don’t have a gap punch, you should utilize a pencil. Tie a string by way of the opening and connect to a publish or excessive railing.

Learn extra: The Chaos and the Clutter

19. Determine which means the wind blows.

homemade wind vane made from a paper plate, paper cup, pencil and a straw

What you want: Paper cup, pencil, straw, pin, paper plate, building paper scraps.

What to do: You’ll be making a climate vane to detect the path of the wind! Poke a sharpened pencil by way of the underside of a paper cup. Insert a pin by way of the center of a consuming straw and into the eraser of the pencil. Make a minimize roughly 1 inch deep on every finish of the straw, ensuring to undergo each side of the straw. Cut small squares or triangles of building paper and slip one into every finish of the straw. Place your wind vane onto a paper plate or piece of paper with the instructions marked.

Learn extra:

20. Measure wind velocity.

DIY anemometer made from Dixie cups and straws

What you want: Five 3-oz. paper cups, 2 consuming straws, pin, paper punch, scissors, stapler, sharp pencil with eraser.

What to do: You’ll be creating an anemometer with this challenge! Take 1 paper cup (which would be the heart of your anemometer) and use a paper punch to punch 4 equally spaced holes about half an inch under the rim. Push a sharpened pencil by way of the underside of the cup in order that the eraser rests in the course of the cup. Push 1 consuming straw by way of the opening in a single facet of the cup and out the opposite facet. Insert the opposite straw by way of the other holes in order that they type a crisscross contained in the cup. Push a pin by way of the intersection of the straws and into the eraser. For every of the opposite 4 cups, punch a gap on reverse sides of the cup about half an inch down.

To assemble: Push 1 cup onto the top of every straw, ensuring that all the cups are dealing with the identical path. The anemometer will rotate with the wind. It doesn’t have to be pointed within the wind for use. For an evidence of the best way to calculate wind velocity, click on right here.

21. Measure rain quantity.

a DIY water gauge made from a plastic soda bottle with measurements marked on the side

What you want: One 2-liter bottle, Sharpie, stones, water, scissors, ruler, tape.

What to do: Create a rain gauge! Start by slicing away the highest third of the 2-liter plastic bottle and put it to the facet. Pack just a few stones on the backside of the bottle. Pour water in till simply above the stone degree. Draw a scale on a bit of masking tape with the assistance of the ruler and paste it on the facet of the bottle so you can begin counting simply above the present water line. Invert the highest of the bottle and place it into the underside half to behave as a funnel. Leave bottle exterior to seize rain.

Learn extra: News24

22. Discover the ability of the solar.

shallow tub holding sheets of photosensitive paper with various objects on top

What you want: Photo delicate paper, varied objects corresponding to leaves, sticks, paper clips, and so on.

What to do: Make solar prints! Place the paper, vibrant blue facet up, in a shallow tub. Place objects you want to “print” on the paper and depart it within the solar for 2-4 minutes. Remove the objects from the paper and the paper from the bathtub. Soak the paper in water for 1 minute. As the paper dries, the picture will sharpen.

Learn extra: Steve Spangler Science

23. Measure atmospheric stress.

diagram of a DIY barometer

What you want: A dry, empty frozen-juice can or espresso can with lid eliminated, latex balloon, rubber band, tape, 2 consuming straws, card inventory.

What to do: This DIY barometer begins by slicing off the stiff band of the balloon. Stretch the balloon excessive of the juice can. Secure a rubber band across the balloon to carry it securely. Tape the top of the consuming straw to the middle of the balloon floor, ensuring it hangs off to 1 facet. Fold the cardboard inventory in half vertically and make hash marks each quarter inch. Set barometer proper subsequent to the measurement card. As the exterior air stress modifications, it would trigger the balloon to bend inward or outward on the heart. The tip of the straw will transfer up or down accordingly. Take stress readings 5 or 6 occasions a day.

Learn extra: Science Fair Projects

24. Make a thermometer.

DIY thermometer made from a plastic bottle straw and red liquid

What you want: Clear plastic bottle, water, rubbing alcohol, clear plastic consuming straw, modeling clay, meals coloring.

What to do: Fill the bottle about 1/4 full with equal components water and rubbing alcohol. Add just a few drops of meals coloring. Put the straw contained in the bottle with out letting it contact the underside. Seal the neck of the bottle with the modeling clay to maintain the straw in place. Hold your fingers on the underside of the bottle and watch the combination transfer up by way of the straw! Why? It expands when heat.

Learn extra:

25. Demonstrate a hearth twister.

man standing behind plume of fire surrounded by a wire mesh cylinder.

What you want: A Lazy Susan, wire display screen mesh, small glass dish, sponge, lighter fluid, lighter

What to do: Teacher exercise solely! Make a cylinder about 2.5 toes tall from the wire display screen mesh and set it apart. Place the glass dish within the heart of the Lazy Susan. Cut the sponge into strips and place in bowl. Soak sponge with lighter fluid. Light the hearth and rotate the Lazy Susan. The hearth will spin, however a twister is not going to be seen. Now, place the wire display screen cylinder on the Lazy Susan creating a fringe across the hearth. Give it a spin and watch the twister dance.

Learn extra: Steve Spangler Science

Plus, take a look at 50 Easy Science Experiments Kids Can Do At Home With Stuff You Already Have.

And for extra nice hands-on exercise concepts, be sure to enroll for our newsletters !

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