Vernier Science Education - June 2024


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Elementary Science

Hands-on Weather Lesson Ideas

Author Post
Ryan Dillard Ryan Dillard 210 Points

Hello All, I am a preservice teacher looking to build a collection of awesome science lessons. Does any one have some good ideas for some hands-on weather lessons?

Cassidy Damore Cassidy Damore 230 Points

Hello Ryan, I am also a preservice (elementary) science teacher looking to find awesome hands-on science lessons. In my quest to find engaging, creative, and educational science activities I stumbled upon an activity focusing on rain and rain drops. It is called “Catch a Raindrop” and on a rainy day the students and teachers mix two parts flour to one part salt and then place half an inch of the mix in a shallow pan. Then you bring the pan with the mixture in it outside and hold the pan out for a few seconds. From here you let it sit for a few hours (or a day if you want to break the lesson up into two days). Then use a fork to carefully remove the wet spots and set them on a plate to dry. From here you have rain drops that you and your students can examine! You can ask questions about the different sizes, shapes, and where the rain drops came from and where they go, etc. You could even take the activity beyond and compare raindrops from different kinds of rain falls. For example, you can compare a day when its drizzling to when its down pouring and examine the raindrops similarities and differences. Older students could measure the rain drops and graph their data. I feel this activity would be really fun for the students and would fit in very well during a water cycle unit. Plus it would give the students an opportunity to go outside when its raining and experience first hand the science that is happening right outside their classroom window.

Alisa Kunhavijit Alisa Kunhavijit 2600 Points

Hi Cassidy, I am a pre-service teacher as well and will be graduating in the spring. I am always looking for great activities in any subject to collect. I really loved your idea about the hands-on weather activity. I have heard of others before, like making a cloud in a jar, but this activity is unique and would definitely grasp the attention of the students. I definitely want to try it out and use it for my future students. When thinking of weather lesson plans, I usually thought of observations and going out into nature, but never knew how to make it hands-on. I like how this can connect to the water cycle as well. This is an activity that can be for many different grade levels, which is very helpful. Thanks for sharing your great idea! Best, Alisa Kunhavijit

Megan Essman Megan Essman 1255 Points

Hello, I am also a preservice teacher and I am currently working on a two week weather unit. Another fun activity for teaching weather is using bubbles to gauge the wind! Bubbles are super cheap at the dollar store and the activity is tons of fun. Have the kids go outside with a notebook and the bubbles and let them blow some bubbles BUT make sure they take some notes about the bubbles. How high are they going until they pop? What direction are the bubbles floating? It is a good activity to let them discover the wind and its a lot of fun too! 

Shereen AbdelJaber Shereen AbdelJaber 945 Points

[color=#454443][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]Hello![/font][/size][/color] [color=#454443][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]A really interesting weather lesson plan would [/font][/size][/color][color=#262626][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]“[/font][/size][/color][color=#343434][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]RAIN CLOUD IN A JAR: A FUN HANDS ON LEARNING EXPERIMENT!”[/font][/size][/color] [color=#343434][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue] [/font][/size][/color] [color=#262626][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]Before making rain clouds in a jar discuss how it rains and what causes rain to form. Review where rain comes from and the process of how rain clouds form. [/font][/size][/color] [b][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]RAIN CLOUD IN A JAR MATERIALS NEEDED:[/font][/size][/b] [size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]•[size=1][font=Times New Roman]  [/font][/size][/font][/size][url=][color=windowtext][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]Shaving Cream[/font][/size][/color][/url] [size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]•[size=1][font=Times New Roman]  [/font][/size][/font][/size][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]Water[/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]•[size=1][font=Times New Roman]  [/font][/size][/font][/size][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]Clear Cups[/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]•[size=1][font=Times New Roman]  [/font][/size][/font][/size][url=][color=windowtext][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]Food Coloring[/font][/size][/color][/url][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue] or [/font][/size][url=][color=windowtext][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]Liquid Water Colors[/font][/size][/color][/url] [size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]•[size=1][font=Times New Roman]  [/font][/size][/font][/size][url=][color=windowtext][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]Pipettes[/font][/size][/color][/url][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue] or [/font][/size][url=][color=windowtext][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]Droppers[/font][/size][/color][/url] [size=4][font=Helvetica Neue] [/font][/size] [b][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]INSTRUCTIONS:[/font][/size][/b] [size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]Fill the jars or containers you are using 3/4 of the way with water and then top with shaving cream. Allow a few minutes for the shaving cream to fully settle on top of the water.[/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica Neue] [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]In a couple bowls mix several drops of food coloring with a little bit of water. Add a [/font][/size][url=][color=windowtext][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]pipette[/font][/size][/color][/url][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue] or two and the experiment can begin.Have kids fill their [/font][/size][url=][color=windowtext][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]pipettes[/font][/size][/color][/url][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue] or [/font][/size][url=][color=windowtext][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]droppers[/font][/size][/color][/url][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue] with colored water and squeeze it onto their cloud. Inserting the tip of the pipette into the cloud helped the cloud to fill. Have them squeeze more and more colored water into the cloud. As the cloud fills with water it will begin to rain.[/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica Neue] [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica Neue] [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]Some interesting books to use during your lesson include:[/font][/size] [size=4][font=Symbol]·[size=1][font=Times New Roman]     [/font][/size][/font][/size][b][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]What's the Weather? (Rookie Preschool: Learn about Nature)[/font][/size][/b] [size=4][font=Symbol]·[size=1][font=Times New Roman]     [/font][/size][/font][/size][b][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]The Cloud Book [/font][/size][/b][size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]Paperback – May 1, 1984[/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica Neue]by [/font][/size][url=

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