Grade: Elementary
Subject: Science

#353. Weather

Science, level: Elementary
Posted by Andrea Simms (
Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, OK
Materials Required: various
Activity Time: various
Concepts Taught: To help the child better understand what weather is and how it affects us.


Concept to be developed: To help the child better understand what weather is
and how it affects us.


Temperature Graphing
Materials: Thermometers, graph paper, shelf paper

Keep a classroom thermometer and record the temperature twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Construct a classroom line graph and chart the temperatures. Also have the children keep personal line graphs and put them into their rain folder. Discuss the differences in temperature. Keep the graph for the length of the entire unit.


Cloud formation
Materials: ice cube, small glass bottle, lamp

Create clouds in the classroom by filling the jar 1/3 of the way with hot water in the bottle. Put the ice on the neck of the bottle. Turn lights out. Shine lamp on the side of the bottle. Discuss how clouds are made.

Cloud Charts
Materials: cloud charts

Discuss the different types of clouds. Have the students record the type of clouds in the sky everyday when they get home from school. Also have them describe how cloudy the sky was.
Example-cirrus and partly cloudy

Water Cycle
Materials: Water cycle chart, clay, toothpicks, yarn, construction paper, shoe
boxes, paint, or anything else you find useful

Discuss the water cycle. Divide the children into groups of three or four. Have them construct a diorama of the water cycle using anything that they can find. Have the children label each part of the cycle.

Materials: balloons

Talk about what lightning and how it is caused by static electricity. Give each child a balloon. Have them blow it up and rub it on their heads. Talk about how their hair sticks to the balloon because of static electricity.

Rainbow Making
Materials: powdered milk, food coloring, tin pan, water

In a tin pan with sides, place a layer of powdered milk. The layer should be about 3/4" thick. Slowly add room temperature water but be careful so that you do not disturb the layer. Water should be about halfway up the pan. Now add a squirt of blue, yellow and red food color. Then squirt in Dawn dishwashing detergent. Make sure that your class is watching when you do this because the chemical reaction occurs at precisely the second that the Dawn hits the mixture.

Other rainbow ideas:
1. Lay a prism on an overhead.
2. Use a prism outside or in the window.
3. Use bubbles in the sunlight.
4. Use a water hose to catch the sunlight.

Making rain
Materials: hot plate, ice in tray, teakettle

Use a hot plate to boil water in a teakettle. When the steam is rising, hold a tray of ice cubes over it. The rising steam represents the water vapor in the air from evaporation. The ice cube tray represents the colder air in the sky, and the melting water from the ice cube tray represents condensation. When the drops fall, it represents rain!

Tornado in the Bottle
Materials: Two-liter Coke bottle, water, dish washing liquid

Remove the label and fill the bottle with water. Put some dish washing liquid in. Tighten the lid. Shake it up and then around in a spiral motion. Tornado should form.

Social Studies

Harmful Weather
Materials: Video, Blooms Mini Center

Discuss different types of harmful weather (floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, blizzards). Talk about the different parts of the world that they are most common in. Pay special attention to the ones that affect your part of the country. Talk about the things that they can do to stay safe.

Safety Drills
Materials: none

Talk about the safety drills that your school practices (tornado, earthquake, etc). Practice them as a class.

Self-Directed task:

Disaster Safety Kit
Materials: large piece of white construction paper, markers, envelope, paper

Create on the construction paper the pictures of the following objects, with the words beside the pictures.
batteries blankets bicycle
flashlight extra clothes computer
bottled water radio jump rope
food valuables candy
first aid kit baseball bat balloons
Laminate the page. Include in an envelope on the back a list of the items that belong in a disaster safety kit. Have the children circle the items that belong in the kit. They can check themselves by looking at the list.

Language Arts/ Cognitive Development

Cloud Stories
Materials: paper/pencil

Take the children out on a cloudy afternoon. Tell them to look at the clouds and that sometimes clouds seem to resemble other things. Allow the cloud watching to go on for a while. Have the children pick out a cloud that looks like something in particular to them. Upon returning to the classroom, have the children write a story about that cloud. Keep it in their weather notebook.

Weather Journal
Materials: paper/pencil
Have the children write a few minutes each day about the weather. Be sure and have them note whether it is sunny, cloudy or rainy as well as how hot or cold it may be.

Weather notebooks
Materials: products from other activities, folders with brads

Have each child keep a weather notebook. In it, keep their temperature charts, any essays or other written work, their cloud charts, and their weather journal. Allow the fronts of the notebooks to be decorated to reflect the unit.

The Sun
Materials: none

Discuss the importance of the sun. Make a class list of good things about the sun. Also talk about the harmful effects of the sun. (Examples; dangerous rays, drought)

Creative Art

Stormy Night
Materials: white crayons, white construction paper, watercolors

Have the children draw with a white crayon on white paper a house, a building, a street, or a park, anything they want to be caught in the storm. Then, have the children paint over it with dark colors. The white will show through.

Let it Snow!
Materials: salt, blue construction paper, white glue

Have the children draw snowflakes on the paper with the glue. Then cover the glue with salt.

Rainbow Art:
Materials: colored chalk, paper towels, construction paper, hairspray

Dip paper towels in water, smooth out onto newspaper. Color on paper towel with chalk. Allow to dry before removing from newspaper. Use hairspray on the dry picture to keep chalk from coming off. Mount to construction paper.

Physical Education

Your Own Rain Storm
Materials: none
Have children sit in the floor. Divide them into three groups. This is a round activity. Have each group create the storm doing the following, one at a time.
Rubbing hands
Snapping fingers
Clapping hands
When the storm is about over, stop stomping and finish the storm by reversing the procedure, until all is quiet.


Nature Tapes

Use tapes of storms during center times (relaxation tapes).

Internet Resources

The Weather Channel
Dan's Wild, Wild Weather Page
Weather Dude
The Weather Unit
National Geographic

Outside Sources

Special Speaker:
The meteorologist

Have a meteorologist from a local TV station come and talk about what he/she does.

Weather Broadcasts

Record weather reports from the news, cut them from the paper, watch the weather channel or cut reports from the paper.


Sun Up by Alvin Tresselt
All Wet! All Wet! By James Skofield
Rain Makes Applesauce by Julian Scheer
Rain Player by David Wisniewski
The Rains Are Coming by Sanna Stanley
The Snow Speaks by Nancy White Carlstrom
Thunderstorm by Mary Szilagyi
White Snow, Bright Snow by Alvin Tresselt
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Who Took the Farmer's Hat? by Joan Nodset
The Big Storm by Bruce Hiscock
Boatride by Lillian Twoblossom Patricia Polacco
Boo and Baa in Windy Weather by Olof Landstrom
Boot Weather by Judith Vigna, Ann Fay
The Cloud Book by Tomie De Paola
Crazy Weather Charles by Longstreth McNichols, Natachee Scott Momaday
The Dark Secret of Weatherend: An Anthony Monday Mystery by John Bellairs /
The Dust under Mrs. Merriweather's Bed by Susan Grohmann
Elmer's Weather by Us Ed. David McKee
The Fair-Weather Friends by Stephen Roos
First Snow, Magic Snow by John Cech
Geoffrey Groundhog Predicts the Weather by Bruce Koscielniak
Heat Wave at Mud Flat by James Stevenson
Hi, Clouds by Carol Greene
I Love You, Papa, in All Kinds of Weather by Nancy White Carlstrom
Kipper's Book of Weather by Us Ed. Mick Inkpen
Let the Hurricane Roar by Wilder Lane
Pickles to Pittsburgh by Judi Barrett,