Weather was always my favorite unit to teach when I was a classroom teacher. My favorite part of teaching weather was how it brought science to life in a way that is fun and interesting to the students because they experience weather every day. Weather is one of those topics that if you equip students with the right tools (or how to build those tools) then not only are you teaching them the science of weather but also could be teaching them a hobby that they build on forever. So many of my students went on to make their own science stations using the tools below and made a fun hobby out of it!
With COVID-19, distance learning has caused science experiments or science lessons to be done at home. Below, I’ve outlined four weather-related activities that your students can do it from home using things that are around their house.
A Sun clock or sundial is a way to tell time using the sun. This is a great tool to not only teach your students about time but also how the Earth moves around the sun in a set amount of time. The thin stick or rod casts a shadow on a surface with different times. As the Earth moves around the sun, the shadow changes as well reflecting the change in time.
A rain gauge is a cylinder-shaped container that catches rain. You can measure that amount of rain that has fallen based off of the amount of rain in the rain gauge. If an inch of rain is inside of the rain gauge, then an inch of rain has fallen. Creating this tool not only teaches your students about different weather tools but is also a fun engineering project of a weather tool!
To have your students create a rain gauge, download this worksheet.
An anemometer is a weather tool that measures wind speed. As the wind blows, the cups rotate and the faster the cup rotates, the faster the wind speed is. You can measure wind speed by using a homemade anemometer by counting the number of times one cup goes around the anemometer in a 15 second duration. Multiply the number of times in that 15 seconds by 4 and you will get the revolutions per minute (aka rpm). This tool not only teaches about weather and wind speed but can also develop multiplication skills.
A wind vane (or a weather vane/weatherclock) is a weather tool that shows wind direction. The wind vane usually has an arrow-like item that spins when the wind blows pointing in the direction that the wind is blowing. If the wind is blowing north, the arrow will point to the north.
To have your students create a wind vane, follow the instructions on this worksheet.
Want to bring Weather into your classroom? Check out our Weather and Environmental Science products: