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Need: salt(rock, kosher, table, epsom), magnifying glass, black paper, paper and pencils.

Let children examine substances that, like snowflakes, have six sides. When examining salt with a magnifying glass, it is more easily seen on a dark surface, such as black construction paper.
After children have examined the different substances have them draw (in a science journal) each of the different types of crystals they observed.

Making Frost
Need: tin can without a lid, rock salt, crushed ice.

Put 2 cups of crushed ice and 1/2 cup rock salt in a can.
Stir the mixture rapidly. This needs to sit about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes the outside of the can will have dew on it. If you wait a while longer, this dew will change to frost.

Talk about where the dew came from and how it was formed. Also, talk about the dew changing to frost.
As the can cools, the moisture in the air condenses on the cool surface. As the can becomes colder, the water on the surface of the can freezes causing the formation of frost.



Measure the Rain
Need: ruler and marker, measuring cup, small clear bottle, large clear plastic bottle (2 liter pop bottle works great).

Cut the tops off both bottles.
Take a measuring cup and fill 1/4 cup full. Pour this water into the small bottle and mark the level. Do this several times so that you have a series of marks on the side of the small bottle.
Empty the small bottle and place it inside the large bottle. Put the top of the large bottle upside down over the small bottle. It forms a funnel

Stand the bottles outside to catch the rain. Record the water level in the small bottle each morning. This is the daily rainfall.

Add up the rainfall for each week or each month. Then make a chart to show how much rain falls over several weeks, months, or even a whole year.


Tornado in a Jar

Need: tall plastic jar (pop bottle), 4 to 6 small balls of aluminum foil, clear liquid soap, water, blue food coloring.

Place a teaspoon (5ml) of clear liquid soap in your plastic container. Drop into the jar 3-4 vary small pieces of aluminum foil rolled into balls. The foil should be folded and pressed so that it will sink. Fill the jar to the top with water. Add 1 to 2 drops of blue food coloring.

Rotate the container and a swirling effect should be produced. It may take some practice. Set the container up on the table and watch. The force of the foil at the bottom should keep the water in motion. The action resembles the motion set up as circular rotations of air in the atmosphere form a tornado.



Blowing in the Wind
Need: cardboard, string, vegetable oil or petroleum jelly

Using a piece of cardboard that is the size of notebook paper or larger. Make a small hole on one end of the cardboard, and tie a piece of string through the hole. Smear one side of the cardboard with vegetable oil or petroleum jelly.

On a windy day, hang the cardboard from a tree using the string. Make sure the oily side of the cardboard is facing the wind. Leave the cardboard in the wind for an hour or more. Then go back and see what the wind has carried onto the cardboard.

Hurricane Storm Center
Learn about hurricanes and make a hurricane spiral.

*Sites to See

Interactive Weather Maker
You control the weather. Turn a sunny day into a windy day. Or create a rainy day.

Weather Whiz Kid
Information, games, experiments

Weather Watch at Scholastic

Weather Basics for ages 7-13

Climite Lesson Plans Grades 3+

Weather Coloring Books


NASA's Our Mission To Planet Earth

Windows. This program is recommended for grades K-4. Free.

Download at NASA site.

This teacher's guide for grades K-4 includes activities such as setting up a terrarium as an Earth System model to demonstrate the water cycle, the greenhouse effect, and the difference between global warming and cooling. Students can also create their own models of instruments and satellites and learn about careers in Earth System Science.



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