Rainstorms can be powerful! Can you guess how much water poured down during the last rainstorm you experienced? Do you know if a brief downpour yields more or less water compared to a daylong drizzle? In this hands-on weather lesson, students design, build and use their own rain gauge to get answers to all of these questions.
This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards
Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:
|Science & Engineering Practices
||Disciplinary Core Ideas
|Developing and Using Models.
Develop a diagram or simple physical prototype to convey a proposed object, tool, or process.
Compare and contrast data collected by different groups in order to discuss similarities and differences in their findings.
Use data to evaluate and refine design solutions.
|ESS2.D: Weather and Climate.
Scientists record patterns of the weather across different times and areas so that they can make predictions about what kind of weather might happen next.
||Scale, Proportion and Quantity.
Students recognize natural objects and observable phenomena exist from the very small to the immensely large. They use standard units to measure and describe physical quantities such as weight, time, temperature, and volume.
Sabine De Brabandere, PhD, Science Buddies
For the class:
- Containers to make the body of a rain gauge. Good examples are empty, clean plastic bottles, milk containers, jars, tall food containers and cans. Select containers that have straight edges. A curved bottom is fine. They need to be waterproof; transparent containers are preferred.
- Materials and tools to finish the rain gauge. Examples are scissors, permanent markers, rulers, tape, paperclips, clay, water, gravel, wooden panel and glue.
- A few one gallon or larger containers (e.g. one-gallon milk or water containers) to make rain cans, a push pin and one opaque plastic bag to cover the container.
- Graph paper with a 1 cm squared grid like this one (at least 2 sheets)
- Optional: a few funnels that fit on the smaller containers.
- Optional: a hose with spray nozzle that allows different spray patterns.
- Outside area that can get wet
Be the first one to review
this lesson plan.
- Can use the word precipitation correctly
- Can draw, construct, and read a rain gauge
- Knows and understands the units of precipitation
- Can give a rough estimate of how much rain (in inches or mm) a rainy day delivers.