Water Cycle - Weather (1)
Pre Lab 

  • Introducing the concept of measuring temperature.
  • Comparing hot and cold. 
  • centigrade
  • Fahrenheit
  • weather   

Students learn about how to measure temperature.


Changes in temperature can be felt when any living organisms touches an ice cube or feels fire burning. It wasn’t until the 17th century in Italy that meteorology became a science. Galileo Galilei made the first thermometer around 1600. Gabriel Fahrenheit, a German instrument maker invented in 1714, put mercury in a glass tube and created a scale of temperature and called it a thermometer. His name is still used for the English system of reading temperature. In devising a scale he used  zero as the lowest temperature obtainable with a mixture of ice and common salt, and first proposed to divide the interval between this temperature and that which is normally found to characterize the blood of a healthy man into 12 divisions. In other words some arbitrary points which had significance in a real world. 

The centigrade thermometer, which most countries now use is based on freezing of water and boiling of water as its end members. Anders Celsius (1701-1744) a Swede, first proposed the use of the intervals that are now in wide use on the Centigrade thermometer. The thermometer is based on 0 for freezing and 100 for boiling of water. Water is used because of its importance to our everyday lives.

  1. Ask students to define weather by asking them how it feels outside? List words students used to describe the weather, for example sunny, hot, cold, windy, or rainy. Ask what the words "hot" and "cold" mean, which refer to temperature. 
  2. Ask if they know what we use to describe temperature when we want to measure it. Write on the board the temperature as 25< F and then put 25< C. These are two different ways of measuring. F refers to Fahrenheit and C refers to Centigrade. In the United States we use Fahrenheit, but scientists and most of the other countries use centigrade, which is a metric way of measuring.
  3. Ask them how cold they think it usually gets around here in the winter and in the summer. Compare it with some of the hottest temperatures, Death Valley, July 10, 1913 the temperature was 43 C (134 F) in the shade and the coldest was -33 C (-127 F) in 1960 in Antarctica.
  4. Ask what instrument measures temperature (thermometer) and show them how to read one by using the work sheet. Please remember this is not an easy task for children, make sure they can see the difference Between Fahrenheit and centigrade and that they should also see what type of thermometer they are using. Have them put the degrees in depending on the thermometer they are using
  5. Read Snow is Falling. The part that will be amazing for students is that snow actually helps animals stay warm. After you read the book, have a discussion on how igloos work.
  6. On the worksheet, use different temperatures and have the students record it. You may want the students to divide one of the thermometers in Centigrade and the other in Fahrenheit.

  [Back to Water Cycle Grid]  [Back to Weather (1)]