Thermometer Literacy

Students collect temperature readings from various locations, discuss, and record differences. They post daily Internet weather reports in the school cafeteria and senior center, and share findings about temperature with a second grade.

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Learning Standards

  • Understand role of observation and experimentation.
  • Understand how humans use technology and design process to respond  to the natural world and solve everyday problems.
  • Gather scientific information through observation in the laboratory and in the field.
  • Communicate results obtained by observation and experimentation through models, illustrations, and oral presentations.
Classroom Activities
  • Study a giant thermometer model and begin to read different temperatures.
  • Learn vocabulary: temperature, Celsius, Fahrenheit, thermometer, boiling point, freezing point, contraction, expansion.
  • Indoors, measure and compare temperatures when thermometers are placed: in a bowl of ice water, in a bowl of hot tap water, in the room. Observe contraction and expansion of red-dyed alcohol.
  • Outdoors, observe weather and measure temperatures in sunny and shady locations

  • Record observed weather conditions and temperature readings on Thermometer Worksheet.
  • Discuss differences in sunny and shady readings. Conclude that earth gets its heat energy from the sun.
  • Returning to the same locations daily for a week, record temperature readings.
  • On centimeter graph paper, draw a double-line graph showing temperature results in sun and shade.
  • Predict the following day's temperature.
Community Activities
Checking local temperature readings and weather forecasts on the Internet, the class posts Daily Weather Reports in the cafeteria and senior center, and shows a second grade class how to read a thermometer.
Inviting a local TV weather forecaster to visit, students demonstrate their project, and compare forecaster's predictions for the next day's temperature with their own. They also ask about a meteorologist's career requirements.
Giant thermometer model, individual thermometers, bowls, ice, hot tap water, centimeter graph paper, Thermometer Worksheet, Daily Weather Report
Students use the Internet to look up local temperatures and weather forecast.
Given the same set of data, students individually create bar graphs on graph papers. Students take vocabulary quiz.

Web Sites
Students research forecasts at Yahoo Weather!