Overview of Section Resources

Section 1: What Is the Temperature?
At the start of this section, students discover that their skin is not a reliable thermometer. Students then learn to read thermometers, which provide an objective measure of temperature. Students chart temperature and sky conditions over the course of two weeks.
Section 2: The Sun Heats Earth
Students relate seasonal differences in weather to differences in sunlight received each season. They conduct an investigation to observe how quickly water, sand, and soil heat up and cool down when left in the sun. Students relate the results of their investigation to differences in the temperature of land and water that is heated by the sun.
Section 3: Evaporation and Condensation
This section introduces students to the processes of evaporation and condensation. Students observe the effects of these processes, and learn that water exists as a liquid, as a solid, and as a gas. Students compare rates of evaporation from different containers and conduct an experiment to observe the formation of condensation.
Section 4: Dew and Frost
In this section, students explore the formation of dew and frost. They use cold water, ice, and salt to create conditions that lead to dew and frost. Students record the temperatures at which dew and frost form, and relate their results to daily experiences.
Section 5: Clouds
Students observe clouds and classify them into one of three main categories. They describe the position of clouds relative to two reference points. The section ends with students making and comparing model clouds.
Section 6: Rain
In this section, students are introduced to the water cycle and learn how the process of precipitation fits into it. Next, students create and observe a working model of cloud and rain formation. In another activity, students compare the sizes of real and model raindrops and explore how small drops can combine to form larger ones. As a class, students use a rain gauge to measure actual rainfall.
Section 7: Wind
Students find out that forecasters watch changes in wind to help predict changes in the weather. Students make working models of wind vanes and anemometers to measure wind direction and wind speed, respectively.