Immediately following the investigations above, ask your students to review what they have done and what they have learned.
Begin with the wind speed investigation. What observations helped them to gauge the speed of the wind? How could they tell the differences between different wind strengths? What devices could be used to measure wind speed?
Understanding that air comes from different places at different times is quite difficult to appreciate. However, wind direction, like wind speed, is an important part of weather study and forecasting. In this investigation, your students will design and build their own wind vane to help make observations about wind direction.
For each student group: For wind vane shown in diagram:
As soon as you have finished the investigation above, ask your students to think about the differences between measuring the temperature of water and the temperature of air. How are they similar and how are they different. You could ask them how they might measure the temperature of a solid material as well.
Your students now have an understanding of how a thermometer works and the way in which they can be use to measure temperature. In this investigation question, your students use a thermometer to measure and record the temperature of air outside and inside their school over a period of time.
Temperature Investigation Question 1 gave students experience with relative temperature (i.e. warmer, cooler). Your students can be very adept at observing things compared to one another, and observing changes. They may have less understanding about how conditions and changes can be measured using units. This investigation will help them understand that temperature can be measured using standard units (in this case degrees Fahrenheit and degrees Celsius.)
To introduce students to ideas about temperature, they first need to realize that liquids and gases can be warmer or cooler in different situations. This first investigation question is designed to help your students understand that air and water can exist at different temperatures.
Water slightly warmer than body temperature, about