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2 class periods of 45 minutes each
A learning activity where students are introduced to the common types of precipitation.
This lesson may be delivered either in conjunction with a unit on the water cycle or weather.
Even though this may seem obvious, students need to understand that water can change from a liquid to a solid (ice).You may want to briefly touch upon this concept prior to teaching this lesson.
You should know the meaning of each of these key vocabulary words:
Some of these definitions may be different from what you think. 'When we start naming the different kinds of ice, confusion begins. Scientists don't always agree on the names....But the official guide for United States weather observers has different descriptions. Neither set of definitions uses the common word 'sleet,' which is defined differently in various parts of the English-speaking world. In the United State, 'sleet' refers to frozen raindrops, or ice pellets.' (Williams, Jack. The Weather Book, p. 103. New York, Vintage Books (1992)).
More information about precipitation and its types can be found at the University of Illinois Online Meterology Guide.
Use reference sources to obtain information. Know science terminology appropriate to grade level. Prepare reports.
Read the humorous picture book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judith Barrett to the students.
Discuss the different things that came out of the sky in Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. Ask if this is something that is fact, fiction, or opinion.
Pass out the materials and explain that the students will be making a &34Precipitation Pamphlet&34 that will describe the common types of precipitation that we experience.
Make the Pamphlet
Though there are many ways of folding the paper to make a pamphlet, for this activity I prefer having the students make a tiered pamphlet. I suggest making a sample pamphlet prior to guiding the students through the process.
To make a tiered pamphlet.
The pamphlet should look similar to this:
____________________________ | - - | | | | My Precipitation Pamphlet | | | |____________________________| | Rain | |____________________________| | Freezing Rain | |____________________________| | Sleet or Ice Pellets | |____________________________| | Hail | |____________________________| | Snow | |____________________________|Guide the students in illustrating and writing the descriptions for each type of precipition
Type Frame(s) rain 10352 to 10423 rain 08731 rain 08737 snow 07244 snow 07247 snow 8749 to 08752 hail 10424 to 10690 hail 15255
Type Frame(s) hail 01920 to 02856 rain 03493 to 03747 precipitation 11474 precipitation 11475
Williams, Jack Weather Book, The (USA Today, 1992) pp. 100-101, 103
Barrett, Judith Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (, 1982)
Windows on Science: Earth Science vol. 2 (Optical Data Corporation, 1994)
Windows on Science: Earth Science vol. 3 (Optical Data Corporation, 1994)