Skip Navigation

How to Make a Thermometer

Main Core Tie

SEEd - Grade 6
Strand 6.2: ENERGY AFFECTS MATTER Standard 6.2.3

Time Frame

1 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size

Large Groups


Utah LessonPlans


Students will make a thermometer showing that liquids when heated expand.


  • strong plastic bottle with a scew cap
  • a thin plastic straw
  • modeling clay
  • water colored with poster paint.
  • worksheet

Student Prior Knowledge

Particles move. When heated particles move even more.

Instructional Procedures

  1. Drill a hole in plastic bottle caps. You can have the kids collect and bring the bottles.
  2. Put the straw into the hole and seal with the clay.
  3. Fill the Bottle 1/2 full of colored water. Make the water come about 3/4 the way up the straw then close the lid tightly.
  4. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Put the Thermometer into a bowl of ice water and see what happens to the water level.
  6. Put it into warm water.


Lesson Design by Jordan School District Teachers and Staff.

Created: 09/30/2014
Updated: 02/05/2018