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Science - 4th Grade
Standard 2 Objective 1
These classroom thermometer activities will help students understand how temperature is measured.
Pre-Assessment / Invitation to Learn Materials
A thermometer is a delicate instrument used for measuring temperature. It needs to be handled carefully so that it doesn't break. The liquid inside the glass tube expands as it is heated and rises in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius that can be read on the scale. Soil generally absorbs heat from the sun faster than water, so it is usually warmer. Shiny or light-colored surfaces reflect more of the sun's energy than dark colors, so they are cooler. Heat rises in a room, so temperatures taken at the ceiling level are generally warmer than at floor level. Communicate with necessary school personnel to let them know that students will be measuring temperatures around the building. Students would be asked not to measure the temperature of certain areas such as fish aquariums and toilets. They should also let the thermometer rest on a surface for at least two minutes before reading the temperature.
1. Use Science Process and Thinking Skills.
4. Communicate Effectively Using Science Language and Reasoning.
Pre-Assessment/Invitation to Learn
Tell the students that each one of them or each group will be given a thermometer and a baggie with ice cubes. Ask them to see if they can make the temperature rise and fall without leaving their seats. After a few minutes, ask them how they were able to make the temperature of their thermometers rise and fall.
Activity 1 - Hot Hands on Science
Activity 2 - Making a Class Thermometer
Review what the students learned about the thermometers and the uses of thermometers. Show them a thermometer and have them explain how they think they work to measure temperature. Explain to them that when the water in the bulb begins to heat up it expands and goes up the tube. The warmer it gets the higher it goes. Tell them that they are going to make thermometers today to see how they work on a larger scale. (Teachers can make one as a class demonstration or have groups of students make one.)
Activity 3 - Observing and Recording Temperature Data
Tell the students we will observe the temperature each day with a thermometer just like a meteorologist. We will record the temperature each day for a few days.
Fine Arts/Visual Arts-
Homework & Family Connections
Observe students for accuracy as they make measurements of temperature. Evaluate their success at making a homemade thermometer. Check their journals, graphs, and tables for accuracy.