Lesson 2: Heat and Temperature


Reading and Questions
Materials: The Kids' Book of Weather Forecasting by Mark Breen and Kathleen Friestad
Ask your child to read all of pages 31-32 ("The Energetic Sun") and just the "Fahrenheit and Celsius" section on p. 35 of The Kids' Book of Weather Forecasting. Ask him to answer the following questions.
  1. Why does the Earth receive only a little bit of the Sun's energy?
    The Sun is very far (millions of miles) away.
  2. What are some things that affect how much of the Sun's warmth we feel?
    Answers may include clouds (that block the Sun), ice or snow (that reflect the heat back to space), or bare soil or ground (that absorb heat). Your child may also mention the time of day or season.
  3. What would happen to the Earth if there were no Sun?
    The book mentions that there would be no weather and that everything would freeze. Your child may have other ideas as well.

Activity 1: Thermometers and Temperature

Materials: thermometer
Tell your child that we use a tool called a thermometer to measure the temperature in the environment. We use two scales to record the temperature. Celsius is the form of measurement used by scientists and by most countries. It is also called the metric unit. On this scale, freezing is at 0º and boiling is at 100º. The other scale, which the United States uses, is called Fahrenheit. It is also called customary unit. Water freezes at 32º on this scale and boils at 212º. If your child would like to know how to change from Celsius to Fahrenheit or vice versa, encourage him to read the yellow box on p. 35 of the book.

Show your child the thermometers on the sheet titled "Thermometers and Temperature" (Option 1 or 2), and review the two scales with him. Let him read each thermometer and write the temperature on the top set. On the bottom set, he should read the temperature and shade the thermometer to reflect the given temperature. Choose an option for your child to complete.

Option 1

This sheet has temperatures that fall at standard increments on the scale.

Option 2

These temperatures do not all fall at standard increments, so your child must be able to estimate the temperature by finding the distance between the two numbers.

Activity 2: Crickets and Temperature

Materials: The Kids' Book of Weather Forecasting by Mark Breen and Kathleen Friestad
Review how to read thermometers with your child. Explain that there is an unusual formula for figuring out the temperature without using a thermometer. Cricket chirps can be used to measure temperature! Read the bottom of p. 37 of the book with your child. Encourage him to record the information on a sheet of paper.

Next, give your child the "Crickets and Temperature" page and ask him to determine the temperature according to the number of chirps for each example. He can write the degrees and shade the thermometer.

Answer Key: 1) 72, 2) 97, 3) 62, 4) 73
Student Activity Page