Lesson 4: Precipitation


Reading and Questions
Materials: The Kids' Book of Weather Forecasting by Mark Breen and Kathleen Friestad, chalk*, pan with metal lid*
Ask your child to read the following pages in The Kids' Book of Weather Forecasting before answering the following questions.

NOTE: Preview the suggested demonstrations on pp. 65 (trace around a puddle) and p. 79 (boil water). If you would like your child to do either or both of them, let him know so he can do them before the readings for those sections. The demonstrations are optional — the book explains what the results will be.

— pp. 64-65: (covers water and water vapor)
— p. 69: (covers dew and frost)
— pp. 78-79: (covers clouds)
— pp. 80-81: (covers rain, snow, sleet, and freezing rain)
— p. 101: (covers hail)
  1. What happens to puddles of water that seem to disappear? (p. 65)
    The water evaporates, or changes to a gas called water vapor.
  2. What is dew? (p. 69)
    Dew is what we call little drops of water that collect on the grass (and other surfaces) overnight. Your child should understand that dew occurs when the water vapor (a gas) condenses or turns back into a liquid.
  3. What is a cloud? (p. 79)
    A cloud is grouping or collection of condensed water droplets or ice crystals that you can see. Clouds float in the air.
  4. How do snowflakes form? (p. 80)
    Up high in the sky, water vapor turns to ice, and the ice collects on dust and other particles. The crystals grow until they are too heavy, and then they fall from the sky as snowflakes. (Your child may mention that if the weather is warm, the snowflakes may turn into rain.)

Activity 1: Snowmen

Materials: fabric scraps, felt-tip pens, marshmallows, small twigs, toothpicks
For this activity, your child will create a marshmallow snowman with toothpicks and large marshmallows. Let your child stick two large marshmallows on a toothpick. With a black felt-tip marker he can draw a face on the top marshmallow. Then he can decorate the snowman with scraps of fabric, small buttons, and yarn. Small twigs or toothpicks can be used for arms. He can also make a hat for the snowman's head.

Activity 2: Weather and Feelings

Discuss with your child how the weather affects not only our activities but also our feelings. Give your child the sheet titled "Weather and Feelings." Ask him to write two or three sentences that describe how he would feel during each kind of weather and what he might decide to do that day. Remind him to use interesting feeling words other than happy or sad.
Student Activity Page