Lesson 5: Precipitation

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

  • How does the weather affect living things?
  • Why do we study and observe the weather?
  • What causes the weather?
  • How is weather measured?

Facts and Definitions

  • Precipitation is rain, snow, hail, sleet, or any form of water that falls from the sky.
  • A rain gauge measures the amount of rainfall.
  • Rain, snow, hail, and sleet are all forms of precipitation.


  • Describe weather using quantitative measures of temperature, wind direction, wind speed, and precipitation. (S)
  • Identify and use common tools to measure weather: wind vane (wind direction), anemometer (wind velocity), thermometer, and rain gauge. (S)
  • Give examples of ways living organisms depend on their environments. (S)


  • The Kids' Book of Weather Forecasting by Mark Breen and Kathleen Friestad
  • chalk* (optional)
  • construction paper
  • glue
  • journal
  • scissors

* - denotes an optional material that may or may not be needed


Ask your child to describe what she has seen falling from the sky. She may mention rain, snow, sleet (tiny ice pellets), and hail (lumps of ice that fall during some warm-weather thunderstorms). Explain that these are examples of precipitation.

  1. Fill out your weather log each day as outlined in Lesson 1.
  2. Record the air pressure as outlined in Lesson 2.
  3. Take four temperature readings during the day for the daily temperature experiment as outlined in Lesson 3.
  4. Record the speed and direction of the wind as outlined in Lesson 4.