Lesson 2: The Air Around Us

Getting Started

Questions to Explore

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

Facts and Definitions

  • Air pressure is the weight of air pressing down on the Earth.
  • Warm air is lighter than cold air, so it rises.
  • Low air pressure means stormy weather is coming.
  • High air pressure means clear weather is coming.
  • A barometer is a tool that is used to measure changes in air pressure.

Skills

  • Observe the force of air pressure pushing on objects. (S)
  • Describe weather using quantitative measures of temperature, wind direction, wind speed, and precipitation. (S)

Materials

  • The Kids' Book of Weather Forecasting by Mark Breen and Kathleen Friestad
  • 14 or 15 oz. empty metal can
  • balloon (about 12" in diameter when inflated)
  • half-gallon cardboard milk carton
  • markers
  • paper lunch bag
  • poster board or card stock
  • rubber bands
  • ruler
  • sharp pencil or nail
  • straight straw
  • tape

Introduction

In this lesson, your child will learn about how air pressure is connected to weather and will make his own barometer to measure air pressure. He will begin collecting air pressure data and will make predictions about weather based on them.

Ask your child to describe air. What is it? What does it feel like? Sound like? Smell like? Look like? How does he know air is all around us?

Reminder:

  • Fill out your weather log each day as outlined in Lesson 1.