Friday, March 20, 2015

Weather Study: Barometers and Air Pressure

We just began our unit on weather this week. I have to admit that it is not really my favorite science unit (shhh, don't tell the kids!). In the past it has lacked something... I couldn't figure it out, but I wasn't pleased. I want to LOVE this unit this year.

This means it's up for revamp! Yay! And new activities! Whoop Woop! More experiments! Boom!

And, this year in addition to the unit on weather, my class is going to put in a musical called The Weather Show (it's a Bad Wolf production. If you haven't checked them out and you want to do EASY musicals with your kids, you should! Their stuff rocks!) in late May.

So to spice up my weather unit and help with the learning of the musical, I decided to teach my weather unit in order of the topics in the songs in the musical. Im so organized, right?! Lol!

So, up first: meteorologist and their tools. We discussed what a meteorologist does, watched a weather report, read Gail Gibbons Weather Forecasting and made a few anchor charts.

Up next: Barometers and air pressure.

That takes us to today! Have you searched barometers on Pinterest lately? 

I found a great Bill Nye explanation of barometers and air pressure. Jackpot!

I also scored with a DIY barometer how to (thanks Scholastic!). 

Now... Can 1st graders do it??

You bet! Take a look!

Barometer supplies at the ready!

Gathering the necessities.

Cutting the balloon to fit.

Stretching it over the jar.

Making the tracking triangle and attaching the straw.

Barometers at the ready!

Taking our measurements.

1st grade scientists hard at work!

We took measurements four times during the day. Each time recording where the straw was and what kind of weather was happening. By the afternoon the straw had moved ever so slightly with the warming temps and the sun coming out (it was overcast when we started). 

Air pressure is a pretty tricky subject for kiddos, so we were really focusing on understanding that it is the changes in weather that effect the air pressure, not so much the high/low aspects of air pressure. This experiment did just what I wanted and the kids had a blast!

Next week we wil focus on rain and evaporation!

Have you tackled a weather unit with your students yet?


3 at Third Grade said...

Mrs. Hodson is AWESOME!! CF came home and taught us all about this....and demanded we make our own!

annie o Roberts said...

It is a very interesting experiment. students will love such activities. This one is very interesting as well as informative. Such activities will make learning easy for the kids. Thank you so much for sharing this experience. Check this out to learning help.