Rain is important to the land. This lesson will help you collect, measure and graph the amount of rain in your area.
Project: Rain Rain Everywhere
Through this lesson students will find a location for 2 rain gauges, collect rain in both, measure the rain and graph their results. Students will then compare the two locations.
I would recommend 3rd grade, as it would be a great lesson to tie to animal adaptations in the Next Gen Science standards.
- 3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
- 3-ESS3-1. Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.B.3 Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step "how many more" and "how many less" problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs.
- CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.A.2 Measure and estimate liquid volumes and masses of objects using standard units of grams (g), kilograms (kg), and liters (l).1 Add, subtract, multiply, or divide to solve one-step word problems involving masses or volumes that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as a beaker with a measurement scale) to represent the problem.
Print 2 rain gauges for the class. Have students look at them and notice things. How will it work? Are there certain things you wonder about? Discuss two locations to place the gauges. (Very different - think two different sides of the school or one by a tree and one in the open…) Place the gauges.
Next set up a graph. Discuss the parts of the graph and what a good graph has (labels, scale, title, etc). It is not important whether you set up a bar or line (personally I like line for this) just set up two with the class, one for each rain gauge location. Each day check the gauges and chart the results.
As the data progresses, discuss differences in the data. Are they both collecting the same amount? Why/Why not? Can you predict how much rain will happen over a day? How about a two day span?
- Have your students evaluate the rain gauge and see if they would/could modify it to make it better
- Compare the rainfall in your area to that of another part of the world. You could do this after your data is collected or instead of doing 2 gauges, you could graph your rainfall and that of the other location in the world.
(if you have access to a buddy classroom that is in another city it would also be a great activity to have them graph as you do and then talk about similarities and differences in your two classes.)
- After looking at data on rainfall in other areas of the world:How do you think this affects life in that area? Are there landforms or terrain adaptations to help areas that have a lot of or a little rain?
3-4 weeks: This project will only take 10-15 mins per day after the initial set up with the gauges and graphs but it is important that students have a chance to see trends and collect data over time
Print 2 gauges and place a cup in each. Depending on where your class will be placing these, you may need a post to screw the gauge into or suction cups to stick it to a window. You will also need two large pieces of chart paper for the graphs.