Make Your Own Thermometer
Students will test and record the temperature of various objects, and will make their own paper thermometer crafts.
Students will learn about degrees, the melting and freezing process, and how to test the temperature of various properties.
Fiskars scissors; white, red, and blue construction paper; thermometer; various objects whose temperature you can test (such as a glass of cold water, a cup of hot tea—be creative!)
SET UP AND PREPARE
Students will create their own thermometers using construction paper. To begin, teach students about temperature, boiling and freezing points, ice, melting temperature on the sun or in your mouth, and so on.
1. To make the thermometer, cut out a cylinder shape from white paper that is 10 inches tall and three inches wide. Make a slit at the base of the cylinder that is approximately 2 inches wide.
2. Cut a slip of red paper that is approximately eight inches tall and 1 inch wide. This red paper will represent heat. Do the same with a blue slip of paper to represent cold.
3. Have students mark degrees on their thermometer. Mark Fahrenheit on the left-hand side, and Celsius on the right-hand side. Make sure the numbers are a half-inch apart.
4. For Fahrenheit, start at the bottom with -40, then moving upward, mark -20, 0, 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100.
5. For Celsius, start at the bottom with -40, then moving upward, -30, -20, -10, 0, 10, 20, 30, and 40.
6. Each morning as a class, test the temperature with an actual thermometer. Have students match the temperature on their own thermometers by inserting the red or blue slip of paper—depending on the temperature—through the slit and moving it to the correct number. You might want to compare the temperature with the day(s) before and make a graph for the whole week or month.
7. As a class, experiment with the temperature of other properties, such as a cup of tea or ice water. Have students record their findings and discuss.