- Learn to use tools that measure rainfall
- Practice observation skills
- Coffee can
- Craft sticks or ruler
- Chart paper
- Optional: Construction paper
Step 1: Talk about the rain, and point out that on some days more rain falls than on others. Ask children whether it's possible to measure the amount of rain that has fallen.
Step 2: Offer children a coffee can to collect rain samples. Place the can on your playground, and on the day after a rainfall, bring it inside to measure how much rain fell.
Step 3: Stand the craft stick or ruler in the can, and ask children to think of different ways they might measure the rain. If they need help, suggest that they mark the top of the wet section of the stick or ruler with a marker.
Step 4: Now ask children how they can record the rain measurement. (One way is to paste the marked stick on the left side of a sheet of chart paper, writing the date below. Or let the children cut a bar of the same height out of construction paper and paste it on the paper.)
Step 5: Put the can outside again, and after the next rain, let children repeat the process. Suggest that they compare the two sticks. Ask, "On which day did more rain fall?" Children might repeat the process over a period of weeks to create a rainfall bar graph.
Try keeping a class rain log. Invite children to share things they notice about each rainfall or storm, including the amounts of wind, lightning, and thunder. Suggest that they write and draw their contributions on dated pages.
Do children enjoy engaging in a long-term project and comparing their findings? Do children show creativity in thinking of different ways to measure and record rainfall?