Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Celsius Tells Temperature, Too

Jennifer Slichter
Santa Rosa District Schools


This is the sixth lesson in the Unit Weather Watchers. Students become aware that thermometer liquids expand or contract as temperature affects them. Concept of telling the temperature on a Celsius thermometer is introduced as students identify and record temperatures on Celsius thermometers through hands-on activities and games.


The student demonstrates an understanding of temperatures by using Fahrenheit and Celsius thermometers.

The student knows the likelihood of a given situation (for example, coin toss, spinners, baseball game).

The student knows that a thermometer measures the amount of heat absorbed by an object.

The student knows ways in which tools are used by scientists (for example, to gather information, to analyze, to calculate).


-Various thermometers or pictures of them (Outside, ear, underarm mercury, candy thermometer, meat thermometer. outdoor thermometer)
-[Weather Everywhere] by Denise Casey. Macmillan. 1995.
-Bottle of water
-Cup of ice
-Microwave to heat water
-Pre-made paper thermometer
-Chalkboard or dry erase
-Formative Worksheet (See Associated File)
-Rain gauge, wind vane, and thermometer to stay outside for weather reports


1. Gather materials needed, including those from previous lessons such as the hand-made thermometer.
2. Duplicate formative assessment sheet. (See Associated File)
3. Set up a wind vane, a rain gauge, and a thermometer outside your classroom. These will remain there for the duration of the unit. Students will use these when they are preparing the weather report each morning. You may want to assign an aide or an older student to accompany your student each morning as he/she checks the instruments.


1. Set a TV on a desk covered with a tablecloth. Make TV out of a large cutout box. Make a microphone out of foil and a cone. Student volunteer will pretend to be a weather reporter and give a weather report using weather instruments we have studied. Note: It will be necessary to aid students in the use of the thermometer because that is todayís lesson. Tell the class that they are going to use the instruments to do a weather report each morning for the remainder of the unit.

2. Each day of the unit, the volunteer chosen must take measurements of the instruments outside and give a weather report. (see preparations) Help students initially with this procedure until you are sure they understand. Write the following on a strip of paper. The volunteer will take outside measurements using the instruments and prepare a weather report. The date today is ____. There are _____clouds in the sky. The wind is blowing in a _____direction. The temperature reads__________. The rain gauge says it has rained ______inches. I predict today will be ________________.

3. Read [Weather Everywhere] by Denise Casey Macmillan 1995. This book deals with temperature and wind. 2. NOTE: The book can be read aloud and discussed during your class Read Aloud time or in small groups prior to beginning the science lesson. Place the book in a center or make it available to students to look at during the day. If the book is read separately from the science lesson, conduct a brief review for students prior to doing procedure 4.)

4. Hold up various thermometers to the class. (Outside, ear, underarm mercury, candy thermometer, meat thermometer. outdoor thermometer.) Ask: What do these thermometers have in common? Get responses such as they both have numbers, mercury rises in them when heat raises and mercury falls when mercury cools. (note: Students may know that the "red stuff" moves, but may not remember or know the name, Mercury. Teach it to them.) Ask what are the differences. Get responses such as they measure different things. Explain that these are different types of thermometers. They help us measure the temperature of different things. Have student volunteer come pick up and pick out the thermometer that helps us learn how hot or cold it is outside.

5. Remind the class that heat rises. Point to the mercury in the mercury thermometer. Ask the class to predict what will happen to the thermometer if it is placed in a glass of very hot water. Get responses.

6. Microwave a cup of water for three seconds. Place the thermometer in the cup. Measure the before and after temperature with the students.

7. Go over predictions with the class. Instruct the class that the mercury rises because it is getting hot. Ask class to think of possible ways that we could make the mercury go down very quickly. Get responses.

8. Place the thermometer in a class of ice water. Demonstrate to students how quickly the mercury goes down.

9. Show the thermometer. Explain: Yesterday we learned about Fahrenheit thermometers. Today we will learn about Celsius thermometers. In the United States, we usually record temperature using Fahrenheit measurements. However, in other countries they use a measurement called Celsius. Pass around an outdoor thermometer. Demonstrate to the class how the thermometer is divided into Celsius and Fahrenheit measurements. (You might want to write the words on the board, however, students do not have to know them.)

10. Using a Celsius thermometer, record temperature of inside air. Write the temperature on board using Celsius measurement. Ask class to predict what will happen to the thermometer if it is taken outside for a while. Will the mercury rise up or down? Ask students to predict if the mercury is most likely or least likely to rise.

11. Play a class game called Heat Moves. Students pretend that they are mercury in a thermometer. Tell them: When the sun is warming you, you will stretch taller, when you get cooler, you will fall to the ground. Begin by ssaying: It is morning and the sun is shining, you begin to grow and get taller. (Students make appropriate movement.) It is 12:00, you are getting warmer, and you begin to grow taller. (Students make appropriate movement.)The sun is sinking in the sky and you are getting cooler, you begin to shrink. (Students make appropriate movement.) The sun is setting and you begin to get very cool. (Students make appropriate movement.) When game is completed, have class sit down.

12. Point to the large precut drawing of a thermometer with numbers on poster paper made in a previous lesson. Hold up a large cut-out of a Celsius thermometer. (The thermometer must be large and premade out of poster paper. Two slits must be made in the upper and lower end and large red tape or ribbon on one side attached or sewed to white on the other will be slid under the slits to set the temperature.)

13. Point to various numbers on the thermometer and model how to read temperature in Farenheit with students. Compare with a Celcius thermometer. For instance, explain that 75 degrees on a Farenheit thermometer is a lovely warm day as is 40 degrees on a Celcuis thermometer. Explain that we will be using only the Celsius thermometer so as not to be confused.

14. Call students up one at a time to take items out of a grab bag. Write down various temperatures and put them in grab bag. Student volunteers set temperature on the large classroom Celsius thermometer.

15. Play a tic tac toe game where a quick review of what was learned today will take place. Girls will be oís and boys xís. Ask the following questions. Students who answer correctly place a mark for their team on the board. A thermometer measures what? (heat). What form of matter is Water vapor? _____(gas). Heat causes the mercury in a thermometer to ________. (rise) What might you wear to school if it is 05 degrees Celsius outside? (coat, gloves). What might you wear to school if it is 30 degrees Celsius outside? (shorts and shirt) What might you wear to school if it is 65 degrees Celsius outside? (sweater). After the sun heats water on Earth does, the water become hotter or colder? (warmer). What happens to steam as it becomes hotter? Does it rise or fall? (rise) Complete game using more review questions if necessary.

16. Review cloud formations using previous pictures from previous lesson on clouds. Show a cirrus cloud. Ask students when we see these feathery wisps in the sky, is the weather likely to be warm or cold? Is rain more likely or less likely to happen? Show a cumulus cloud that looks like giant cotton balls in the sky. Ask students if rain is more likely or less likely to happen? Show a picture of a stratus cloud. Ask students if rain or fog is likely to happen? Stratus clouds look like gray sheets in sky and means fog /rain is likely. Fair weather clouds are called cumulus. Clouds that bring a lot of rain are called cumulonimbus.

17. Review rain cycle pattern with the class orally.

18. Pass out formative worksheet. Review directions with students. For question number 6-9, set large classroom thermometer and have students record answers on their paper. For example for number 6 set thermometer to 30 degrees Celsius. Have students record answer on their paper. For number 7, set thermometer to 10 degrees Celsius and have students record answer on paper. For number 8, set thermometer to 0 degrees Celsius and have students record answer on their paper. For number 9, set thermometer to 20 degrees Celsius and have students record answer on their paper.

19. Collect and assess worksheets.


Read each question aloud to students. As they are answering, be sure to circulate and make sure they are recording the answers in the right place. See procedure #18 for questions 5-7. The large hand-made thermometer will be needed for the assessment. You may wish to administer this assessment in small groups rather than the whole class.

Students will be assessed using a formative assessment worksheet. Students are asked to describe the effects of heat on a mercury thermometer,

Students describe the rain cycle pattern. Students will complete the worksheet with 80% accuracy or be given more opportunities to master the skills in the future.


1. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page of by using the following URL: Once you select the unitís link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

2. Esol and ESE students' learning may be enhanced through peer teaching. Set up learning center games, where students must read a temperature given on a card and record that temperature on a thermometer that is premade out of poster paper, marker, and black/white ribbon.

3. Students may role play effects of heat on a mercury thermometer by playing hot/cold game. When hot is called out students pretend they are mercury and rise. When cold is called hot, students pretend they shrink.

Attached Files

Celsius Tells Temperature Worksheet†††††File Extension:††pdf
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