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Grades 3-4


In this set of lessons, students will gain a better understanding of how the movement of the air creates the wind. They will have fun as they participate in hands on activities to analyze the qualities of air. They will predict and hypothesis how air creates movement.
ITV Series
Look Up, #19 Sun and Wind
Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
Each Individual Student:
Pre-Viewing Activities
1. This lesson is a great creative activity that students can participate. Have each student make their own small sail boat out of a half of a walnut shell, a small dab of clay placed in the center of the shell to hold up the toothpick, and a construction paper sail. Have each student name their sail boat. Let the students be as creative as possible.

2. After students have finished their boats, have them prepare for the big race. Fill 9 x 13" cake pan (Or any size you might have) 2/3 full of water. Designate the starting point and the finishing line. Let the race begin! Use as many pans as needed.

3. Begin the race by letting the boats sit in the water. Next allow the students to blow their boat to the finish line with a straw. Teachers may let the finalist of the boat races compete by using blow combs to get their boat to win. (Be careful to keep the blow combs away from the water at all times.)

4. Teachers may want to give awards for the most creative, slowest, most hot air used, etc. Be sure that each student receives an award. A Blow Pop Sucker is a fun prize.

5. After the races are completed ask the students questions to focus their learning on the movement of air that creates the wind. The teacher could ask questions such as:

A. What caused the boats to move?
B. What was the difference in speed between just letting the boats float and using straws to blow them.
C. What is wind?
D. What causes the wind to blow?
Focus Viewing
1. To facilitate the students learning while watching the video encourage students to look for specific information and to record the information in some form. This written record will serve as background knowledge for future experiments in the lesson.

The written or learning log will serve as an excellent study guide for evaluation.

Pass out student learning logs, "BLOWIN' IN THE WIND". Explain to the students that in their learning logs they will be recording data to help them to understand what wind is and what causes it to blow.

2. Tell the students that we will be getting some help from our good friends from, Look Up. Imagination has some of the same questions they do. Listen closely to see if Robot can help to answer our questions.

Viewing Activities
1. START the video when the narrators voice says, "Do you have questions? The children answer, "Yes we do."PAUSE after the Robot says, "All different conditions of the weather, all different conditions of the air." Have the students open their weather booklet and record the definition of weather. (Weather is the condition of the air around you).

2. RESUME the tape and play the short segment of Imagination talking about the importance of air. Stop the tape after Imagination says, "Air is pretty important stuff and you can't even see it." Have the students draw a picture of the earth in their booklets including the atmosphere. Make a web of the information Imagination taught about it. Teacher could illustrate this on the board or overhead projector.

(Without the atmosphere, the layer of air around the earth we would not have weather or life.)

3. Ask the students if they believe in things that are invisible. Let's see if my friends can make you believe. REWIND the last segment of the video when Imagination says that air is pretty important stuff," continue on.

4. Stop the tape after Imagination says, "I bet you can think of lots of goodies that you can make with air. Why not try some of them out. Is there any way to measure the amount of air in your recipe."

Discuss goodies that use air. Measuring eggs whites before and after beating is a terrific example. Not only because of the change in volume, but also because of the change in color and form. Another idea may be to try whipping cream.
After the complete lesson, eat something yummy with the cream. An idea might be to slice bananas, add cream and a cherry on top.

Room mother and parent volunteers love to help with this type of thing.

5. Record in weather booklet that foods with air added increase in volume. RESUME the video until after the balloon experiment that shows air has weight.

The students learning logs should include:
1. Air is invisible and light.
2. Air added to a recipe increases in volume and takes up more space.
3. You see air in a glass such as bubbles in soda pop.

Experiments may be tried in the classroom. Students remember longer things that they do with their own hands much longer.

6. Teacher reviews with the students the facts they have just recorded in their learning log. He or she then asks the simple question, "Is air strong?". Have students make their theories. RESUME the tape to the experiment with the table.

7. STOP the video after the table experiment and share some background information about air and try some air pressure experiments. They are simple but the students love them!

Teacher tells the students that he or she is magic and can juggle balls without even touching them.

Use the outlet end of a vacuum clean to keep ping pong balls and balloons riding on the air stream in midair. The balls are pushed inward into the low pressure of the fast moving air.

8. Place a card across two books of equal thickness, like this:

Ask the students:

Can you blow the card off the books? Do you think so?
Have the students try to blow the card off the books.
It is very difficult do, almost impossible.

The reason it works like this is that when you blow under the card, between the two books, the faster moving air causes a reduced pressure. The higher pressure above the card pushes down and makes it cling to the books.

On the other hand if you blow down on the card the air also pushes the card against the books. So, whether you blow over or under the card it clings to the books. (Let children come up with their own theory why this happens.)

Fun background information for the students.

The air weighs a lot. Five quadrillion tons. That's 5,000,000,000,000,000 tons. That's hard to believe, but it is true. (A mini math lesson on place value would be effective here.)

The air in the room where you are weights more than you think. In an average room, the air weighs seventy-five pounds or so. If the room is big like a classroom the air weighs more. If is small, the air weighs less. The reason we don't feel it because the air is spread all around us.

9. RESUME the tape where you left off as Imagination explains that it is hard to understand something you cannot see. Watch the segment on molecules and stop the tape.

Record in student booklet:

Air is made of small particles. Molecules are made of different gases that are constantly moving. (Have the students illustrate this.)

10. RESUME the tape. PAUSE the tape when the robot says that molecules inside the balloon will always move to an area of lower pressure. Then Imagination says. "Stay clear of sharp objects."

Have students record in their booklets..

(Molecules in high pressure areas always move to low pressure areas). Teacher may want to demonstrate this with a balloon.

11. RESUME the tape. PAUSE the tape after the segment on the students pretending to be molecules. Let the students pretend to do this.

12. Then RESUME the tape. STOP the tape after Robot explains that temperature is constancy changing in different places so the there is a constant movement of air. The temperature changes always start with the Sun.

Explain to the students and have them record in their booklets, ( Different temperatures of air of the air are caused by uneven heating of the Earth by the Sun.) Students illustrate this in their booklets.

13. RESUME the tape and play until after the song. Ask the students if they can sing along. Put the words on an overhead projector and have fun! REWIND as many times as necessary. It is a catchy song that is hard to get out of your head. The students like to get up and rock!

Warm Air Rises Song

The Sun shines down and warms the ground
and the air close by warms up and rises high.
Yes it does!
As the warm air rises there is no surprises
it cools down and falls back to the ground.

Chorus (five times)
Warm air rises
Cool air falls

The warm air spreads everywhere,and it is so nice
It rises like a kite.
The cold air has no space to spare .
Molecules weight it down, down, down
To the ground.

Chorus (nine times)

Warm air rises
Cool air falls

14. Ask the students now if they have a definition for wind. RESUME the tape and play until imagination says, " Wind high pressure air moving from high pressure areas to low pressures areas. I think I've got it. It sure is windy."

15. STOP the tape and record in student learning logs , (Wind is air moving from areas of high pressure to low pressure areas.)

RESUME the tape and watch the experiments of the smoke and aquarium. STOP the tape.
Post-Viewing Activities
1. Discuss how the movement of air causes wind. Try this fun experiment: Have a students make a paper windmill. (Pattern is enclosed). Place the windmill approximately 12- 5 inches over a hotplate. The heat of the hotplate will make the windmill turn.

2. Explain to the students that there are a lot of different homemade weather instrument to measure the wind.


1. Straighten the hook of a wire coat hanger
2. Cover 1/2 of the hanger with aluminum foil. Cut foil 1" wider than wire outline, fold over edges, and tape.
3. Fill a pint -size plastic tub with packed sand and snap on the lid.
4. Poke the coat hanger through the lid, ad push it down in the sand so the stem touched the container bottom. The weather vane should turn freely.
5. Mark north, south, east and west on the container with a marker. Place the weather van in an open area to catch the wind. Use a compass to line up the weather vane properly. The open end of the vane will always point in the direct from which the wind is coming.


Materials needed to make anemometer to measure wind strength.

3 small yogurt containers
3 knitting needles
Large cork
Nail not any longer than the cork
2 washers

How to make and use.

Spray paint one yogurt container a bright color. Make two hole on opposite side of each yogurt container, 1 1/4 inches from the top. Push a knitting needle through the holes in each container, then push the needles into the cork so that they are equally spaced around it. Make a hole through the center of the cork and push the nail completely through the cork. Put the washers on the end of the nail. Then hammer the nail into the top of the broomstick so that the cork can spin around easily.Find an open space outside and stick the broomstick in the ground. When the wind blows the anemometer will spin around. To check the wind speed, count the number of times the painted container passes by you in ten seconds. The higher the number, the stronger the wind.


Materials to make a Barometer to measure air pressure.

Plastic container, balloon
Rubber band
Drinking straw
Poster board

How to make and use.

Cut a small piece of balloon and stretch it over the top of the container. Use the rubber band to secure the balloon in place. Tape the straw to the middle of the balloon as shown. Fold a piece of poster board so that it is self-standing. Position the poster board next to the straw and mark where the straw intersects the poster board. Then use the ruler to create a scale from 0 to 10 on the poster board. Design the scale so the original point of intersection is at 5. Position the barometer and the scale side by side, taping the scale in place. Check the barometer at the same time each day and mote where the straw intersects the scale. Changes in the air pressure will cause the balloon and the straw to move slightly upward or downward.
Action Plan
Further the students interest in the wind by making weather vanes and anemometers. They will then record and graph wind direction and speed. Students will clip news and magazines articles that relate to wind created weather and pinpoint the location on a world map and post on a bulletin board in the classroom.

Many different kinds of wind chimes can be made to demonstrate the movement of the wind.


Students perform the Reader's Theater Enclosed, "The Sun and the Wind."

Fun with the Wind: Try a Wind Spinner

You may not be able to see wind but we can see what it does. The spinning paper plate makes wind "visible" and is a lot of fun.

1. Cut a paper plate from the middle to make eight equal, triangular flaps.
2. Fold the flaps outward, alternating between each side of the plate as you go around.

3. The spinner works best on a windy day. Roll it on a flat piece of ground. Send the spinner with the wind and then against the wind. In which direction does the spinner go fastest?

Master Teacher: Teresa Hunsaker

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