How to Create a Home Made Thermometer

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I have a love/hate relationship with science activities. More of a love than a hate, but it’s there. I love how curious my learners are when we start a science lesson. However, when you think of science, you think of science experiments. Most think experiments lead to big messes. But experiments can be simple, and can still be just as effective! This home made thermometer is fun to create and even better to watch in action!

Perfect for Any Weather Unit

Weather units can be taught anytime during the year. Most educators choose to touch on it throughout the year as our weather and temperatures change. Hands on, visual activities are perfect for any science lesson and this weather unit gives you just that!

Another great addition to your weather unit is this fun Weather Interactive lapbook! There are so many interactive parts to this resource, and it ties in really well with this thermometer experiment!

Home Made Thermometer

What’s so great about this experiment is that all of the supplies you need you probably have in your home or classroom.

You need the following items:

  • small water bottle 
  • clear plastic straw
  • food coloring
  • glue gun
  • 2 bowls with water- one hot and one cold

First, mix water and your food coloring of choice.   Pour that water mixture into the water bottle.

Next, cut a hole in the cap using a drill bit or sharp box cutter.

Place the straw through the hole into the bottle.

Use hot glue to secure the straw through the cap.

Here’s the fun part!   Place the bottle into a bowl of hot water and watch your learners be amazed at what happens!

Now’s the perfect time to ask for predictions and explain that heat is more dense than cold air, which makes it rise. 

So, the next thing you should do is have your students predict what will happen when you place the bottle in cold water.  It’s a great cause and effect activity and an easy way to predict what will happen next.  

Have them log their observations on this observation printable found in my Weather Watchers pack!

You can find this resource by clicking the box below!

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progress monitoring in the early elementary classroom for math, literacy and reading