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Lesson Title: Air Has Weight and Temperature Affects It?
May 11, 2012

Unit: Earth and Space Science - Weather

Grade Levels: 4-6

Connection To Curriculum:

Teacher Prep Time: 1.5 hours

Lesson Time Needed: 2 hours

Complexity: Basic

Keywords: atmosphere layers, weather, moisture, clouds, climate, planetary weather, Coriolis, winds, planet atmospheres, gases, satellites, precipitation, radiation, air pressure, humidity, meteorology



This lesson has two activities that develop a basic understanding about the weight of air and its basic importance to understanding meteorology and determining that a change in temperature of air affects its vertical movement.

Students will:
• Experiment with the change in the position of a bar balancing a balloon inflated with air on one end and a noninflated balloon on the other end, and the cause for this change.
• Write a procedure for investigating a research question.
• Identify factors affecting the dynamics of air in motion.

First page of Does Air Have Weight?

Lesson Guide
Air Has Weight and Temperature Affects It? Lesson
[146KB PDF file]



Lesson Activities and Sequence

  1. Does Air Have Weight? How Do You Know?
    The purpose of the following activity is to verify that air has weight and that this fact can be concretely illustrated. Activity originated from: Meteorology: An Educator's Resource for Inquiry-Based Learning for Grades 5-9.
    Keywords: air pressure, buoyancy, lift, atmosphere layers, inquiry, confirmation verification, heat rising>

  2. Can You Show That the Temperature of Air Has an Effect on Its Weight and Its Direction of Vertical Movement?
    This activity has two important purposes. It is designed to challenge the learner to develop a procedure for investigating a research question and to learn more about factors affecting the dynamics of air in motion.
    Keywords: inquiry, research, atmosphere, buoyancy, density, gases, atmosphere layers, air pressure

National Standards:

National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Understanding of scientific concepts.
• The dispositions to use the skills, abilities and attitudes associated with science.


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