This is a very simple experiment that will show children how precipitation is made. It is a second experiment in our Water Cycle lesson plan and it helps break up the water cycle into smaller parts for the children to understand better.
• Water cycle
• Hydrologic Cycle
• Mirror with a handle (2 if possible)
• Plug in Kettle
• Oven Mitt
• Construction paper
1. Freeze the mirror before you begin the experiment.
2. When you bring out the mirror, allow the children to touch it briefly to show them that it is cold. If they over handle it, have the second mirror available so you are able to go on with the experiment without stopping.
3. Plug in the kettle and talk about safety as you wait for it to heat up.
4. Discuss the steam that is coming out of the kettle and how it is evaporated water.
5. Hold the mirror in the steam with it above the construction paper.
6. Water will begin to bead on the mirror and should fall onto the construction paper.
7. Discuss what you are seeing.
Questions to ask:
What do you think will happen to the cold mirror?
What do you think that white stuff is coming out of the kettle?
Do you think the steam is hot or cold?
What do you think will happen when the hot steam hits the cold mirror?
What is falling onto the construction paper?
How do you think rain (precipitation) is made?
Things to do:
Document predictions that the children make and the final outcome of the experiment.
Have the children document the experiment themselves with drawings or models.
Note: This is the second experiment in the Water Cycle series.