Weather Fronts—Movement of Cold and Warm Air

This Weather Fronts—Movement of Cold and Warm Air activity & project also includes:

On a hot summer day, in a two-story home with no air conditioning, the coolest place is in the basement and the warmest place is on the second floor. See how warm air rises and cool air sinks through a hands-on activity. Class members then use this information to discuss and explore wind formation. 

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Ask for a volunteer to share their drawings with the class. Then combine the drawings, showing that warm air rises and cool air moves in below the warm air
  • Review how water is heated by the sun and then discuss how this warm water heats the air above it, creating warm air masses
  • Model, through a drawing and discussion, how the lab helps explain the formation of land and sea breezes
Classroom Considerations

  • This activity is suited for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade learners and potentially lower high school learners
  • Read through all instructions, gather materials, complete the lab and answer questions before completing the lab with the class
  • Boiling water is needed for each group

  • Lab includes pictures of the setup
  • Near the end of the resource there is a link to the lab which includes other activities
  • Lab is simple to set up and can be done using materials from home

  • It is stated as an objective that learners will be able to describe how wind moves from an area of high pressure to an area of low pressure, but does not ask learners any questions pertaining to how air moves in relation to pressure