August 27


Third grade continued their study of thermal energy with a lesson on thermometers.  We looked at different types of thermometers and discovered the various ways thermometers are used.  We also learned the history of thermometers and the different scales (Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin) used to measure temperature.  We are  trying to memorize freezing points, boiling points, and body temperature.  We also practiced reading thermometers.  Lab partners placed thermometers in cold water in plastic, Styrofoam, and glass cups.  We watched to see which was the best insulator and observed how the temperature increased and decreased in each cup.  Then in a demonstration lesson, I made a homemade thermometer.


What You Need:

  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • 11-ounce clear, narrow-necked glass bottle
  • Food coloring
  • Clear plastic drinking straw
  • Modeling clay
  • Store bought thermometer (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Add equal parts tap water and rubbing alcohol to the bottle, filling it about a quarter of the way up.
  2. Add a couple drops of  food coloring and mix by shaking the bottle.
  3. Put the straw in the bottle, making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom.
  4. Use the modeling clay to seal the straw in place. Leave a portion of the straw sticking out from the bottle, making sure the clay forms a tight seal around the straw and over the bottle mouth, but don’t close off the straw’s opening.
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