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"Use an Anemometer," said the Meteorologist

Grade Level:

  • 3rd, 4th, and 5th


  • The student will:
    • read and learn the meanings of unfamiliar words using knowledge of root words and prefixes
    • work with a small group of classmates to make a meteorological tool
    • use effective communication skills in group activities
    • present a brief oral report

Estimated Time for Completing Activity:

  • 45-60 minutes

Type of Activity:

  • Exploratory

National Science Standards:

  • Standard A Item 3
    Standard E Item 4 and Item 5
    Standard G Item 1

Virginia SOLs:

  • English 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4
  • Science 4.6
  • Math 4.8, 4.9


meteorologist, anemometer, formula, calculate, convert, conversions, rotate, rotation, diameter, inches, centimeters, miles per hour, kilometers

Materials Needed:

Strategies and Procedures:

  1. Read the poem, "Who Has Seen the Wind?" or any favorite poem about the wind.
  2. Today we are going to work in groups and make an instrument that Meteorologists use to measure the speed of the wind!
  3. Review Definitions:

    Meteor comes from a word that means "something happening in the sky."
    A meteorologist studies the atmosphere, weather, and climate of our Earth.

    The root word "meter" means a way to measure. An anemometer is a weather instrument that measures wind speed.

    The prefix "fore" means before.

    A meteorologist who uses tools and instruments to collect data and study the weather is able to forecast the weather before the weather happens. Discuss the importance of this through class interaction and discussion.

    Before students are grouped explain that each group will have 30 minutes to
    read directions
    assemble an anemometer
    record four anemometer readings (each child has a turn)
    use the formula provided to calculate each wind speed.

    Formula: To calculate wind speed in miles per hour, multiply the number of complete rotations the colored cups makes in 30 seconds by the diameter (in inches) of the anemometer. Then divide this number by 168.

    See Editor's Note

    To calculate wind speed in kilometers per hour, multiply the number of complete rotations the colored cup makes in 30 second by the diameter (in centimeters) of the anemometer. Then divide this number by 265.

    Evaluation Tool:

    Extention Activities:

    NASA Logo
    Lesson Plan submitted by Carol Mitchell, Poquoson Elementary School, Poquoson, Virginia, USA, for the NASA's S'COOL Project.