Lesson Plans & Guides
We have many different classroom-tested activities on a variety of different topics that you can download and use. All of these activities use easy-to-find (and inexpensive!) pieces, as you’d expect from the Little Shop of Physics. Each document tells what equipment you need, the theory behind the activity, and suggestions for how to do this activity with your class. Feel free to download and use any and all of these! Most of the activities on this page were developed as part of our ongoing work with CMMAP, and presented during our summer and other workshops.
Activities are organized by topics below.
Conservation of Energy
Kinesthetic Activities about Atmospheric Science Concepts
- What makes a gas, a greenhouse gas? – The carbon dioxide dance.
- Why can warm air “hold” more moisture than cold air? – Vapor pressure exercise.
- Why do hurricanes go counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere?
- How do long and short EM waves interact with the Earth’s atmosphere?
The Difference Between Weather and Climate
Radiation and Seasons
- What is beyond the rainbow?
- Can you see beyond the rainbow?
- Can you “see” infrared radiation?
- Why is the sky purple?
- Would you get a sunburn on Mars?
- What does color have to do with cooling?
Pressure, Density, Temperature, Buoyancy
- What causes pressure?
- Does air weigh anything?
- If hot air rises, why is it cold in the mountains?
- Can gravity push something up?
- Why do clouds form in the afternoon?
Phases of Water, Latent Heat, and Clouds
- How can freezing make something warmer?
- How can clouds keep the air warmer?
- Why does it get colder on a clear night than a cloudy night?
- Do cities affect the weather? (Making a cloud in a bottle)
- Can boiling make something freeze? (Making ice cream in two minutes)
- What is the opposite of sweating? (Cooking with condensation)
Convection and Precipitation
Forces and Winds
Climate Change and Global Warming
- How does the earth keep itself warm?
- What is a model? (Quick start Guide)
- If you can’t predict the weather, how can you predict the climate?