Create Your Own Lightning

Type of Lesson: Hands-on activity

Time Needed: 15 minutes

Standards Addressed

MEGOSE EAW2 Describe weather conditions and climates.
MEGOSE EAW6 Describe patterns of changing weather and how they are measured.
MEGOSE EAW10 Explain and predict general weather patterns and storms.

Quick Summary of Lesson

This is a safe and easy way for students to make lightning. This activity would be a great intro to looking more deeply at lightning.


cotton or wool blanket
a dark room


1. Turn out all the lights and let your eyes adjust to the darkness.
2. Put the blanket behind you. Hold your fist out about six inches in front of your face.
3. With your other hand pull the blanket slowly over your head. Make sure the blanket brushes over your hair. Don't let the blanket touch your fist, arm, or face.
4. Keep pulling the blanket until your fist is "undercover".
5. If the conditions are right, purple sparks will jump from your fist.

Notes to the Teacher

This experiment works best on a dry, cool night.

Need More Information? Try Using Windows to the Universe

Please use these links for further ideas or more information:
Lightning and Thunder
Lightning Types
Thunderstorm Formation
Thunderstorm Safety
Weather crossword puzzle

Last modified prior to September, 2000 by the Windows Team

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