Make it Rain!

Type of Lesson: Hands-on activity

Time Needed: 30 minutes

Standards Addressed

MEGOSE EH1 Describe how water exists on earth in three states.
MEGOSE EH2 Trace the path that rain water follows after it falls.
MEGOSE EH5 Describe various forms that water takes on the earth's surface and conditions under which they exist.
MEGOSE EAW2 Describe weather conditions and climates.
MEGOSE EAW7 Explain the water cycle and its relationship to weather patterns.
MEGOSE EAW10 Explain and predict general weather patterns and storms.

Quick Summary of Lesson

Here's a neat activity that makes rain in a jar. This activity would make a great intro lesson to looking more in depth at rain.


jar with a metal lid
1 cup of water
a hammer
a nail
ice cubes


1. Use the hammer and nail to make 5 dimples on the inside of the metal lid. Make sure not to poke holes through the lid, just make little indentations.
2. Boil one cup of water. Pour the boiling water into the jar.
3. Place the metal lid upside down on top of the jar, completely covering the mouth of the jar.
4. Place 3-4 ice cubes into the lid. Add a little bit of cold water and a pinch or two of salt and stir. Make sure the mouth of the jar remains completely covered by the lid.
5. Wait a few minutes and watch as drops of rain start to fall from the lid to the water below.

Notes to the Teacher

The cold surface of the upper lid cools the steam from the boiling water in the jar. The steam changes back into water, collecting into drops where the indentations are on the lid. As the drops get bigger and heavier, it "rains".

Need More Information? Try Using Windows to the Universe

Please use these links for further ideas or more information:
Cold Front
How are weather and humidity related?
The Rain Falls Mainly in the ...?
Weather Radar
What causes flash floods?

Last modified prior to September, 2000 by the Windows Team

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