What Makes the Weather Move?

Monday, the students practiced their Research and Thinking Skills with the High School science teachers and students.  We wanted to find out more about What Makes Things Move.  The high school science teachers and students prepared 3 experiments for the Grade 2 students to perform in order to learn more about our central idea:

Relationships between air, water, heat and land influence the weather.

In our first experiment, called Moving Colours, we used the following materials and tools:

beaker of cold water

potassium permanganate


candle/alcohol burner

Some matches

Tripod and gauze



To perform the experiment, we followed the steps below:

  1. Use the small end of the spatula to add some potassium permanganate to the beaker of cold water. Try to add the potassium permanganate without mixing up the water too much.
  1. Put the beaker onto a tripod and gauze. Carefully take the spatula out of the beaker.
  1. Light the candle/alcohol burner and directed the flame towards the bottom of the beaker where most of the potassium permanganate is.

We asked the students to make predictions, observation and explain what what happening during the experiment.  Here are some to their ideas:

  • We saw the colours going up and down.
  • The heat makes the water move.
  • Our flame was lower than the other groups’ flame so the water didn’t move as much (as it did for the other groups).

In our second experiment, called Whirling Spirals, we used the following materials and tools:

stand and string/tape

paper spiral sheet


To perform the experiment, we followed the steps below:

  1. Cut out a paper spiral along the lines drawn on the spiral sheet.
  2. Attach the spiral from the X mark to some string with some tape. Tape the other end of the string to a metal stand.
  3. Put a lamp underneath the spiral with the bulb facing upwards. Don’t let the paper touch the bulb.
  4. Turn on the lamp and observe what happens to the spiral.


We asked the students to describe what is happening to the air above the lamp?  Here are some of their ideas:

  • I wonder if the (heat from the) sun moves the clouds around (like the heat moves the water in the beaker).
  • It’s like the water cycle.  The sun heats air and water in the clouds and when we turn on the light it (the spiral) moves.
  • The fire is hotter than the light so it (the coloured water) moves more (than the paper spiral).  There is more energy.
  • The light is hot so the air is hot and moving the paper.

In our third experiment, called Tea Bag Rockets, we used the following materials and tools:

Heatproof mat

Tea bag



To conduct the experiment we followed the steps below:

  1. Take your teabag and carefully remove the label and staple holding the string onto the bag.
  2. Open out the bag and empty the tea into the bin.
  3. Use the scissors to cut a straight edge for each end of the bag.
  4. Open up the bag to make a cylinder shape and stand this up on your heatproof mat.
  5. Light the bag on the top edge and let the bag burn to the bottom.


Afterwards, we asked the students if the heat inside the tube made the bag do anything unusual? Could they work out why the air in the tube moves up?

Here are some of their ideas:

  • It flew up because of the fire.
  • The air carried the paper.
  • I think it flew because hot air rises.
  • The fire makes the air hot so it rises then it goes up and cools down and falls down again.

Back in the classroom, the students practiced their note taking skills to record their predictions, observations, and ideas to explain the experiment.  There were many powerful observations and new learnings.  Some of the ideas that are particularly useful in our inquiry were:

“I noticed that these (experiment about what makes things move) all all about heat!”

“I think it was more than just heat.  It was heat and air and water.”

“That’s our central Idea!”

“But how does heat make things rise?”

Please click on the album below to see other photos of 2M performing experiment to find out What Makes Things Move?

2M What makes things move?

Please Click on the Albums Below to See Other Photo Highlights from our Week…


Measuring Rainfall

2M measuring rainfall


Taking Notes to Record New Learning from our Research with Nonfiction Books

2M research using nonfiction books


Taking Notes to Record our Predict, Observe and Explain the Experiments to Determine What Makes Things Move

2M what makes things move: predict, observe, explain

Thinking about the Water Cycle

2M water cycle

Using Repeated Addition to Skip Count by 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s

2M Repeated Addition


One thought on “What Makes the Weather Move?

  1. Hi 2M,
    When you did your inquiry about what makes things move, you were thinking like scientists. I wonder, after reading your learning, what happens in the air on a blue sky sunny day. What do you think?
    Ms. Catasti

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