• Views 12
  • Favorites
Photo by Lum3n via Pexels

Database Provider




3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Chemistry, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plan
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Presentation Slides
  • Video, 1 minute, 24 seconds, CC
  • Video, 2 minutes, 1 second, CC
  • Activity - Outdoors
  • Video, 1 minute, 25 seconds

Regional Focus



PDF, Microsoft Powerpoint, Downloadable MP4/M4V

Rain Gauge Activity

Ask a Question

  • In this lesson, students will review the water cycle, create rain gauges, and learn why precise data gathering is necessary and important.
  • Students will get to experiment, create different rain gauge designs, and learn about the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission and its importance.
Teaching Tips


  • This inquiry-based activity is engaging and allows for a variety of results.
  • The lesson does a great job of providing a lot of context to deepen understanding.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The link to the article explaining the importance of engineering skills does not work.
  • Some blue words in the Teacher Guide look like links but are not clickable.
  • There is narration for the video clip on slide 7, contrary to what it says in the Teacher Guide.
  • Students should already know the forms of water or states of matter.


  • If time permits, students may enjoy demonstrations to illustrate evaporation, condensation, and the fact that salt does not evaporate with water.
  • This lesson would be a great follow-up to this lesson on exploring the water cycle or any other exploration of the water cycle.
  • Language arts students can demonstrate their understanding by writing about the importance of precise precipitation data.
  • Students can log precipitation for a week and create a graph using this resource.
Scientist Notes
In this rain gauge activity, students will learn all about water and why it is important. The lesson touches on many different fundamental concepts about water. The lesson also discusses how and why scientists measure precipitation around the world, which gives them insight into current scientific research. The information presented is accurate and this resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 5-ESS2-2 Describe and graph the amounts and percentages of water and fresh water in various reservoirs to provide evidence about the distribution of water on Earth.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
      • MS-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
      • MS-ETS1-3 Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
      • 3-5-ETS1-1 Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
      • 3-5-ETS1-2 Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
      • 3-5-ETS1-3 Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
  • Related Resources


    Login to leave a review