How to Read a Thermometer: Lesson for Kids

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Measurement Conversions Lesson for Kids

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 What Is a Thermometer?
  • 0:32 Which Scale?
  • 1:09 Increments
  • 2:30 Knowing the Temperature
  • 3:06 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

There are many different types of thermometers, and they have a variety of uses. In this lesson, identify the uses of thermometers, which scale a thermometer is using, and how to read a thermometer.

What Is a Thermometer?

Have you ever been sick with a fever? More than likely, someone in your family used a thermometer to read your body temperature. A thermometer is a device that is used to measure temperature, which is how hot or cold something is.

Thermometers can measure the temperature of different things. You can use a thermometer to find the temperature of the air outdoors or of something you're cooking in the kitchen. Let's discover how to find the temperature of just about anything by reading a thermometer.

Which Scale?

Temperature is measured in something called degrees. No, not the degree you get from college! A temperature degree is marked by a small symbol beside the number that indicates the temperature, like this: 45°.

There are two different scales for measuring temperature: Celsius and Fahrenheit. When reading a thermometer, the first thing to check is which scale is being used. Why is this important? There are big differences between the scales. A day that is 28°C would be very warm outside, but a day that is 28°F would be very cold!

Increments

Most thermometers use marks and an arrow, or a liquid that rises up to a line, to show the temperature. So it should be easy to read, right? Just look where the arrow is pointing or which line the liquid reaches to. Well, it isn't always that simple.

Many thermometers do not have single digits listed on them. If they did, thermometers would be incredibly large! To make them smaller, thermometers often show only the fives or tens marks on the thermometer. These are called increments. Between these increments are little lines that stand for the smaller numbers.

So, the first step is to look at the numbers and determine what increments the thermometer is using. When you say the increments aloud, are you counting by twos? Fives? Tens? This will help get you started.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support