Measuring Temperature: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 What Is Temperature?
  • 1:17 Measuring Temperature
  • 1:53 Other Kinds of Measurement
  • 3:16 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jeremy Cook

I have been teaching elementary school for 16 years. I have extensive experience in lesson and curriculum development and educational technology.

You shiver when it is cold outside and sweat when it is hot outside, but how can you measure those weather temperatures? And did you know there are even other types of temperatures that can be measured? This lesson looks at all kinds of interesting temperature facts.

What Is Temperature?

Temperature is a measure of heat. Heat is energy, so the more energy there is, the hotter something gets. This happens when you exercise really hard. How many times have you ended gym class and felt hot and sweaty? That's because you used a lot of energy while running around, and it increased your heat.

Temperature is measured and displayed in two different units depending on what country you live in. The United States uses the Fahrenheit scale, and the rest of the world uses the Celsius scale. Each scale gives a different number for a particular measure of temperature. The Celsius scale is based on the freezing point of water being 0 degrees and the boiling point being 100 degrees, while the Fahrenheit scale has water freezing at 32 degrees and water boiling at 212 degrees.

Another temperature scale is the Kelvin, which is the standard scientific measurement of temperature. This scale is based with 0 Kelvin being the absolute zero, which is the lowest possible temperature at which particles could still move and generate heat. On the Fahrenheit scale, absolute zero equals -459 degrees! Now that is cold!

Measuring Temperature

We can measure the temperature of air, liquids, or objects using a thermometer. Most thermometers have small tubes and a bulb of liquid at the bottom. The hotter the temperature, the higher the liquid from the bulb rises in the tube. There are markings along the side of the glass tube that show the temperature.

I know what you're thinking! What about the temperature display in the car or that thing that the doctor puts in my ear that beeps? Those are called digital thermometers. They have electric sensors that read the temperature and send the information to a tiny computer that displays the temperature.

Other Kinds of Measurement

Did you know that actual temperature is not the only way temperature is measured? It's true! There are some types of weather where we measure what it feels like outside. Let's take a look at a couple of them.

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