Rain Facts: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 What is Rain?
  • 0:36 Rain Clouds
  • 1:21 Importance of Rain
  • 1:57 Interesting Facts
  • 2:45 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

Rain not only gives us puddles to splash around in; it's also essential to life on Earth. In this lesson, we'll learn about how rain is made, why it's important, and some interesting facts about rain from around the world.

What Is Rain?

It's raining cats and dogs! You may have heard this saying a few times, but you can be assured that you don't have to worry about cats or dogs hitting your umbrella the next time you go out in a rain storm. In fact, this expression simply means that it's raining really hard. So what exactly is rain?

Rain is a type of precipitation. Precipitation is when droplets of water fall from the sky. Sometimes these water droplets can be frozen, like ice or snow. In rain, the temperature of water droplets are above freezing, so the water is in liquid form.

Rain Clouds

While they may look like it, the clouds in the sky aren't really fluffy cotton balls. They're actually collections of water vapor that have condensed into tiny water droplets.

Think about when you boil water in a pot. As the water heats up, steam rises, which is actually water vapor. If you placed a clear lid above the pan, you'd notice that as the steam rises and cools off, it forms little water droplets. This is condensation, and it's how clouds are formed.

Once a cloud has formed, the water droplets inside continue to get heavier as the water vapor condenses. When the water droplets get heavy enough, they start to fall from the cloud. It's kind of like when you put a tissue under running water. At some point, the water being collected on the tissue is too heavy and the tissue breaks. The water comes down much like rain falls from a cloud.

Importance of Rain

Rain is an important part of the water cycle, the process by which water on the earth's surface heats up and evaporates, or changes to water vapor, condenses in the clouds, and returns to the land as a form of precipitation. It's kind of like riding an escalator. The belt on the escalator starts at the top or bottom and slowly moves back to its original position over and over again.

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