Thermometer Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teach your students how to read a thermometer with this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson that guides them step-by-step to accurate thermometer reading, then practice independently to apply skills.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain the purpose of a thermometer
  • describe the markings on a thermometer along with their purpose
  • accurately read a thermometer


1 hour


Key Vocabulary

  • Temperature
  • Degrees
  • Increments

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1

Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3

Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.

Warm Up and Preparation

  • Before the lesson, have students brainstorm places around your school that may vary in temperature, such as the freezer and refrigerator in the cafeteria, in the sun on the playground, and near the heating vents.
  • Place thermometers around the school in these places. Consider leaving a note attached explaining your experiment.
  • Make a t-chart that lists the places you left the thermometer on the left and the temperature reading on the right. Have students copy into notebooks under the heading 'Thermometers.'

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