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Temperature and Thermometers

Math Activities
Temperature
Temperature is how hot or cold something is. Temperature is really a measure of how fast the atoms and molecules that make up a substance are moving (this movement is sub-microscopic; you cannot see it).

Thermometers Used to Measure Temperature
A thermometer measures the temperature of something, showing how hot or cold it is. There are many different types of thermometers that measure the temperature of different things. We use thermometers to measure the temperature of the air, our bodies, food, and many other things.

There are analog and digital thermometers. An analog thermometer shows the temperature on a scale or dial; a digital thermometer shows the temperature as a number. The higher then number above zero, the higher the temperature.

Temperature Scales
Temperature Fahrenheit Celsius Kelvin
Water Boils 212°F 100°C 373K
Water Freezes 32°F 0°C 273K
Normal Human Body Temperature 98.6°F 37°C 310K
Room Temperature 68°F 20°C 293K
Absolute Zero
(the lowest temperature possible, when molecules have the lowest possible energy)
-459.69°F -273.16°C 0K
Temperature is measured in many different scales, including Fahrenheit, Celsius (or Centigrade), and Kelvin scales. The units of the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales are called degrees; the units of the Kelvin scale are called kelvins. The symbol for degree is °. A change of one degree of temperature Celsius is the same as a change of one kelvin; a change of one degree Fahrenheit is a smaller change in temperature. Each temperature scale is useful for diffferent things.

Fahrenheit is a measure of temperature that is abbreviated F. Water freezes at 32°F and boils at 212°F. This scale was developed by Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit in 1714. The Fahrenheit scale is used in the USA but not in many other countries. The degrees in Fahrenheit are smaller than those in Celsius, making weather-related temperatures more easily written (without having to use a decimal point).

Celsius (also called Centigrade) is a measure of temperature that is abbreviated C. Water freezes at 0°C and boils at 100°C. This scale was developed by Anders Celsius in 1742.

Kelvin is a measure of temperature that is abbreviated K. Kelvin is a temperature scale designed so that 0K is defined as absolute zero, and the size of one unit is the same as the size of one degree Celsius. [Absolute zero is a hypothetical temperature at which all molecular movement stops. All actual temperatures are above absolute zero. Absolute zero would occur at -273.16°C, -459.69°F, or 0 K.] Water freezes at 273.16K; water boils at 373.16K. Many scientists use this scale (because all the temperatures are positive, making calculations simpler) or the Celsius scale. This temperature scale was designed by Lord Kelvin (William Thomson).

Conversion Formulas
If you know the temperature in one temperature scale you can use a formula to figure out what it is equivalent to in other scales. The conversion formulas are in the table that follows.

Celsius to Fahrenheit (and Fahrenheit to Celsius):

F = 1.8C + 32

C= (F - 32)/1.8

(A degree Celsius is 1.8 times bigger than one degree Fahrenheit.)

Kelvin to Celsius (and Celsius to Kelvin):

C = K - 273

K = C + 273

(Converting between Celsius and Kelvin is easy because the size of a degree Celsius is the same as the size of a kelvin.)



Activities and Worksheets on Temperature and Thermometers
Writing Worksheets on Temperature
Draw Four

Cold Things: Draw Four Things That are Cold in Temperature

Draw four items that are cold in temperature. Below each item, write its name.
Draw Four

Hot Things: Draw Four Things That are Hot in Temperature

Draw four items that are hot in temperature. Below each item, write its name.
find related words

Write Eight Temperature Words

Think of and write eight words related to temperature. Then, for each word, write a sentence containing the word. Sample answers: sweltering, glacial, warm, icy, freezing, chilly, cool, nippy.
find related words

Cold Things: Write Eight Things That are Cold in Temperature

Write eight things that are cold in temperature. Sample answers: igloo, ice cream, ice cube, freezer, Antarctica, Pluto, glacier, iceberg.
find related words

Hot Things: Write Eight Things That are Hot in Temperature

Write eight things that are hot in temperature. Sample answers: campfire, oven, hot cocoa, furnace, star, radiator, molten metal, summer day.
Temperature Questions

Temperature Questions #1:
Printable Worksheet

On this worksheet, the student writes about the coldest and hottest things they can think of, and the best and worst things about very hot and very cold days. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.
Temperature Questions

Temperature Questions #2:
Printable Worksheet

On this worksheet, the student writes about fun things to do on hot and cold days, annoying aspects of hot and cold days, and whether the student prefers very hot or very cold days. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.
Temperature Questions

Temperature Questions #3:
Printable Worksheet

On this worksheet, the student writes about hot, cold, and comfortable temperatures. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.

Thermometer Worksheets
Thermometer

Label the Thermometer #1:
Printable Worksheet

A printable worksheet on which the student labels a thermometer, noting the freezing and boiling points of water, room temperature, body temperature, and the point at which the Fahrenheit and Celsius scales are the same. Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version.
Thermometer

Label the Thermometer #2:
Printable Worksheet

A printable worksheet on which the student labels a thermometer in degrees Fahrenheit and Celsius. Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version.
Thermometer

Thermometer Questions #1:
Printable Worksheet

A printable worksheet on temperature and thermometers. Circle the thermometer showing the higher (or lower) temperature, What is the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit (or Celsius)?, and Color the thermometers in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius. Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version.
Thermometer

Thermometer Questions #2:
Printable Worksheet

A printable worksheet on temperature and thermometers. Circle the thermometer showing the higher (or lower) temperature, What is the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit (or Celsius)?, and Color the thermometers in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius. Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version.
Compare Thermometers

Compare Thermometers #1:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet on temperature and thermometers, with thermometers to color and compare, and questions to answer. Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version.
Compare Thermometers

Compare Thermometers #2:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet on temperature and thermometers, with thermometers to color and compare, and questions to answer. Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version.

Temperature Word Problems
Word problems

Fahrenheit Temperature Word Problems #1:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet of temperature word problems (the problems involve adding or subtracting Fahrenheit temperatures). Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version.
Word problems

Fahrenheit Temperature Word Problems #2:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet of temperature word problems (the problems involve adding or subtracting Fahrenheit temperatures). Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version.
Word problems

Celsius Temperature Word Problems #1:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet of temperature word problems (the problems involve adding or subtracting Celsius temperatures). Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version.
Word problems

Celsius Temperature Word Problems #2:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet of temperature word problems (the problems involve adding or subtracting Celsius temperatures). Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version.

Charts and Graphs
Word problems

Temperature Chart Questions #1:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet in which the student uses a chart of temperatures (in Fahrenheit and Celsius) to answer temperature questions (for example, "Which freezes at a higher temperature, water or milk?"). Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version.
Word problems

Temperature Chart Questions #2:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet in which the student uses a chart of temperatures (in Fahrenheit and Celsius) to answer temperature questions (for example, "Which temperature is hotter, 100°F or 100°C?"). Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version.
Bar Graph

Fahrenheit Bar Graph Questions #1:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet in which the student reads a bar graph of Fahrenheit temperatures to answer questions; for example, "What was the average temperature in March?" Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.
Bar Graph

Fahrenheit Bar Graph Questions #2:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet in which the student reads a bar graph of daily body temperature in Fahrenheit to answer questions; for example, "At what time is the body temperature the highest?" Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.
Bar Graph

Celsius Bar Graph Questions #1:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet in which the student reads a bar graph of Celsius temperatures to answer questions; for example, "What was the average temperature in March?" Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.
Bar Graph

Celsius Bar Graph Questions #2:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet in which the student reads a bar graph of the average temperatures of the planets to answer questions, for example, "On average, is it warmer on Jupiter or Mars?" Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.
Line Graph

Celsius Line Graph Questions #1:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet in which the student reads a line graph of monthly tundra temperatures in Celsius to answer questions; for example, "Which month is the warmest?" Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.
Line Graph

Celsius Line Graph Questions #2:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet in which the student reads a line graph of atmospheric temperature (in Celsius) by altitude to answer questions; for example, "What is the temperature at 5000m altitude?" Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.
Line Graph

Fahrenheit Line Graph Questions #1:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet in which the student reads a line graph of monthly grassland temperatures in Fahrenheit to answer questions; for example, "Which months are the coldest?" Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.
Line Graph

Fahrenheit Line Graph Questions #2:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet in which the student reads a line graph of monthly Seattle temperatures in Fahrenheit to answer questions; for example, "What is the temperature of the warmest months?" Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.

Measuring Temperature
Temperatures

Measure Temperatures #1:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet on measuring temperature using a thermometer (the student needs a thermometer to complete this worksheet). The student measures room temperature, the temperature outdoors, and skin temperature. The student then answers questions about these temperatures. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.
Temperatures

Measure Temperatures #2:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet on measuring temperature using a thermometer (the student needs a thermometer to complete this worksheet). The student measures the temperature of ice water, cold tap water and warm tap water. The student then answers questions about these temperatures. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.


Weather Calendar to Print

On this 13-page calendar (a cover plus 12 monthly pages), the student records local temperatures and other weather occurances.

Converting From Scale to Scale
Temperatures

Convert Temperatures #1:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet on converting temperatures from Fahrenheit to Celsius and vice versa. Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.
Temperatures

Convert Temperatures #2:
Printable Worksheet

A printable activity worksheet on converting temperatures from Fahrenheit to Celsius and vice versa. Or go to the answers. Go to a pdf version of the worksheet.


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