Temperature Guide for Kids - Fahrenheit and Celsius!

When most people think of taking a temperature they think of heat, however heat and temperature are two different concepts. Heat is measuring energy. Every molecule contains kinetic energy or intrinsic motion. The more heat within an object, the quicker the molecules inside the object move. This means that the measurement of heat is the total amount of energy or every bit of molecular motion within the object.

Temperature is the measurement of the average amount of thermal energy or heat of molecules in any substance. For example, when it is said that a certain object has a 100 degree Celsius temperature, it is not referring to every molecule having the identical thermal energy. Molecules move with a collection of energies and they interact together no matter what the substance is. This changes the energies of the molecules. Taking the average of all the thermal energies of the molecules all together, helps us determine the temperature of the object.

The temperature expresses whether a substance or object is cold or hot. Things with lower temperatures are cold whereas things with higher temperatures are considered hot or warm. When the path of heat transfer between the two is open, the heat freely flows from the body of higher temperatures to the body of a lower temperature. With the difference in temperature there is an increase in flow rate while there will be no heat exchanged between objects with equal temperatures. When this happens they are in thermal equilibrium.

Thermometers are used to measure temperature and they can be calibrated to various temperature scales. Temperature has a very important role in various natural science fields including geology, atmospheric sciences, biology, physics, and chemistry. Materials’ physical properties of various materials including liquids, solids, density, vapor pressure, electrical conductivity, solubility, plasma or gas, all depend on the object or substances temperature. The extent and rate in which certain chemical reactions occur, and emission of radiation from surfaces, are also determined by temperature.

Temperature measurements are conducted using Celsius in many instances. The Celsius scale is similar to the Kelvin scale as they have the same incremental scaling, however, the Celsius scale fixes at zero degrees C which is approximately when water freezes. In the United States, the Fahrenheit scale is used for most purposes. This scale has a water freezing point at thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit and a boiling point at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Teaching students about temperature can start as early as Kindergarten simply by teaching students about various weather conditions. Students can be shown thermometers and asked to determine freezing and boiling points. Students can also use worksheets or coloring pages in order to help them become familiar with a thermometer. Math is used in temperature conversion as well, which means students need a good grasp on math skills. There are various formulas which can be used in converting Fahrenheit to Celsius, Celsius to Fahrenheit, and for converting body temperature. They will learn to read line graphs and how to count in increments. Students will also learn how to round numbers while learning how to measure temperature. Older students can participate in more difficult or age-appropriate activities.

Teaching students about temperature will help them develop both science and math skills. There are many resources available online which will help teachers teach their students about temperature. The key is to find lesson plans, activities, and websites which will help make learning fun. The following list links to lesson plans, science experiments, classroom activities, worksheets, and educational websites that you and your students are sure to love:

Resources for Teachers

Resources for Kids