Earth Science Learning Community

What Causes Wind?

Lesson Plan

State Standards:

Explain how air, temperature, moisture, wind speed and direction, and precipitation make up the weather in a particular place and time.

Essential Question:

What causes wind?

Lesson Question:

Why is it hotter in your attic than in your basement?


In your groups, discuss in Claims Evidence format examples where you have seen heat rise.


You will perform an experiment that will demonstrate hot air rising. In this experiment you will place a tell tale, used in determining wind direction on sail boats, above a heat source and another tell tale not above a heat source and oberve what happens.

Lesson Experiences:

Make tell tails using tissue paper and yarn.


You will need two per group.
Both tell tales should be hung from the ceiling.
Place a light bulb under 1 of the tell tales.
Observe the tell tales above the light moving more than those not above the light bulb.


This video demonstrates what you should have seen in your experiment.

Hot Air Rises Movie Clip.MP4

Why does this happen?

Hot air balloon, density, convection


Create a glogster to demonstrate the motion of air molecules in a system with changing air temperature.

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