Beacon Lesson Plan Library

How Cool Is It?

Kenneth Blackman
Santa Rosa District Schools


The students will check the outside temperature at 5 different times of the day. The students will use both the Celsius and Fahrenheit scale. The students will then compare their temperatures using a bar graph.


The student knows the appropriate operations to solve real-world problems involving integers, ratios, rates, proportions, numbers expressed as percents, decimals, and fractions.

The student describes and uses rates of change (for example, temperature as it changes throughout the day, or speed as the rate of change in distance over time) and other derived measures.

The student selects and uses appropriate instruments, technology, and techniques to measure quantities and dimensions to a specified degree of accuracy.


- Paper
- Pencils
- Graph Paper
- Thermometer


1. Make sure all needed materials are available in the classroom.
2. Place the conversion formulas on the board.
3. Obtain temperatures from the paper of selected cities throughout the world to use during the brainstorming session.
4. Prepare a list of temperatures for students to use who do not bring in their homework.


Day 1:
1. Introduce to the students the two temperature scales used to measure temperature. Discuss with the students how temperatures vary in other parts of the world. Also, discuss with the students that other parts of the world use the Celsius Scale as their primary temperature scale.

2. Introduce the formula to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit Temperatures.
( F = 9/5C + 32)

3. Model the conversion process on the board.

4. Introduce the formula to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius Temperatures.
( C= 5/9(F-32)

5. Have the students work several example problems off the board.

6. Review the conversion formulas. Ask students if they can think of reasons why someone would need to collect temperatures over a given time period. Allow for brainstorming.

7. Homework. Assign the students to take five different temperature readings at their home, starting at 4:00P.M., and take another reading each hour until 8:00P.M. Students should record the time, the type of thermometer used (F or C) and the temperature.

8. Ask the students to show all of their temperature readings in both Celsius and Fahrenheit degrees.

Day 2:

1. Review with the students the formulas related to temperature conversions.

2. Model to the students how to create two bar graphs from the temperature data collected the night before.

3. Instruct the students to develop two bar graphs, one comparing Celsius temperatures and one comparing Fahrenheit temperatures.

4. Instruct the students to present their graphs to the class.

5. Develop an overall bar graph on the board using all of the data the class collected. Refer back to the previous day's brainstorming about collecting temperatures over a given period of time. Ask students to discuss these ideas in light of the group graph.

6. Review with the students the concepts of temperature conversions and bar graph relationships.

7. Ask students to write a paragraph explaining what they've been doing the last two days. Paragraphs should include:
a) summary of the activity including needed items
b) correct examples and use of formulas
c) valid reason for collecting temperatures over a given period of time


Assess the temperature conversions and the graphs. Conversions should be checked for accuracy of using the formula, as well as correct answers. Student paragraphs should reflect how to use a thermometer, how to change from Celcius to Farenheit, including the formulas, and a valid reason for collecting temperatures during a given time period.


This lesson could also be used to teach how to construct broken line graphs.
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