Why Does It Rain?

Contributor: Nichole Brooker. Lesson ID: 11581

When you think about it, water falling from the sky is kind of odd. How does it get up there, and hang around, and finally fall? You'll create your own rain as you learn all about it!


Earth Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Rain, rain go away, come again another day!

Rain may ruin our plans and make the day downright yucky, but rain is very important for many reasons. We can tell it to go away on days when we want to be outside for a special event, but we need it to come back another day!

  • Did you know that there is water in the air?

Did you know that every time you look up and see a cloud, you're looking at water up in the sky? Clouds are a holding place for water until they become so full they have to let it go, and that is how rain comes down from the sky. But, how does the water get there?

Print the Graphic Organizer - KWL Chart found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar. The K column is for you to make a list of everything you already know about rain.

  1. Write down as many things as you can think of about rain. Ask your teacher or parent to help you with this step.
  2. Now that you have a list of what you already know, write down at least two things that you want to know about rain in the W column. What do you wonder about rain? What do you want to know?
  3. Leave the L column blank so you can write down what you learned about rain after you finish this lesson.

Let's get started!

As you know, the sun is extremely hot, and heat from the sun takes the water from rivers, lakes, and oceans and evaporates it, or makes it disappear, into the air. Way up high in the sky, the air is cold, and the tiny drops stick together, and clouds form.

Take a few minutes to watch this How does rain form and what is the water cycle? By Met Office - Weather video to see how the whole process works:

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Now that you have seen the video, explain what is happening in the drawing below to your parent or teacher.

the water cycle

Great work! Let's learn some more about clouds!

Sometimes clouds get so full of water they become dark in color.

  • Have you ever seen a very dark cloud?
  • What does this mean?
  • What usually happens when you see dark clouds in the sky?

Share your answers with your parent or teacher.

dark storm clouds

Sometimes, clouds start out wispy and thin, and turn darker as the water builds up. In one large cloudy area, you can have many different kinds of clouds.

wispy storm clouds

If you think about it, rain is just the rivers, lakes, and oceans coming back home. Without rain, plants won't grow, and many important parts of the growing cycle won't be able to develop.

Clouds and rain are often found more around states that have a lot of lakes and rivers. States that are dryer, or without large bodies of water, don't usually get as much rain because the sun doesn't have much from which it can evaporate water.

This also means that, in states where there is a good amount of water, different types of plants can grow more easily than in states without water. Knowing how much rain you get in your area helps you decide what kinds of crops to grow and what activities are best for you to participate in.

desert sun

In the next section, you will fill in the rest of the KWL chart and make your own rain!

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