Gauging Rain With a Rain Gauge

Contributor: Kaitlyn Zimmerman. Lesson ID: 12471

What does "gauging rain" mean? If you have a gas gauge in your car, you know that it "measures" what? That's right! Gas! So, what do you think a rain gauge measures? Get ready to build your own gauge!


Earth Science

learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • What goes up when the rain comes down?

Read on to find out!

“Rain, rain, go away, come again some other day.”

This familiar nursery rhyme is the first that comes to mind when a soggy day ruins your plans, but rain is an essential part of life on the earth.

  • Why is it so important to want to know when rain is coming – or even sometimes, knowing how much rain we are supposed to get?

Before we answer that, if you overlooked or would like to review the earlier lessons in our Weather Instruments series, find them in the Related Lessons in the right-hand sidebar.

Not only can rain wash away your well-planned afternoon, it can also cause severe flooding and other damage. Although it is a necessary part of the water cycle, crops, animals, and other living things could not exist without it. Rain can even change the weather drastically, causing a severe rain event, such as a hurricane, that can be just as disastrous as a drought.

  • Have you ever heard a meteorologist talk about how much rain you got in your town the day before?

Whether it is 3 inches or 13 inches, the meteorologist knows approximately how much it rained.

  • How can someone measure rain?

You can't really stick a ruler in a puddle to find out. A meteorologist uses a tool known as a rain gauge to measure rain, and you can measure rain by using a rain gauge, too!

Check in with Flo to see what else she can add to the subject of rain gauges!

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  • Now do you understand what measuring rain means?

It is not that you are going to catch a rain drop and see how much it weighs; instead, you can collect rain into a rain gauge in order to see how much rain has fallen during a storm!

  • Speaking of rain, would you like to know the answer to the joke from earlier, "What goes up when the rain comes down?"

Keep reading to find out by going on to the Got It? section!

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