The lesson explores the differences between the types of precipitation and can be used in conjunction with lessons related to the weather or water cycle.  Students usually know the term precipitation, but may not understand the conditions necessary for each type of precipitation.  It is recommended the video resources be used especially in area where snowfall may be rare, plus hands-on learning would be helpful for young students.

Precipitation Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Precipitation
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 1-3 but can be adapted for other grade levels

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The lesson explores the differences between various types of precipitation. The lesson begins by defining precipitation and various related vocabulary like condensation and humidity. Then the lesson defines and describes rain, snow, hail, freezing rain and sleet. Several video resources are included which can be particularly useful in areas where snow is not common. The lesson can be used in conjunction with other lessons related to weather or the water cycle.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction:  

  1. Display a list of the types of precipitation: rain, snow, sleet, hail, freezing rain. Ask students if they know the difference between each, and why they are different.
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Further ask what is the same between each type of precipitation.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Precipitation to the students.
  4. Distribute Precipitation content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  When discussing condensation, if possible, demonstrate the condensation on a cold glass of water or other drink filled with ice.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Distribute supplies.  As students work, remind them to label each type of precipitation.  Allow students time to complete their drawings.
  6. Once completed, pair students for sharing and explaining the images and the different types of precipitation to each other.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.  Advantages and disadvantages may be personal choices, such as a rainy day is good for sleeping in, or playing in puddles, etc.
  9. In closing, ask students: List the five main types of precipitation in order from your favorite to your least favorite. Tell your reasons for listing them in that order.
  10. Allow for responses and discussion. Encourage students to be specific with their reasoning.  Further ask students to share a memorable time when it was raining, snowing, etc.  Why was it so memorable to them?

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.1.1, 3, 4, 6, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.1, 3, 4, 9, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.1, 3, 4, 9

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Want more science resources? Check out our other Science Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade



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I had some trouble downloading it at first. I contacted customer service and had excellent service. It took a few days to the resolve the issue but they kept me informed the whole way. This lesson was worth the wait. It has great information and extras that saves me time having to look stuff up on my own. Lesson plan is easy to follow. I can’t wait to teach it.

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Homeschool lessons

I am a new homeschool parent so when I came across this website I was thrilled!! It gives you information to go over, practice and homework. On top of that it also gives a list of videos and additional worksheets. As for this particular lesson I could not open it due to an error but they are working to fix it but as for all the other lessons I got they are awesome!!!