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How to make a thermometer out of paper

Updated April 16, 2019

Children can learn all about temperatures in math class. Once a child learns what occurs at various temperatures, he can learn how to read a thermometer to detect the temperature. A great way to keep a child's interest during this math lesson is to help him create his own thermometer out of paper. Once he has mastered that, he can move on to using real thermometers.

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  1. Draw the shape of a thermometer on a white piece of construction paper. Make it 10 inches tall and 3 inches wide. The bottom part should be slightly round. Cut a slit just above the rounded bottom.

  2. Cut a strip of red construction paper and a strip of blue construction paper. Make the strips 8 inches tall and 1 inch wide. Tell students that the red strip represents heat and the blue strip represents cold. Insert the strips through the slit at the bottom of the thermometer.

  3. Label the thermometer. Make eight marks on each side of the thermometer. Place an F---for Fahrenheit---on the top left, and a C---for Celsius---on the top right.

  4. Add degrees, starting at -4.44 degrees C on the left side and progressing upward in rises of -6.67 degrees C. Start at -40C on the right side and progress upward in rises of -12.2 degrees C.

  5. Ask the students to display different numbers on the thermometer by moving their strips up and down. Tell them to use the blue strip if you mention a temperature that is cold. Tell them to use the red strip if you mention a temperature that is hot.

  6. Tip

    You may want to have children look up the temperature for the day on weather.com, and then display that temperature on their thermometers.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • White construction paper
  • Red construction paper
  • Blue construction paper
  • Scissors

About the Author

Alicia Bodine

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.

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