ACS: Inquiry in Action - Investigating the Weather (Lesson 1.4): What is Wind?

Students investigate weather-related phenomena including the cause of rain, evaporation, snow, and wind. Students also explore how a coat helps us stay warm in the cold and how blocking the sun to make a shadow causes the temperature to decrease.

What is Wind?

Students use their breath to make strips of paper move a little and then a lot to investigate the question: What is wind?


Students will be able to explain that wind is air that is moving and that air is made up of tiny particles called molecules. Students will also be able to explain that when wind blows, it is the molecules hitting objects that makes the objects move.

Key Concepts

  • Wind is air that is moving.
  • Air is made out of tiny particles called molecules that we cannot see.
  • Wind makes objects move because the molecules in air hit the objects and move them.

NGSS Alignment

  • K-ESS2-1: Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe patterns overtime. 
    The activities in this lesson focus on what causes wind and how wind makes things move.


  • The class has a short discussion about air and wind and are introduced to the idea that air is made of tiny particles that we cannot see and that wind is moving air.
  • Students see an animation showing what causes wind and why wind makes objects move.
  • Students do an activity showing that a heavy strong base can make things more stable in the wind.


There is no formal student activity sheet or assessment for this lesson. To evaluate student understanding, use your usual methods of interacting with students, asking questions, and discussing ideas with students as they participate in the different parts of the lesson.

Science Topics
Atmospheric Sciences, Chemistry
K-6, Educator
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Lesson Plan (PDF) | Teacher Background (PDF) | Connections to NGSS (PDF)

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ACS (American Chemical Society)

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