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This lesson employs bubbles to observe changing wind speeds and directions




1, 2  


Title – Bubbles in the Wind
By – Lindsey Lentz
Primary Subject – Science
Grade Level – 1-2
Concept/Topic – Bubbles and Air

National Science Education Standards

      Chapter 6: Science Content Standards


      Grade Level: K-4


      Content Standard A: Science as Inquiry: As a result of activities in grades K-4, all students should develop abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry


        1) Detail: ASK A QUESTION ABOUT OBJECTS, ORGANISMS, AND EVENTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT. This aspect of the standard emphasizes students asking questions that they can answer with scientific knowledge, combined with their own observations. Students should answer their questions by seeking information from reliable sources of scientific information and from their own observations and investigations.
        2) Detail: USE DATA TO CONSTRUCT A REASONABLE EXPLANATION. This aspect of the standard emphasizes the students’ thinking as they use data to formulate explanations. Even at the earliest grade levels, students should learn what constitutes evidence and judge the merits or strength of the data and information that will be used to make explanations. After students propose an explanation, they will appeal to the knowledge and evidence they obtained to support their explanations. Students should check their explanations against scientific knowledge, experiences, and observations of others.
        3) Detail: COMMUNICATE INVESTIGATIONS AND EXPLANATIONS. Students should begin developing the abilities to communicate, critique, and analyze their work and the work of other students. This communication might be spoken or drawn as well as written.


      PA- Pennsylvania Academic Standards


      Subject 3: Science and Technology


      Area 3.2: Inquiry and Design


      Grade by: Grade 4


      Standard C.: Recognize and use the elements of scientific inquiry to solve problems.


    • Generate questions about objects, organisms and/ or events that can be answered through scientific investigations. .
    • Conduct an experiment.
    • State a conclusion that is consistent with the information

Specific Objectives: The student will:

      (1) discover what is inside of a bubble.


      (2) define that wind is moving air


    (3) explain verbally how a bubble can show the changing direction and/or speed of the wind.


      For each student:


      1 plastic cup, 5-6 oz.


      1 plastic bubble wand


      1 paper towel
      For the class:


      1 tub to carry the cups


      Bubble solution made up ahead of time (can be up to one week):

        8 cups water


        ½ cup liquid dishwashing detergent


        3 tsp. light corn syrup or glycerin


    Put all ingredients into a bottle and swirls do not shake


      1) Gather the students onto the rug. Tell them that today they will continue to explore air.


      2) The teacher will pour some bubble solution into a plastic cup. Then hold up the bubble solution and wand. Ask the students how they might use these two things together.


    3) Blow a bubble and ask the students what happens to the bubble after it is blown.

Establish: Tell the students that they will be going outside to explore bubbles more. Warn the students not to blow bubbles onto each other. Tell them the boundaries of where the exploring is to take place. Have them line up to go outside. Be sure to take all the needs materials outside with you. Once outside place the materials on the ground and move on to the explore phase.

Explore: Once outside the teacher will ask to students is they can feel the air on their faces or hands. Also the teacher will ask the students to tell where else the air is blowing. The teacher then passes out the wands and bubble solution and allow the students time to make discoveries about the air and bubbles (about 5-10 minutes).


      (1) Once the exploration has occurred the teacher will explain to the students that bubbles are filled with air.


      (2) The teacher will then ask the students if they know the term for air that is blowing (the definition of wind).


    (3) Finally the teacher will tell the students that bubbles show us which way and how fast the air is moving by which way and how fast the bubble goes.(This is a perfect time to review the directions of North, South, East, and West).

Enrich: It was not until the beginning of the 20th (1900-1909) century that bubbles were first sold as toys.


      1) Have the students explore how a bubble can show if air moves around corners.


      (2) Next, have the students show using their bubbles where the air is moving fast or slow.


      (3) Finally, have the students explore with their bubbles if air moves in a doorway.


    (4) The students will then return all materials back into the tub.


      (1) After the employ phase is complete have the students line back up to go inside. Once inside gather the students back to the rug for evaluation.


      (2) The teacher will ask the students what new terms need to be added to the word bank.


      (3) The teacher will then add the terms bubble and wind to the class word bank along with any other word(s) the students feel should be added.


      (4) The teacher will then ask three questions:

        (1) What is inside of a bubble?


        (2) What is air that is moving or blowing?


        (3) How do bubbles show the changes in air?


      (4) The teacher will record the students’ answers onto the What We Learned chart.

End: The teacher will hang both charts back up on the board and go over all the air related terms that the students have learned so far. The teacher will also review what the students have just explored and learned. Finally, the teacher will answer any student questions that still remain.

Extension Activities:

      1) Have the students experiment in groups about what happens to bubbles when they land on different objects or surfaces. Which objects or surfaces make the bubble pop and which do not. Have the students write or draw their answers.


      2) Have the students write one or two sentences and draw a picture of what they would see or do if they were a bubble blowing in the wind.


      3) If time allows have the students go to the website:


Technology Links:










    4) FOSS Kit on Air and Weather: Investigation 3: Wind Explorations, Part: 1 Bubbles in the Wind p.8-11 Lawrence Hall of Science, The Regents of the University of California copyright 2002


What Happened to your bubble?

Experiment with your partner, by blowing bubbles onto different surfaces: grass, clothing, your arm, etc. Then write which surfaces popped the bubbles and which did not under the correct categories.

Did Pop Didn’t Pop

What would you do?

Pretend that you are a bubble write two sentences, 1) is about what you would do. 2) The second is about what you would see. Underneath your sentences draw a picture of what you would do or see.

If I were a bubble I would


If I were a bubble I would see




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