Thunder and Lightning
Lightning is electricity. In effect, positive charges and negative charges collect in different parts of a cloud — no one really knows exactly how. When enough charges collect, there is a bolt of lightning as the electricity travels between areas of opposite charge. Lightning can flow between clouds or from the cloud to the ground. The lightning jumps through the air, heating the air and making it expand. The air then quickly contracts again as it cools. This movement of air makes the sound wave called thunder. Thunder storms are not uncommon in late summer in this country but in warmer parts of the world they are much more frequent and can be a real problem. There are several interesting videos to help teaching about thunder storms and lots of sites have sets of interesting facts!
Science Made Easy offers this video:
Weather Wiz Kids – Asks What is Lightning? This page has lots of information about different sorts of lightning as well as the causes.
Science for Kids – Offers a good explanation about the causes of Thunder and lightning.
Science Kids – Provides a page of Thunder Facts “Enjoy our fun thunder facts for kids. Learn the difference between thunder and lightning, how thunder is created, what philosophers used to think created thunder and much more.”(Science Kids) This is a great page full of interesting facts!
Easy Science for Kids – Offers a page about thunder and lightning with an interesting lightning diagram showing the lightning channel. It also has a quiz, and freely downloadable worksheets on this page. In addition, it also has a thunder and lightening fill-in-the-blanks quiz and word search at the link below:
Hoopla Kids TV offers this useful video:
Poetry for Kids – Offers a thunder and lightning poem
National Geographic – This site has a very visual video of lightning but it is quite difficult language. Suitable for year 5 and 6; sadly there is an advert at the start.