In our Precipitation lesson plan, students learn all about various types of precipitation and how they differ. Students will discover facts about rain, snow, hail, freezing rain, and sleet. They will also figure out how to differentiate among the various types.

It is likely that students know the term precipitation, but they may not know or understand the conditions that are necessary for each type to occur. You could explore the “Options for Lesson” section for ideas and activities that you can incorporate into the lesson if you have time or want to extend it.

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What our Precipitation lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Precipitation teaches students about this important step in the water cycle. Students will learn about and compare rain, snow, hail, freezing rain, and sleet. They will also discover how to differentiate among the different types of precipitation. This lesson is for students in 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. For the activity, you will need poster boards or construction paper, scratch paper, and colored pencils or markers.

Options for Lesson

There are a number of suggestions in the “Options for Lesson” section that you could incorporate into your lesson if you have time or want to extend it. Regarding the activity, you could have students work in pairs or small groups rather than alone. Another option is to invite a meteorologist to speak to the class. Depending on the season when you present this lesson, you could take the students outdoors when it’s raining or snowing lightly. Have students observe the water drops or snowflakes as they fall. One more idea is to have students write a story from the perspective of a raindrop, snowflake, or other type of precipitation.

Teacher Notes

The paragraph on this page gives you a little more information on the lesson overall and describes what you may want to focus your teaching on. It suggests teaching this lesson in conjunction with others about the weather, water cycle, and so on. You could also take advantage of video resources to supplement learning. The blank lines are available for you to write out any thoughts or ideas you have as you prepare.


The Precipitation lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one will help students solidify their grasp of the material they learned throughout the lesson. You can refer to the classroom procedure guidelines to know when to hand out each worksheet.


Students will imagine that a snowstorm and a rainstorm are happening at the same time either in their town, an area with lots of trees, or an open field. They will draw a picture that demonstrates the five main types of precipitation, which they will label correctly. In addition, they should add other details, such as buildings, trees, houses, flooding, and so on.

They can use the empty box at the bottom of the page as scratch paper to sketch a rough draft. When they are happy with their drawing, they will complete the final picture on the poster board or construction paper you provide. Students will pair up to present and explain their drawings to another student.


The practice worksheet divides into two sections. For the first section, students will label facts according to the type of precipitation they represent. The five types are rain (R), snow (S), hail (H), freezing rain (F), or sleet (T). On the second part, students will answer seven questions based on what they learned throughout the lesson. (You can choose whether or not you allow them to use the content pages for reference.)


Like the practice worksheet, the homework assignment has multiple sections. First, students will look at seven pictures and decide which type of precipitation they represent. The second section requires them to fill in the blanks for five sentences. There is a word bank with five terms from which to choose the correct option. Finally, students will provide one advantage and one disadvantage each for rain, snow, dew, and frost in the table.

Worksheet Answer Keys

The lesson plan includes answer keys for the practice and homework worksheets at the end of the document. All the correct answers are in red to make it easy to compare them to students’ work. However, there will be some variation on students’ responses on the final section of the homework assignment. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information




1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade

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Good Resources for information

It helped me plan a short unit on precipitation

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I’ve used a number of these lesson plans for helping homeschool our grandson during the pandemic. Excellent material and real science - no myths, mumbo-jumbo or pseudoscience. I really appreciate that. I try to group 3 lesson plans together as a unit and it works very well for us. We also usually watch a few YouTube videos. Your videos don’t directly correspond to the lesson plans, but that’s pretty minor considering what I’m getting for the price! I do wish I were able to contribute more than the small donation I left for you a few weeks ago. Thanks again - T

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