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Activity Number 6 - Building A Weather Instrument


To make a wind streamer for use as a wind vane to discover from which direction the wind is blowing.


  • large paper plate
  • magic marker
  • scissors
  • crepe paper streamers
  • coloured pencils or felt pens
  • paste or tape
  • the Sky Watchers logo, Cloudy, on the next page

Note: if you have your students working in teams, you may want to photocopy Cloudy and have each team make a wind streamer.


To make the wind streamer, have each team follow these steps:

  1. Cut out the Sky Watchers logo along the black circle and colour it (optional).
  2. Draw a cross on the bottom of the paper plate.
  3. Cut a hole 2.5 centimetres by 2.5 centimetres at each of the four ends of the cross about 1.5 centimetres from the edge of the plate.
  4. Using the crepe paper, cut four streamers about 2 metres in length.
  5. Thread one end of a streamer through one of the holes in the plate. Pull the streamer through until the ends are even.
  6. Using the 2 ends, tie a knot in the streamer tight against the plate. You should now have 2 lengths of crepe paper hanging freely from the plate.
  7. Now repeat this step until all 4 holes have streamers in them.
  8. Write in capital letters N(north), E(east), S(south), and W(west) next to each hole.
  9. Paste or tape the Sky Watcher logo in the middle on the top of the plate.

To use the wind streamer, take your class outside and have each team do the following (you may want to take a compass):

  1. Find an area outside where there are no buildings or woods to interfere with the wind, a hill for instance or a playing field.
  2. Hold the wind streamer in front of you so that the plate is parallel with the ground and your thumb is on top of the plate near the letter S.
  3. Turn the plate so that the N on your wind streamer is facing north. You can find north the first time using a compass or look for a landmark, such as lake or building which is to the north.

Discussion Points

Watch to see which direction the wind blows the streamers. For example, if the streamers are blowing toward the south, then the wind is coming from the north. Winds are always named for the direction they're blowing from. In this case, the student would report a north wind.

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