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Activity Overview

All types of precipitation are made of mainly water (H2O), but can contain other substances. An example of precipitation that is not pure water is acid rain, which can be caused when sulfur dioxide is released after burning coal. The sulfur dioxide can dissolve in clouds, turning the water acidic. This then causes the pH of the rainwater to decrease. The state (solid or liquid) in which the precipitation falls depends on atmospheric conditions such as temperature and pressure.

In this activity, students will identify and describe different types of precipitation. They should focus on the main four, but may also describe acid rain and diamond dust, which is another form of precipitation which occurs sometimes in locations that are very cold. Diamond dust is composed of very small ice crystals that reflect light as they fall through the air, appearing like specks of diamond.

Types of Precipitation

  • Hail
  • Sleet and Freezing Rain
  • Snow
  • Rain

To further your students’ understanding about how water moves on our planet, check out our resources on the Water Cycle.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-6

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a spider map that shows examples of the different types of precipitation.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify four different types of precipitation and write them as the titles of the cells
  3. Create a visualization or find an image on Photos for Class to illustrate your idea.
  4. Write a description under each cell.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Types of Precipitation
Write a description of the type of precipitation and find images for each one.
25 Points
13 Points
0 Points
Types of Precipitation
Four types of precipitation have been correctly identified.
At least three types of precipitation have been correctly identified.
At least two types of precipitation have been correctly identified.
Every precipitation type has a correct image.
At least three precipitation types have a correct image.
At least two precipitation types have a correct image.
All the precipitation types have a clear description which contains good scientific vocabulary.
At least three the precipitation types have a clear description.
At least two precipitation types have a clear description.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

More Storyboard That Activities for

Weather and Climate

Image Attributions
  • Hail • Steam Pipe Trunk Distribution Venue • License Attribution (
  • IMG_0368 • tux0racer • License Attribution (
  • Sleet • journeyguy • License Attribution (
  • Snowing! • janetmck • License Attribution (

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