Celsius or Fahrenheit?


Why do some thermometers show two different temperatures? Create your own dual-scale thermometer.


1. Thermometers are instruments that measure temperature using Fahrenheit (F) and/or Celsius (C) scales. The freezing point of water is 32 degrees F and 0 degrees C. Compare thermometers with both scales. Then invent your own. Here are some ideas.

2. Draw a thermometer. Use Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils to draw a mercury-style thermometer on posterboard. Punch holes in the top and bottom. Mark F for the Fahrenheit side and a C for the Celsius side. Write in numerals and degree lines with a Crayola Fine Line Marker.

3. Decorate it. On construction paper, draw and color items that represent hot and cold weather such as snowflakes, penguins, or sunglasses. Cut them out with Crayola Scissors. Attach them to the poster with a Crayola Glue Stick. Design a border.

4. Add the "mercury." Measure and cut one red and one white ribbon that are each as long as the distance between the two holes. Tape one end of each color together. Thread through the holes and tape the other end.

5. What’s the temperature? Find out the current indoor or outside temperature. Display it on your thermometer.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.

String-Like Materials—Includes string, raffia, lacing, yarn, ribbon, and other similar material. Children 3 years and younger should not be given any string-like material that is longer than 12 inches. Close adult supervision is essential whenever children use string-like material. When crafts are to be worn around the necks of children 8 years and younger, attach the ends of the “string-like material” with clear adhesive tape, which allows easy release of the bond if the craft becomes entangled or caught on equipment. For children older than 8 years, the ends of the “string-like material” may be tied and knotted.


  • Research a third system of measurement (Kelvin). Create a chart depicting the uses of each system.
  • Draw outdoor scenes. Exchange papers with classmates and estimate the temperature.
  • Take daily temperature readings in Celsius and Fahrenheit at the same spot and at the same time. Plot a graph showing results.
  • Students with special needs may need assistance to assemble the thermometer.
  • Assessment: Exchange thermometers and ask students to verify accuracy of their markings.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

Share on Facebook


crayola supplies
  • Fine Line Markers
  • Erasable Colored Pencils
  • Glue Sticks
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Construction Paper
household supplies
  • posterboard
  • ribbon
  • clear adhesive tape



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Special Needs


  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students compare and contrast the two measurement scales of Fahrenheit and Celsius.

  • Students calculate the temperature using both measurements.

  • Students demonstrate their understanding of these systems by creating a dual-system thermometer showing both Fahrenheit and Celsius measurement.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards