What You Need
- two heavyweight paper plates
- crayon or a colored marker
- pointed scissors
- small stones
- unsharpened pencil with an eraser
- 4-inch piece of yarn
- straight drinking straw
- oak tag
- straight pin
What to Do
- On the bottom of one of the plates, use a ruler to draw two lines
perpendicular to each other. The lines should cross in the center
of the plate. Then, going in a clockwise direction, mark N, E, S, and
W at the ends of the lines.
- With the point of a scissors, punch a hole in the center of the
plate. (You may want to do this for students.)
- Place a small mound of clay in the center of the other plate.
Surround the clay with a few small stones. Then place the first
plate upside down on top of the plate holding the clay, and tape
the edges of the plates together. (See diagram.)
- Push the pencil through the hole and set its end into the clay. The
pencil's eraser should be at the top.
- Tape one end of the yarn to the pencil, about 2 inches down from
the eraser. (This will help you see the direction the wind is
- Cut two triangles, about 1 inch on each side, from oak tag. Cut a
slit in each end of the straw and push one triangle into each slit.
Tape the triangles in place.
- Push the pin through the straw halfway along its length and press
the pin into the pencil eraser.
- Put the wind vane on a flat surface outside. Use a compass to find
north, and position the wind vane with the “N” pointing north. If
you don't have a compass, there is an easy trick to find north.