Geography Functional Chapter 1 Experiment 5 Hot Air Rises

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  • Experiment 5: a proper tube (5" diameter cylinder, 10" high-with a hole near the top on one side and a hole near the bottom on the opposite side), clay, tin plate, incense and matches, and a tin can containing sand are needed.


  • Teacher should have conducted the First Great Lesson: God Who Has No Hands/The Universe Story before beginning these experiments.
  • Chapter 1 of Functional Geography is Formation of the Earth and includes Impressionistic Charts 1-6
  • Functional geography curriculum focuses on a presentation of the world in terms of the active and functioning processes affecting the earth as a planet in the sun's family. Geography examines the social and cultural contexts of the world while functional geography explores the geological and astronomical contexts of the earth in the universe.
  • When we teach functional geography to the child, we are both performing and recording with words and pictures the forces affecting our planet earth.
  • Functional Geography is presented to the child as an experiment which isolates a concept and then an impressionistic chart which makes a visual impression.


Experiment 5 is part of the FORMATION OF THE EARTH experiments: Now, we will talk about our earth. It was not always as it is today. The next experiments and charts (Charts 3, 4, and 5) show the phases through which the earth has gone. They show the earth before life was possible on it.

EXPERIMENT 5: Hot Air Rises When a gas is heated, it tends to go upwards. Once up, it cools and falls down again.

1. With clay, fix the base of the tube on the plate. 2. Light the incense. 3. Remove the two stoppers on the side of the tube. 4. Hold the incense near the lower hole and note the direction of the smoke. 5. Now take the tin can, heat it, and place it inside the tube, closing the tube completely. 6. After about five minutes, remove the stoppers on the side of the tube, and hold the lighted incense again near the lower hole. Note the direction of the smoke this time.

Record your observation:


(Hot air rises, and the empty space left is occupied by cold air.)



    The air is represented by angels, because angles with their wings are able to fly up and down. They are good beings which contribute to life. Therefore, they are represented as taking up hot air and bringing back ice. The earth is cooled in two complementary ways: warm air rising and cool air descending. This process takes thousands of years.
    In the beginning, earth, as well as the other planets, was an incandescent mass of gas. This mass of gas moved in infinite coldness. Little by little, the external part of the mass began to cool. As it cooled, it became harder. In fact, the tiny particles of hot gas, after rising, got colder and heavier and returned to the earth. In this way, the cooling process of the earth progressed. 

Control Of Error

Points Of Interest

The classified nomenclature is usually presented before the impressionistic charts and after the experiments, but can also be parallel to the charts. Since the classified nomenclature can be very long, it is not necessary to present all of the classified nomenclature before beginning the charts.


  • The Montessori methodology first gives the concept of the formation of the earth through experiments. These experiments are the key to giving the child the concrete verification that the universe is not a static universe, but one in which elements are in motion.


Usually, the teacher presents the experiment first, and the the child does it independently using the direction card for directions. With the older children, the experiments are presented in a more scientific way.