Activity Plan 4-5: A Cloudy Project
Although the subject matter is cloudy, children will clearly gain more understanding about weather with this "look up and learn" activity.
- Grades: PreK–K
- book about clouds such as The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola (Scholastic Inc.)
- camera and film
- outdoor thermometer
- chart paper
- drawing and writing materials
Objective: Children will develop observational, language, math, and science concepts as they study cloud formations and weather.
Curriculum Connection: MOVEMENT
Cloud Dances. Invite children to create interpretive dances about different types of clouds. How do cumulus, cirrus, and nimbus clouds move? What type of music would best represent the different types of clouds?
- Read a book about clouds to children, followed by a discussion about the information presented in the book. Encourage children to share any additional information about clouds.
- Invite children to do a two-week study to learn more about clouds. Also explain that they will make a daily observation chart to record information about clouds, temperature, and weather conditions and will photograph the sky each day.
- Set aside time to go outdoors each day and observe cloud formations and weather conditions. You can also do both a morning and afternoon observation. Work with the group to create a chart to record observations. Encourage children to observe the color of the sky, shapes of the clouds, weather conditions such as windy, cold, rain, or hot, and the temperature. Remember that children also love to use their imagination when observing cloud formations, so invite them to describe images that they may see in the cloud formations.
- Introduce children to a few of the scientific names for clouds and encourage them to use these names on their observation charts. (Cumulus clouds are fluffy or bubbly round masses often found on warm, humid days. Cirrus clouds are thin and wispy clouds found on fair-weather days. Nimbus clouds are dark, low clouds that hold rain.)
- At the end of their two-week study, assist children in summarizing their observations. What types of clouds appeared more often? How did temperature or weather conditions affect cloud formations? Were there days when there were no visible cloud formations? How did wind conditions affect the movement of clouds? Include children's writings and drawings about their cloud study to create a display to document the project.