Thursday, January 5, 2012

Observing Clouds and Other Cloud Activities

 Observing Clouds

Scientists use the skill of OBSERVATION to learn about new things.

  • Take the students outside to OBSERVE and STUDY CLOUDS.
  • If binoculars are available students could also use the binoculars to observe the clouds.
  • Have students SKETCH pictures of the clouds that they observe in their science notebooks (or they could use drawing or computer paper).
  • Have students WRITE brief descriptions of the clouds observed or they could LIST some adjectives that describe the clouds.
  • If cameras are available have students take pictures of clouds.

    • Discuss with students that clouds are made up of water droplets in the atmosphere
    • Discuss the 3 BASIC types of clouds. (CUMULUS,CIRRUS, STRATUS)
                       Cumulus - puffy white clouds with a flat bottom   
                       Cirrus - wispy strands high in the sky
                       Stratus - thick horizontal layers of usually gray clouds that blanket the sky
    • If science books, cloud books, or the internet are available, students could view pictures and read about the different types of clouds.
    • Next have students view their sketches (from earlier) to see if they can IDENTIFY and  LABEL any of the clouds that they observed outside.

      Follow-up with some arts and crafts fun!
      • Students could tear pieces of white paper to look like the clouds they saw outside and glue the clouds on blue paper.
      • Student could use white cotton balls to make clouds on construction paper.
      • Students could illustrate and label pictures of the different types of clouds on drawing paper or in their science notebooks.

      Other Activities
      • Older students could download any pictures that they took with a camera. Then they could identify and sort the cloud pictures into the 3 BASIC types, and make a booklet or slide show with the cloud pictures.
      • Older students could research ALL the cloud types: cumulus, stratus, cirrus, nimbostratus, altostratus, cirrostratus, cumulonimbus, altocumulus, cirrocumulus, and stratocumulus. They could write a description for each type and find or sketch an illustration. They could make a poster, booklet, or slide show to demonstrate what they learned.
      • Students could view a slide show by Scholastic Study Jams about Clouds and Precipitation, then complete the online quiz
                         ~ Click here: Clouds and Precipitation Slide Show

      Have fun learning about clouds!

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