The Weather and its Clouds
Students will be able to identify the different types of clouds and the associated weather with each type.
- Invite students to the carpet for a read aloud.
- Explain to the class that today’s science lesson will be about weather, with a focus on clouds.
- Read aloud W is for Wind: A Weather Alphabet by Pat Michaels.
- Stop to point out the letters that focus on different types of clouds. (Tip: To maintain lesson pace, speed up the read aloud during parts of the book where the information is not as pertinent to today’s lesson about clouds.)
- Allow students to share with a partner what they found most interesting from the book after the read aloud is complete.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Introduce students to the vocabulary for today’s lesson.
- Share the definition of cumulus (fluffy clouds that are white on the top and gray on the bottom that you can see on a nice day), stratus (low, gray sheets of clouds that can produce light rain), cirrus (thin, wispy clouds that are white and light gray and sometimes indicate that rain is coming), cumulonimbus (dense, white towering clouds that can become darker when a storm is approaching), and stratocumulus (low, puffy lines of clouds that are light or dark gray and can mean a storm is coming).
- Display the words and definitions, along with visuals.
- Show the All About Clouds for Kids: Types and Names of Clouds video to review the types of clouds and give visuals to accompany the definitions.
- Explain to students that we can determine the weather by looking at the clouds in the sky.
Guided Practice(30 minutes)
- Divide the class into five groups.
- Assign each group a type of cloud that has been studied today (cirrus, stratus, cumulus, cumulonimbus, stratocumulus).
- Explain to the class that the goal of this task is to research one type of cloud in order to become an expert. After the information has been acquired, each group will receive supplies in order to create a visual to present to the class about the cloud type.
- Give each group a resource in order to research that type of cloud. (Tip: Use the suggested book titles or provide students with access to the internet, library, or encyclopedias for research.)
- Allow groups time to research and gather information about their type of cloud.
- Hand out a marker and a piece of construction paper, chart paper, or poster board to each group so they can create their presentation visual.
- Circulate and support students as they pick out the important information to share about their type of cloud.
- Allow groups to present their information to the rest of the class.
Independent working time(10 minutes)
- Distribute a copy of the Stratocumulus Cloud worksheet, Cirrus Cloud worksheet, Cumulonimbus Cloud worksheet, Cumulus Clouds worksheet, and the Stratus Clouds worksheet to each student.
- Give a piece of construction paper to each student.
- Inform students that they will be making a Cloud Book with the worksheets and information that they learned today about the different clouds. They will use what they learned about the clouds to color, or shade, them accurately to depict what they look like in the sky and what weather they accompany.
- Explain to students that the construction paper will serve as a book cover.
- Direct students to fold the construction paper in half and place the five cloud worksheets inside it neatly.
- Go around the room and staple the book for each student. (Tip: Allow students to decorate the front cover of the Cloud Book after they have completed coloring the cloud worksheets.)
- Frontload the vocabulary for English Language Learners and provide visuals with each term.
- Provide sentence stems on the exit ticket. (The ____ cloud looks ____. When this cloud is in the sky, the weather is ____. Another fact about the cloud is ____ .)
- Allow reluctant writers to draw and label a visual, instead of writing sentences in the exit ticket, that depicts the type of cloud and weather associated with it.
- Encourage advanced students to research other types of clouds and create a presentation about the similarities and differences between clouds, categorizing them into different types of weather that accompany clouds.
- Distribute a blank sheet of paper, which will serve as an exit ticket, to each student.
- Instruct them to write three sentences about a cloud they learned about today and to include a drawing.
- Use this exit ticket as a formative assessment to determine if students understand the connection between cloud type and weather that accompanies it.
Review and closing(3 minutes)
- Assign students into A-B partnerships.
- Instruct student A to speak for one minute about what types of clouds are in the sky at the current time and what that means for the weather. Remind student B to listen carefully during this time.
- Instruct student B to either agree or disagree with student A about the clouds in the sky and the weather that accompanies those clouds and explain why.
- Gather students’ attention and call on nonvolunteers to share what was discussed in partnerships.