Cloud Activities

Age Range: 7 - 11
By: Craig Gill

Clouds can be used as a stimulus for a number of activities. These might include:

1) Cloud Spotting - Teach the children about the different types of clouds, as part of work on the weather. When they are familiar with the cloud names, you can ask them (in the playground, looking through the classroom window or on school visits) to make a note of the type of cloud which they can see.

2) Cloud Survey - The above activity can be extended and carried out over a number of days / weeks. The children can record the types of cloud that they see at certain times each day and record their findings. These can then be used to draw conclusions about the most common cloud type that they have seen, and the data could also be put into a spreadsheet program on the computer to create some charts/graphs which show the data visually.

3) The Water Cycle - These cloud pictures can be used as an introduction to the topic of the water cycle. Show the children the pictures and ask them what they are. What are they made of? How were they formed? How do they affect humans and other life on the ground?

4) The Water Cycle (part 2) - When the children have learnt about the water cycle, they could make a display showing what happens to the water. These cloud pictures (if printed) could be included on that display.

5) The Water Cycle - Assessment - Print the cloud pictures, and also find some other pictures showing the different features of the water cycle (rain, puddles, rivers, sea etc.). Cut them out and ask the children to arrange them so that the arrangement shows the water cycle. They can also label their pictures and explain the processes by which the water changes state. This would be a very good activity to assess the children's understanding of the topic.

These ideas were contributed by another visitor:

Have students draw illustrations of the clouds present on various days during the week. They are to compare the clouds drawn to photographs of clouds.That will help them identify the cloud type easier. Students should also give a description of the clouds, using other objects as references.They will then compare their descriptions with that which the teacher will provide. The final stage is for students to record the weather conditions associated with each type of cloud present for the next two weeks. The teacher will then supply proper descriptions which the students will compare.

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