Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

by Mark Warner

Buy This Book * More books by Judi Barrett

Imagine if food fell from the sky like rain…wouldn’t it be great? Or would it? This is what happened in the tiny town of Chewandswallow. In many ways it was much the same as any other small town, except for the weather…which came three times a day, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes it rained soup and juice, or snowed mashed potatoes, once or twice it even blew up a storm of hamburgers. Life was pretty delicious in Chewandswallow…until the weather took a turn for the worse!

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Make a list of as many different types of food that you can think of.
  • Use a thesaurus to think of words that describe how food can taste.
  • Look at the illustrations and think of some speech / thought bubbles for the characters.
  • Grandpa makes up the story of Chewandswallow after something that happened over breakfast that morning. Can you think of a story based on something that has happened to you recently?
  • Think about where the food comes from in Chewandswallow. Can you write a story that explains why it all comes from the sky?
  • How would it change your life if all of your food came from the sky. What would be the advantages / disadvantages of raining food?!
  • Plan a menu for the food that might fall from the sky over the coming days.
  • Write the newspaper article about the record-breaking fall of spaghetti.
  • Write a diary entry from the point of view of a resident of Chewandswallow the day before they had to leave.
  • Write a new ending for the book, in which the people don’t leave the town. What might happen instead?
  • Imagine that you were asked to return to Chewandswallow a year after everybody left. Write the story (in the first person) that explains what you might find there when you go back.
  • Can you think of some similes / metaphors that involve food, e.g. as green as pea soup, as slippery as melting butter.
  • Watch the film version of this book. Which do you prefer?
  • Make a list of similarities and differences between the book and the film(see Resources below).


  • Use a sorting diagram to sort food into different groups (Healthy / unhealthy? Nice / horrible tastes? Natural / processed?).


  • Make a recipe for your favourite meal. What ingredients do you need? How do you make / cook it?
  • Plan some healthy / unhealthy meals for the people of Chewandswallow to eat.
  • Explore what happens to food when it is left. Use this as the starting point for learning about micro-organisms.
  • The people use bread to form rafts when they leave. Think of materials that will / will not float and make some rafts with these to test them.


  • Use a painting program to draw a picture of the unusual weather in Chewandswallow.
  • Make a menu for the food that might fall over the next few days.
  • Could you plan a computer game based on the book / film?

Design Technology

  • Design some machines that will help clear up the food that is left on the streets of the town.
  • Design some buildings / vehicles made entirely of different types of food.


  • Look at the illustration of soup, peas and hamburgers raining on the town of Chewandswallow. Could you make your own picture like this, with different types of food raining over the silhouette of a town below?
  • Look at the use of colours within the illustrations. When have black / white images been used? When was colour used? Could you create your own illustrations using these colours?


  • Make a script for a weather forecast for the people of Chewandswallow.
  • Draw a map of Chewandswallow based on the illustrations / information in the book.
  • Use your map of Chewandswallow and draw on weather symbols to show the foods that might fall from the sky there.
  • Think of different types of weather and make real weather forecast for your local area. You could look on a weather forecast and use their summary to write your own script.
  • In Chewandswallow there are no food stores. Use a map to plot the location of the food stores in your area. What might be there if we didn’t need to use food shops?


  • People around the world don’t have equal access to food. Can you find out about a charity that helps to provide food to people who need it? Could you plan a fundraising activity to support them?


Comparing Books and Movies

Comparing Books and Movies

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Thara 18 October 2023 - 9:55 PM


This is a great list of ideas in order to start off with. We did a character profile for the main characters in the story. I asked them to give me a prediction half way during the entire reading. Best wishes. I spent half of one timetabled lesson discussing the differences between stories and the real world too.

As well as that this is what I did. I divided the children into pairs for the following tasks. They had to rewrite the whole story with my support and general advice. After that I got the entire class to dress up as a character and act out the lines in three groups of four. I filmed them at their efforts.

That was fun. They were instructed to consider things like the tone of their own voice in question. That was fun. Seriously. I led a classic question and answer exercise. They had to brainstorm six questions to ask the author. In the very next lesson we set them out in a handwritten letter. Literature is fun.

I wrote them down. I eventually mailed the final letter to the author’s home myself however. With my nice advice they produced a book review and learnt about the use of colours. I prepared a list of interesting adjectives to use. To wrap up the unit study we invited the author in for a talk. I then asked him to sign copies of his book at school. Fun times.

Mark Warner 19 October 2023 - 8:06 AM

That sounds fantastic, Thara. Thanks for sharing!


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