Grade: 3-5
Subject: Science

#1020. Clouds: Cumulus, Cirrus, and Stratus

Science, level: Elementary
Posted Wed Apr 21 10:18:57 PDT 1999 by David Dooley (
NAU (pre-service teacher), Flagstaff, USA
Materials Required: construction paper, The Cloud Book, cotton balls, black markers, glue, pictures of clouds
Activity Time: 30-35 minutes
Concepts Taught: knowing the three basic types of clouds and what they look like

Weather: Clouds

Rationale: Students need to be familiar with and have a better understanding of the different types of clouds.

Objective: To teach students about the three basic cloud types: cumulus, stratus, and cirrus. The students will be able to identify and draw an example of each type of cloud.

Curriculum Areas Integrated: The curriculum area that will be integrated with this lesson is art. Art will be integrated by having the students draw an make their own clouds using cotton balls and construction paper.

1. The book The Cloud Book by Tomie de Paola
2. 1 piece of blue construction paper for each student
3. approximately 15 cotton balls for each student
4. glue
5. pencils

1. I will read the book, The Cloud Book to the students.
2. I will then ask the students if any of them have seen the types of clouds discussed in the book.
3. I will show the students pictures of a cumulus, stratus, and cirrus cloud that I got off of the internet so they have a good idea of what the clouds look like.
4. I will then explain to the students that they will be making their own clouds using construction paper and cotton balls.
5. I will draw on the board an example of each different type of cloud that the students need to make.
6. I will demonstrate how to use the cotton balls to make a simple cloud so the students know what they are supposed to.
7. I will tell the students that they need to draw the clouds before they begin gluing the cotton balls down so they do not start gluing randomly.
8. I will tell the students that they need to make an example of all three main types of clouds: cumulus, cirrus, and stratus on their construction paper and label them.
9. The students will then begin making their clouds and I will walk around and help students that need it and make sure they are making the clouds right.
10. After everyone has finished making their clouds, I will ask for a few volunteers to share their clouds with the class.

Closure: By looking at the clouds the students made, I will be able to see if the students understood the lesson and if they know what the three main cloud types look like.

Planning for Individual Success: All of the students should benefit from this lesson because all three of the learning modalities are addressed. The auditory modality was addressed when I read the book to the students. The visual modality was addressed when I showed the students pictures of clouds. The kinesthetic modality was addressed when the students made their own clouds.