Grade: Elementary
Subject: Geography

#1467. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Geography, level: Elementary
Posted Thu Dec 30 16:19:04 PST 1999 by Susan Nixon (
Cartwright School, Phoenix USA
Materials Required: See lesson
Activity Time: See lesson
Concepts Taught: See lesson

Susan Nixon
AzGA Teacher - Consultant

Young students need to build a foundation for understanding of the 5 themes of geography. To help them build that foundation, primary teachers must find literature which brings the themes to their level. By building this foundation in the early grades, students will be able to use the themes in later grades to establish an understanding of geographic information.

This activity will help students understand how people depend on their environment (Human/Environment Interaction) and how movement of people brings changes (Movement).

CONNECTION TO THE CURRICULUM: (As part of an integrated unit)
Social Studies, Science, Language Arts, Math


TIME NEEDED: Three class periods

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett,
Aladdin Books (Macmillan)
writing journals
chart paper/big marker


Humans depend on their natural environment.
Humans adapt to their environment.
Humans move from place to place.


Students will list human needs and how we fulfill them.


Students will listen to the book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, focusing on what needs they
had and how their needs were met.

Students will list the needs of people in Chewandswallow.
Students will discuss how those needs were met.
Students will work in pairs to compare and contrast their own needs with those of the
people in the book. (Venn diagram)
Students will discuss how we meet our needs.


Monitor and adjust student discussions.
Students will write in journals on the topic, "Human needs and how we fill them." They will
list at least 3 basic needs and tell how they meet them.


Students may search through magazines and find pictures of people fulfilling basic needs. Cut
Out and make bulletin board collage. Students may choose to do a science fair project
using photographs they have taken of how people fulfill their needs.


Students will explain how people change to fit their environment.


Students will listen to the book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs a second time, focusing on
what the people in Chewandswallow do to meet their needs that is different from what we do.

Students will brainstorm some of the advantages and disadvantages of living in Chewandswallow. Record on chart paper.
Students will discuss how the people must have felt when they first moved from Chewandswallow
and realized that food would not fall from the sky.

Students will discuss the use the townspeople found for the enormous bread items which had
fallen from the sky.

Monitor and adjust student discussions.
Students will write a short paragraph explaining what was different in Chewandswallow and how
people survived in that environment. They will add a second paragraph explaining how the people of Chewandswallow had to change when they left the town and moved to a new environment.


Students may take pictures or draw pictures of things they find in their neighborhood or town which show how people have changed to fit the environment in which they live.

Students may view a video (National Geographic has several that would serve) and discuss the ways the people shown have changed to suit the environment.


Students will discover one reason why people move.


Students will listen to the book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, focusing on the move the
people of Chewandswallow made.

Students will sequence the events which forced the people to leave their town.
Students will discuss how the people met their need to leave Chewandswallow. What other
methods could they have used?

Students will compare their reasons for moving from one house to another, or one town to
another, with the reasons of the people in Chewandswallow.

Students will list the kinds of weather in our country that people might wish to escape by
moving. (hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, constant rain, heat, etc. Older students might
be interested in comparing what's happened in the Sahara as the drought there continued and
the desert expanded.)

Students will conclude that weather is one reasons people move from place to place.
Students will examine the impact the people of Chewandswallow might have had on their new home.

Students will discuss the question, "How has immigration affected our town?"


Monitor and adjust student discussions.
In their journals, students will write about how weather might affect people's lives and why they
would move because of it.


Students may conduct an interview with a parent or grandparent to discover when they moved to a new place and why.
Students may take a poll of fellow students to find out how many times they have moved. Graph the results.


Students may draw an imaginary map showing the land mass of Chewandswallow, the water crossed and the new land mass they built on.
Students may write radio, television, or newspaper accounts of the strange weather occurrences in Chewandswallow.
Students may discuss and write about problems which may have occurred as a result of no sanitation, oversized food, rotting food, etc. Health concerns, accidents, and emergency vehicles not being able to move might be three problems they could address.
Older students might write diary entries showing how the fear of the townspeople grew as the lives they had always known and depended on changed.