Grade: Elementary
Subject: Science

#190. Weather/Clouds

Science, level: Elementary
Posted by Jannie Sneed (
University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Materials Required: Overhead, paper, picture of clouds
Activity Time: 30-45 min.

Jannie Sneed
Science Activity

Subject: Weather
Strand: Clouds
Unit: Changes in the Weather

Objectives: TLW Define the four types of clouds; Stratus, Cumulus, Cumulonimbus, and
Stratus clouds
Describe what clouds are made of

Set: How many of you like to go outside? Have you ever stopped and noticed the
things that are in the sky? What things are in the sky? Today we are going to talk about clouds.

Statement of Objectives: Today we are going to learn about clouds, how they are formed,
and the four main types of clouds.

Instruction: Clouds are particles of water or ice that is suspended in the air. The particles are spread out from each other and are above the Earth's surface. When these particles begin to come together they form a cloud. The particles, or droplets, come together to make even bigger water droplets. When the droplets get too big and heavy for the cloud to hold they fall to the Earth as rain.
The color of a cloud also let's us know how much water is in it. High, dark clouds cause the heaviest downpours. (Cloud definitions are on the overhead) These are called Cumulonimbus clouds. They often turn into rain storm clouds in the summer. They are flat and dark on bottom and billow upward. Thunder and lightning often accompany them.
Then there is the Cirrus cloud. They are the highest clouds, about 50- 55,000 ft. Above the Earth. They form feathery wisps and are made of ice crystals.
The next cloud is the Cumulus Cloud. They are whit and puffy, and are about 5,000 ft. Above the Earth. They sometimes look like huge puffs of cotton.
The last clouds that we are going to learn about today is the Stratus clouds. They are made of low layers of clouds that usually cover the whole sky. They are fog-like and are in flat layers. They bring gray days.

Practice: Students are to go to the window (or outside) and to look at the clouds. Students are to draw a picture of what they saw and also to describe it, on paper provided by the teacher.

One More Time: Use over head and the picture of clouds. Ask the students to describe the cloud that is on the overhead.