Monday, March 31, 2014

Weather Study: Clouds

It's That Time of Year Again! Our firsties are studying all things weather. I love teaching weather units. Kids seem to be naturally interested in learning more about their environment, and weather is of particular interest to them at this point in the year. Spring has sprung (even if the weather has still been a bit on the chilly side recently), and there is much to discuss about different types of weather we could see in the coming months.

Today, I am sharing some of the activities we have used lately with our study of clouds, as well as links to some additional resources that may be helpful for you if you are teaching this topic as well. I will continue to share different aspects of our weather study, but it will take multiple posts to cover it all … there's so much to learn and do! :)

Now, about those clouds...

I started with two wonderful texts for teaching about weather -specifically when you want children to think about how clouds are formed and change. Both of these are great supplemental texts for teaching about clouds and the water cycle. 


Then, the students used finger-paint to mimic Eric Carle's illustrations in Little Cloud. We started with basic white paint on blue construction paper. The only rule was that they cover the blue space; no shapes or specific patterns were necessary. 

I was amazed by the individuality that still emerged among their finished paint smearings. You just cannot escape the uniqueness of childhood. 
We let the paint dry completely, and throughout the unit, the students pulled their painted pages to complete the following activity in a center.

The students walked outside and looked at the sky to find different shapes. Then, they returned to the classroom to recreate the shape with their painted paper. To coincide with their artwork, each student used the writing prompt "I looked up at the sky and thought a saw a _____ but it was just a cloud."

Here are a few finished samples:

Additionally, the students made these awesome little flip-books that focus on three different types of clouds. This was a great follow-up to their analysis of cloud shapes.

More to come on weather! :)