Class of Activity:
- Exploratory for cloud categories
- Application of observation skills
- Reference material about clouds -- books, posters, pictures, web sites, etc.
- Overhead projector
- Transparencies and markers.
- Class computer with Internet access attached to TV monitor (A classroom
computer plugged into a wall-mounted monitor allows the entire class to
view any Internet pictures available)
- The previous day's lesson covers qualitative observation as a science process skill.
- At the beginning of class, each group of 4 students will be assigned two cloud
categories to research and prepare. Groups will be given 30 minutes to determine and
list characteristics of cloud types. Each group will write main points on a
transparency to share with the class, and will find pictures to illustrate their
assigned clouds. Attention will be paid to the qualitative characteristics of the
cloud types -- height, appearance, type of weather associated.
- Groups will present their information to the class--each student will have a guided
outline to fill in various cloud characteristics (attached). Posters of clouds and
web site photographs displayed on the monitor will provide visual backup.
Teacher will make sure that all important information has been included by the
presenting groups, and that distinction is made between high, medium and low
- Groups will finish presenting information to the class if not completed the first day.
- Students working within their groups of 4 will help each other study for a cloud
- A cloud identification quiz will be given. Students will take the quiz as a group
activity and will compete for group points.
This should take no more than 10 minutes.
- The class will go outside to observe and determine the type of clouds
present on that day.
- A final quick review of cloud types will lead to a brief explanation
of how identifying cloud types fits with the S'COOL program to be
- References and Background Information
- The "PCS Meteorology Program Cloud Boutique" has good concise cloud descriptions and
- Other useful references are:
Moore, Karen Wenning, 1992. Weather Classroom. Atlanta: The Weather Channel Education Services.
Weather or Not?, 1989. Washington: National Air and Space Museum.
- Evaluation Tool
- Student presentations and results of the cloud identification quiz will
provide formative evaluation about student understanding of cloud types.
- The quiz will consist of identification of cloud pictures printed onto inkjet
transparencies and shown on the overhead projector. The "PCS Meteorology Program Cloud Boutique" is
one excellent source of cloud pictures, but many others may be found
through the S'COOL web site.
- No grade book grade for this activity is planned since it is a small part of a much
larger unit on scientific investigation. However, the quiz could be
structured as an actual grade if necessary.
- Extension Activities
- Students can collect magazine photographs or personal photographs and
identify cloud types shown on the photographs.
- Students can research specialized clouds such as cap clouds or lenticular clouds.