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On Cloud Nine - A Lesson Plan About Clouds

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Objectives:

  • The students will be able to explain what a cloud is.

  • The students will learn about the different types of clouds.

  • The students will be able to describe the characteristics of each type of cloud.

  • The students will be able to explain how a cloud forms.

Questions that encompasses the objective:

  • Think about clouds. What do you think a cloud feels like?

  • What do you think a cloud is made out of?

Prepare the Learner: Activating Prior Knowledge. 

How will students prior knowledge be activated?

Warm up by asking students:

  • What do you know about clouds?

Common Core State Standards:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.4

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2 B

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.4

Materials and Free Resources to Download for this Lesson: 

Experiment adapted from: the website gift of curiosity at http://www.giftofcuriosity.com/make-a-rain-cloud-in-a-jar/

Unit Resources:

Input:
What is the most important content in this lesson?
To reach this lesson’s objective, students need to understand:

  • How clouds are formed.

  • There are five different types of clouds.

  • Each cloud type plays a role in determining the weather.

How will the learning of this content be facilitated?

  • After the video discussion is over, the teacher will begin presenting the information on weather. If it is possible, project each page of the teacher’s copy of the “All About Weather” Science Journal worksheet onto the board using a projector or put into a PowerPoint document and project.  The teacher’s copy of the journal has certain words/phrases that are bolded red and highlighted. It is important the teacher explain to the students those words/phrases are to be highlighted in their (students) journal. For this lesson, the teacher should review these pages:

  • Page 23: Life Cycle of a Cloud

** This page reviews the life cycle of a cloud, including what clouds are made up of**

  • Pages 24-25: Types of Clouds

**These pages review the different types of clouds, characteristics of each cloud, and the role each cloud plays in the weather**

  • Page 26: Why Does it Rain?

**This page reviews what causes rain**

  • After the information has been presented, the teacher should instruct the students to close their science journals. The teacher should introduce game “Name That Cloud!”. On the board, the teacher should affix the “Cloud Name” cards onto the board. On a desk in the front of the classroom, the teacher should have the “Types of Clouds” cards. The teacher should show the students each card and have them identify the cloud. The teacher should choose a student to come up to the front of the classroom and place the picture card in the correct sky.

  • After the game is over, the teacher will introduce the experiment “Rain Cloud in a Jar”. The teacher should instruct the students to break into groups of four. Each group will get a “How Many Drops?” experiment sheet, a jar, a cup of water (1/2 cup), shaving cream, a plastic cup with dyed-blue water (1/4 cup), and a pipette. The students should first fill out column one on the experiment sheet. Next the students should pour the ½ cup of water into the jar and spray shaving cream on the top (“shaving cream cloud”). Next, the students should begin dropping some of the blue-dyed water onto the shaving cream. The students should keep track as to how many drops it takes before the cloud becomes saturated and “rains”. Allow the students about 15 minutes to work in their groups. Reconvene and discuss what they learned once all the groups have finished.

  • Closure

    • For the closure, the teacher should review the vocabulary and revisit any topics that were confusing for the students.

    • Next, they should work on the “What I Learned About Clouds” worksheet.

Time/Application
3-5 minutes
Guided Introduction

Review the class/ agenda with the students:

10 minutes

Video: “Where Do Clouds Come From?”

20 Minutes

Life Cycle of a Cloud | Types of Clouds | Why Does it Rain?

  • Instruct the students to open to page 16 in their science journals.

  • Project each page of the science journal onto the board either through a projector or PowerPoint presentation.

  • The teacher copy has bolded red and highlighted words. The students will highlight those words in their science journal.

  • Begin presenting the information. The pages that will be presented include: pages 23-26.

20 Minutes

Experiment: “Rain Cloud in a Jar”

  • Instruct the students to break into groups of four.

  • Give each group a “How Many Drops?” experiment sheet, a jar, a cup of water (1/2 cup), shaving cream, a plastic cup with dyed-blue water (1/4 cup), and a pipette.

  • Instruct the students should to fill out column one on the experiment sheet.

  • Next the students should pour the ½ cup of water into the jar and spray shaving cream on the top (“shaving cream cloud”).

  • Next, the students should begin dropping some of the blue-dyed water onto the shaving cream.

  • The students should keep track as to how many drops it takes before the cloud becomes saturated and “rains”. The students should fill in column two.

  • Allow the students about 15 minutes to work in their groups.

  • Reconvene and discuss once all the groups have finished.

10 minutes

Closure

  • For the closure, the teacher should review the vocabulary and revisit any topics that were confusing for the students.

  • Next, they should work on the “What I Learned About Clouds” worksheet.


Individualized Instruction/Scaffolding

English Language Learners will be supported in this lesson through data-based heterogeneous grouping, verbal and written repetition of new vocabulary words, and multiple representation of vocabulary words through printed images and video.

Ecosystems, Biomes, and Habitats PowerPoint and Activities