Clouds! Clouds! Clouds!

Title: Clouds! Clouds! Clouds!
Subject: Language Arts and Science
Grade Level: 1/2 grade -- April
Teacher of Lesson: Gina Chung
Approximate Time: 45 minutes to an hour

Background Information

As students will be studying a unit on weather, there will be a strong emphasis on clouds. This lesson is the beginning of that focus, as an introduction to the different types of clouds and the weather that follows them. The lesson begins by reading a literature book, by a favorite childrenŐs author, and a student-generated list of information; then the students will create their own cloud book (first, a gathering of the children at the "carpet;" second, the students at their desks, in table groups).




Anticipatory Set -- Earlier in the day, read the story to the whole class, pointing out the different picture of clouds in the book. Create interest in the students that they are going to make their own cloud books later on during the day. Also, add that whenever they are outside (recess), they should take a look at the clouds in the sky and which kind they look like.
  1. Gather the children at the "carpet" area to discuss the book they read earlier that day. If necessary, read the story to the children a second time. Ask students if they remember any names of the different clouds or what kinds of clouds they noticed outdoors. Write them on the board.
  2. Show the index at the back of the book. Explain the purpose and convenience of the index. Go back into the story, using the index, to concentrate on cloud names, descriptions, and what kind of weather follows that type of cloud. Have students say the names of the clouds with you.
  3. Close the book and ask students to name and describe the different types of clouds they can remember. Using chalk on the board, sketch a rough symbol or description next to the name of the cloud. Encourage students to say the names with you, to reinforce the pronunciation.
  4. Still in the large group, tell students they will be making their own cloud books. Show them how to fold the strip of blue paper into an accordion. Explain where they need to create a cover and their name (and copyright date). Next, give explanations of what they are going to do on each page: On the bottom half of each booklet page, name and write a description of a different type of cloud (out of the 10 names in the book, they should make a page for 6 different clouds). On the top half of the page, create a picture of the different clouds using cotton, glue, and crayons/markers. Show students how to pull the cotton to get the effect they desire.
  5. Emphasize that students have to write the names and descriptions in the book first, so that you can go around and check understanding, before they glue down the cotton pictures. [Have students write first in pencil, then give them an opportunity to use a pen or special thin marker to go over their written work.]
  6. Have all materials at their table groups to share, as they go to their desks to work on their cloud book.

Evaluation of Student Learning

  1. Listen to student responses as they give different names and descriptions of clouds. Are they able to recall the names on their own, after going through the index of the story? Do the descriptions match the name of the cloud?
  2. Look at and review the names and descriptions they write in their cloud books. Do their cotton pictures correspond with the correct name and description? Have they depicted the cloud type creatively and made it resemble the descriptions in the story?

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