Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Cloud Watcher

Pamela Hoover


Who wants to be a cloud watcher? Students will learn the names of clouds and the patterns of weather they may bring. Students will spend 2 adventurous weeks predicting the weather by watching the clouds.


The student knows that weather conditions occur in patterns over time.


-[The Cloud Book], Tomie dePaola, July 1985, Holiday House.
-Bubble Map Graphic Organizer (Thinking MapsŪ see web links)
-Pictures of Cirrus, Stratus, Nimbus, and Cumulus Clouds (These pictures can be obtain from Internet - see web links).
-Class Set of Science Journals (3 prong folders with notebook paper inserted can be used as science journal)
-Chart Paper w/markers


1. Obtain copy of bubble map from Internet (see web links). Copy class set of bubble maps.
2. Using the Internet, print out pictures of various clouds (see web links).
3. Obtain copy of [The Cloud Book] by Tomie dePaola.
4. Ensure each child has a science journal, pencils, and crayons


This lesson should occur after students have an understaning of basic weather words such as rain, snow, hail, thunderstorms, etc.

1. Ask the question, has anyone ever been a cloud watcher?

2. Allow students to respond.

3. Distribute copies of bubble maps (obtain from

4. Students will complete a bubble map with the word cloud in the center. After writing the word cloud, students will write at least 4 words or phrases associated with the word cloud. The words or phrases should be extended from the word cloud.

5. Students will share their bubble maps. While students are sharing, the teacher will identify key words such as weather, snow, rain, storms, etc.

6. Read, [The Cloud Book] by Tomie dePaola. After reading the story, invite students to share their new ideas about clouds and weather. This book will align with what is being discussed in class.

7. Show students various pictures containing Cirrus, Stratus, Nimbus, and Cumulus Clouds clouds (see web links). Students will discuss the type of cloud as well as the type of weather seen in each picture.

8. Students will now become cloud watchers. Students will need to take their science journals, pencils, and crayons outside.

9. Students will observe the sky.

10. Students will spend 15 minutes to complete the following: draw a picture of the cloud, write the name of the cloud, and to predict the weather the cloud will bring. (Record these 3 things on the board to remind students what is expected of them).

11. After returning to the classroom, allow students (10 minutes) to share their science journals. Students should share their science journals throughout the 2 week period.

12. Students will discover and predict patterns in weather by watching the clouds. (A review of basic weather words might be appropriate here).

13. Collect science journals daily. Provide formative feedback (to students) regarding the cloud, the correct name of the cloud, and the type of weather it will bring.


Students will gather information by cloud watching and recognize that weather occurs in patterns.

As a formative assessment, students can be observed completing and discussing their bubble maps. Observe for:
-students staying on topic
-students having at least 4 words or phrases to complete their bubble map

An additional formative assessment will be science journals. Students will use their science journals (for 2 weeks) to draw the cloud, to record the type of cloud and to predict the type of weather.

The teacher will collect and read the science journals daily for:
-appropriate drawing of cloud
-correct name of cloud
-reasonable prediction of the type of weather it will bring

Note: If students are having difficulty drawing the clouds, recording the correct name of the cloud, or predicting reasonable weather outcomes pull students during cloud watch observation to review.


1. For gifted students, allow them to search the Internet for web quests, or scavenger hunts or pictures pertaining to clouds.
2. For ESOL or ESE students, allow them to work with a partner who will encourage them to partipate without doing all of the work for them.

Web Links

Web supplement for Cloud Watcher

Web supplement for Cloud Watcher

Web supplement for Cloud Watcher
Cool Clouds

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