Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Learning about Clouds

My son has always been fascinated by things in the sky. When he was a toddler it was planes that captivated him and then as he got older it was space shuttles, planets and stars. So I wasn't surprised when my son wanted to learn about weather. We started with learning about clouds. 

We first looked about the different layers of the atmosphere. My son is a space-obsessed kid so when he asked if weather was in space, we needed to start our learning with earths atmosphere. Because he is a visual learning, he needed something 'visual' in order to understand this.

I had the idea to make our own poster of the atmosphere. Together we painted the layers of the atmosphere onto paper mixing different shades of blue for each layer. When it was dry we laminated the poster and labelled each layer of the atmosphere by name. We then discussed what objects or things could be found in each layer, found some pictures and placed them onto our poster. My son was able to visually see that weather occurred only in the troposphere and not in space. We also view this clip on You Tube Learn About Planet Earth - Earth's Atmosphere to help with more visual learning

The next thing we did was observe the clouds. I found a great printable from Islay Natural History that helped us identify the different types of clouds and their names. We also recorded what type of clouds were in the sky by using this Cloud Graphing Sheet the is available in the Weather Unit from 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As we observed the clouds, we continued to use the word 'troposphere' when talking about where the clouds where.

We explored clouds further by learning about altitude. We researched and found information that told us that different clouds are found at three different altitude levels:
  • low-level clouds
  • mid-level clouds
  • high-level clouds   
We then selected three clouds, stratus (low-level), cumulus (mid-level) and cirrus (high-level) to represent each altitude level. We copied their shape onto cardboard and painted it. We also made a cumulonimbus cloud as it is found in all three levels of altitude. Once the paint had dried, we labelled our clouds then hung them according to their altitude level in our learning room (picture below).

We also ended up purchasing this Types of Clouds poster from Scholastic to help us identify types of clouds.

We did a cloud experiment I found here at Bath Activities For Kids. We used a blow of water and placed shaving cream all over the top of it. We then used blue food colouring mixed together with some water and gently pour it over top of the shaving cream. We were able to observe how clouds fill up and hold a lot of water until they are so full that it has to rain. 

We have also been learning about The Water Cycle, Exploring Air and Wind as well as Exploring Rain, Hail and Snow and All About The Seasons. If you would like to see some more activity ideas about clouds and weather, have a look at my pinterest board.

This blog post has been linked up with:
Discover and Explore
Poppins Book Nook

1 comment:

  1. I thought you and your son may be interested to know that there is weather in space. :) It is caused by the interaction of the Earth's atmosphere and magnetosphere with the sun. It causes things like aurora borealis and luminescent clouds. Here is a NASA sight devoted to it. I hope you like it. :)