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Create Different Types of Clouds
Submitted by Jennifer in Herndon, Virginia
Fourth Grade Teacher
During our weather unit the students learn about 4 different types of clouds: cirrus, cumulus, cumulonimbus, & stratus. To help the students learn where the clouds are in the atmosphere and what they look like, we use cotton balls to create a replica of the sky.
Start with a light blue piece of construction paper, 8-12 cotton balls and glue. Turn the construction paper long ways, and have the students draw the horizon of the Earth on the bottom of the paper. Then the students need to use the cotton balls to represent each type of cloud.
CIRRUS clouds: pull cotton balls apart into long, wispy parts. They are at the top of the atmosphere (top of the construction paper), and are farther apart from each other.
CUMULUS clouds: these clouds look like big fluffy cotton balls, so they can leave them as is, and glue on below the cirrus clouds.
CUMULONIMBUS clouds: These are also fluffy, but because they are storm clouds, they can color them black with markers and place below the cumulus clouds. Some students like to draw lightning bolts or rain coming out of them!
STRATUS clouds: These clouds look like a blanket around the atmosphere. Students should stretch out the cotton balls, but not completely apart. Make a layer near the Earth (lowest type of cloud), and color the cotton balls gray.
The students then label each of cloud with its name!
This is a really fun, educational activity that helps the students learn what the clouds look like in the sky and where they are as well.
Webmaster note: Thanks for submitting this, Jennifer! It's a great, hands-on lesson to help kids learn the difference between cloud types.
For water week we did a different water based science project per day.
Monday - Rain/condensation: Get a teapot of boiling water, and let the steam go up into a plastic bottle. The bottle will first 'cloud' then it will 'rain' in the bottle!
Tuesday- Tracking the rate that ice melts: We wrapped ice in a cloth, aluminum foil, a plastic bag, in water, and just in a bowl. Have the children make a hypothesis on which one will take the longest to melt. You will be very surprised at the out come.
Wednesday- Float or sink: Fill a large bin or bucket with water to see what sinks or floats. Let the children guess what will sink or float, chart the results.( the biggest kicker is fruit with and without the rind!)
Thursday- Oceans in a bottle: will water float or sink? (I am giving away a secret that many have tried to get from me by the way!) color water with blue food coloring. in individual bottles or babyfood jars and sand (not required) and BABY OIL. Slowly pour in the blue water. will it float on the oil?
Friday- Tasting: we tasted different types of water. We tried to disolve things in to hot or cold water and tasted it ( koolaid, sugar, salt, iced tea mix, and coca coca.) Very fun!
I demonstrate air preasure to my students by using a half full 20 ounce water bottle and dry ice. I make sure all students are far enough away, there will be an explosion, and I open the lid of the water bottle and place 2 pieces of dry ice in and quickly seal the bottle.
I place the bottle back on the ground and get away. In about 30 seconds the bottle will EXPLODE, this sounds like a bomb going off. I then show my students a bottle with the same amount of water in it as the bottle I blew up and have them squeeze it.
We discuss how the dry ice gives off a gas that builds up inside the sealed bottle until it explodes. This lesson is always a blast with the kids.
Webmaster note: Thanks for submitting these, Christy and Rob!