Lesson Plan

What’s the Name of that Cloud?

Students will explore the world around them by discovering the names, shapes and qualities of the clouds in their environment.
Cathy P.
Media specialist/librarian
Pope John XXIII School, Evanston
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

From this activity students will be able to identify four types of clouds: cirrus, stratus, cumulus, and cumulonimbus.

ISTE: 1b, 1c; 5b

Grades Pre-K - 2
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Exploring

Take your students outside and discover the clouds in the sky. If this is not possible, surprise your students with pictures of clouds hanging  in your classroom; including some that take on a shape (ice cream cone).


2 Direct Instruction

Introduce the lesson using a video that is simple and informative, narrated by a child’s voice. This movie uses a felt board to demonstrate the types of clouds, their names, how they are formed and also uses actual photographs.

Create manipulatives using pictures of clouds (either pictures or hand drawings) and the names of the four types of clouds under investigation: cirrus, stratus, cumulus and cumulonimbus. This matching activity can be done as a class, small group,  partners or individually.

Student Instructions

Discuss with classmates the types of clouds in the sky, using manipulative to match the name of the cloud with its picture. Practice saying the types of clouds and discuss personal experiences. When have you seen a cloud? What did it look like? Have you ever seen a shape in the clouds? Share your ideas with your classmates.

3 Guided Practice

The students will use Tuxpaint to draw and label the clouds under investigation. Teacher will demonstrate how to use the line tool on Tuxpaint paint so the students can create a drawing with four quadrants. It is simple to use and the students enjoy learning how to use the various tools.

The video should be be available for students to watch again, if they need to review the cloud shapes and names. Put the names of the clouds on the board or screen so the students have a reference for spelling.

Student Instructions

Students will create a Tuxpaint drawing, using the line tool to create four quadrants on their picture. They will draw and label the four types of clouds using a word bank for spelling. Students may review the material by watching the video again to review information. They can also ask their classmates or the teacher for clarity.


4 Independent Practice

Activity: Creating

Teacher will set up a center with black construction paper(folded into quarters), cotton balls, glue sticks, black/grey markers and the names of the clouds under investigation available. The students will create their own clouds.

Student Instructions

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the lesson by creating the shapes of the four clouds under investigation and labeling their creation.


5 Wrap-Up

Activity: Investigating

Teacher will demonstrate a rain cloud by creating one using a jar of water, shaving cream to create a cloud on top of the water and blue liquid water color that is dripped onto the shaving cream using an eyedropper. Students can gather around and watch as the blue watercolor drips through the bottom of the cloud to demonstrate rain. This always gets a lot of oohs and aahs, enjoy!