Looking at clouds…

My class topic for this term is Weather, perfect for the crazy weather that we have had this year!

There are so many ways to teach about weather and I’ve found some great ideas for creating active and exciting learning experiences for my P1-3 class. The mention of experiments has them instantly gripped on what I am about to show them next and of course exploring outside helps them to realise that weather is all around us.

After much discussion about the different types of weather, what makes up our weather and building a bar chart to record the weather each day. We started to look at different types of weather in more depth.

One week we looked at clouds, an important part of our weather and as a child finding a cloud that looked like something real was always exciting. We started the lesson thinking about what clouds are made from and many children shared the experience of being on a plane and flying through clouds. Many also shared that they would love to float on a cloud.

Looking out of the window we could see that clouds are all different and this led to the 3 main types of clouds – cumulus, stratus and cirrus. We looked at photos of each cloud and discussed how they were different and what each cloud meant.

Looking at photos are great, especially with an IWB, but now was the time to look at the real thing.


Before I plan each topic I search through Pinterest and education sites to find ideas for my topic and it was on Pinterest that I found the idea for a cloud window.

The original idea is a pre made window with all the types of clouds, photos and names of each cloud creating a window for a child to look through. I loved this idea so thought about each child making their own cloud window with 4 strips of card. They then drew each cloud (sticking with the 3 main types) and wrote the name of each cloud.

With our cloud windows ready we headed outside to for some cloud spotting. Soon there was lots of voices telling me that they could see cumulus clouds and cirrus clouds. We moved all around outside the school and our location gives us the perfect view over the Firth of Forth for lots of cloud spotting.

My class loved this experience and has meant that they can all tell me the names of clouds and even if they can’t quite remember the Latin names, they can describe what each cloud looks like.

Our cloud windows are now a great reference tool and have been used to tally the types of clouds on different days. This has also started their learning about the Water Cycle and some experiments in trying to create clouds.

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