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Cloud Types
Content Topic:
Cloud types
These lessons can be used as part of an extensive weather unit. They can be taught consecutively, co-taught with classroom teachers, or used individually during library time as supporting lessons for classroom curriculum.
Collaboration Potential:
Classroom teachers
Total Estimated Time:
2 hours
Suggested Number Of Sessions:

Cloud Book matching game sheets (SM1_CloudTypes)

Cloud Book Power Point Presentation (SM2_CloudTypes)

The Cloud Book by Tomie de Paola

Document camera

LCD projector

The Man Who Named the Clouds by J. Hanna and J. Holub

The Weather Sky by B. McMillan

Computers w/ Internet access (

Worksheets SM3 – SM5_CloudTypes (one per student)

Instruction / Activities:

Session 1


The lesson will be introduced with a matching game where students try to predict which pictures match a particular type of cloud.  TL passes out matching game (SM1_CloudTypes) and asks students to make a first attempt at completing the worksheet.  TL assures class that information gathered in today’s lesson will help them make any corrections later (not a test or graded paper).


Direct Instruction:

TL will share (read and show) Tomie de Paola’s The Cloud Book using a document camera.  Throughout the story TL will break to ask for students’ participation in reading parts of the story and identifying  pictures from their matching game that resemble the appearance of a specific type of cloud as described in de Paola’s book.  Students will also be asked critical thinking questions that relate to identifying fact versus fiction within the book. If a collaborating teacher is present, they will also comment/refer to key points that support material that has been covered during classroom instruction.


Modeling and guided practice:

After finishing the story, TL asks the students to participate in a PowerPoint “quiz” or review (SM2_CloudTypes).   The power point covers the most basic types of clouds and asks students to choose the picture that most resembles a certain type of cloud.  They should draw upon the story just shared to come up with the correct responses.  The PowerPoint is cued to reinforce correct responses and signal when to “try again.”  TL may ask class to “vote” on the response of their choice and then click on that response.


Independent practice: 

After completing the PowerPoint, students will be asked to go back to their original answers to the matching game and correct appropriately.


Sharing and reflecting: 

TL and collaborating teacher can end lesson with a group discussion around the essential question: “What does a cloud’s shape/appearance tell us about that cloud?”


Session 2



Classroom teacher should pre-arrange class into 3 working groups based on ability.

Three stations should be ready in media center prior to class’ arrival as follows:

Station #1 –     Using a biography to learn more about clouds

                        Copies of The Man Who Named the Clouds, worksheets SM3_CloudTypes         

Station #2 –     Using a nonfiction book to learn more about clouds

                        Copies of The Weather Sky, worksheets SM4_CloudTypes

Station #3 –     Using an Internet site to learn more about clouds

                        Computers w/ Internet access with link available to                                                                ,

                        Worksheets SM5_CloudTypes



Direct Instruction:

TL explains that students will use different medium (types of library materials) to complete research that will reinforce their science unit on clouds.  It should be noted that materials in the media center are helpful to teachers and their students as they investigate subjects and learn about our world.

TL separates the class into 3 pre-determined groups: (1) uses computers, (2) uses copies of The Man Who Named the Clouds, a bibliography, (3) uses copies of The Weather Sky, nonfiction book.


Independent practice: 


Students go to their assigned station and begin work on the assignment sheet available at that location, utilizing the appropriate resource found there.  After 15-20 minutes students should rotate to the next station as a group.  Collaboration or working in pairs may be necessary for time purposes, however each student should complete three worksheets by the end of class.


Sharing and reflecting: 

Class comes together to review worksheets and reflect on which resources were the most valuable to the class’ investigation into cloud types.

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Presented By: Cheryl Bullard
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