MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection > MnSTEP Activities > Looking at Clouds: Making a book that identifies cloud types and the weather conditions they bring

Looking at Clouds: Making a book that identifies cloud types and the weather conditions they bring

Linda Edmondson
Franklin Elementary School
Anoka, Minnesota
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In this cloud assessment activity, students will be able to identify the different cloud types and the weather conditions that they bring. While having the opportunity to create their own cloud book, students will show their knowledge of the relationship between cloud types and using clouds to predict the weather.

Learning Goals

Key Concepts:
1. Classifying clouds
2. Realize the relationship between cloud types and the weather conditions they bring
3. Clouds can be used to predict the weather


Context for Use

This activity is designed for use in the classroom after cloud discussion and outdoor observations. The student should already be familiar with the cloud types and kinds of weather they bring. Class size is not important in that it can be adapted to any size group. The activity can also be differentiated to a certain student's needs. This can be done by having a student provide all or just some of the descriptions.

Subject: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Meteorology
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Grade Level: Intermediate (3-5)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Weather, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Atmospheric Science

Description and Teaching Materials

This activity is for classroom use after discussion and observation of clouds. Students should already be familiar with the cloud types and know that clouds can predict the weather.
1. Students cut out pictures of the different cloud types.
2. Students cut out descriptions of each cloud type.
3. Students cut out descriptions of the type of weather each cloud brings.
4. Students place the cloud pictures on their desk and then place the corresponding description and weather the cloud brings under the correlating cloud picture.
5. I check the cloud type, description and weather condition and record a grade.
6. If the student had an incorrect description or weather condition by a cloud we would discuss the error and make an adjustment. They would then reorder the descriptions.
7. The student would then assemble their cloud book.

Materials Needed (for each student):
*1 sheet of colored construction paper
*5- 4 1/4 X 5 1/2 pieces of blue construction paper
*Cloud pictures-cumulus, stratus, cirrus, nimbostartus, cumulonimbus
*Cloud descriptions
*Weather condition descriptions
*Colored pencils (to write the title of the book)
*Stapler (to staple the book together)

Teaching Notes and Tips

I feel that giving the students the opportunity to show me their knowledge of clouds by making a book with the cloud information may help students feel more relaxed in a test taking situation.


The book making activity will help me assess my students' understanding of cloud types, their description, and the weather they bring. I feel that this assessment will be better than a paper and pencil test because it allows the students to take home a book with the correct information and feel a sense of accomplishment while giving me the opportunity to assess their understanding.


This activity supports the Minnesota Academic Science Standard grade 3 Strand III Earth and Space Science B.2-identifying cumulus, cirrus and stratus clouds.

References and Resources