MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection > MnSTEP Activities > Cloud Study Final Art Project

Cloud Study Final Art Project

Kim Toops
Prairie Woods Elementary School
New London, MN 56273
Author Profile


In this concluding project, students will use home-made puffy paint to create clouds on a sheet of construction paper. Information about the cloud types will be written on lined note cards by students and placed on the construction paper by the appropriate clouds.

Learning Goals

This project is designed to be completed at the end of a study of clouds and weather and is a review of three major cloud types: cirrus, cumulus, and stratus.

1. Students will create a model of three types of clouds: stratus, cumulus, and cirrus using home-made puffy paint.
2. Students will write two to three facts about each cloud type and place the lined note cards on the large sheet of construction paper next to the appropriate cloud.

1. Clouds are found at various heights above the Earth and the height helps determine the type of cloud.
2. Clouds look different depending on the type.

1. Cirrus
2. Stratus
3. Cumulus
4. Clouds

Context for Use

This is a project to be completed at the end of a study of weather and clouds. It is developed for K-3 students. This activity should be done in two parts, each taking about 30 - 40 minutes. Part one involves the students recording information about each cloud on a lined note card. Part two involves painting the three cloud types on a piece of construction paper and then gluing the information card next to the appropriate cloud.

Subject: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Meteorology:Clouds and precipitation
Resource Type: Activities:Classroom Activity
Grade Level: Intermediate (3-5), Primary (K-2)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Weather, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Atmospheric Science

Description and Teaching Materials

Materials needed (1 per student):
12" x 17" piece of light or dark blue construction paper
1 small Dixie cup
3 lined note cards
black paint
Home-made puffy paint: Pour about 3 tablespoons white liquid glue in a small Dixie cup and fill the rest of the cup with shaving cream. Carefully fold the shaving cream into the glue with a paintbrush.

This lesson will be a final respresentation of what the students have learned about cloud types. During the first class period, students should record two to three facts about each cloud on a lined note card. These should be saved until the next class period. On the final class period, the students will paint the cloud types with the home-made puffy paint. The clouds should be painted on the paper in their relative position to Earth with cirrus at the top, and cumulus and stratus below cirrus. Students should paint the cirrus and cumulus clouds fist and then get a small drop of black paint to mix into their puffy paint to finish with the stratus clouds. The information cards should be glued on to the cloud poster when the clouds have dried. Students will share their poster with classmates and read the information they've written about the clouds.

Teaching Notes and Tips

The puffy paint should be stirred as little as possible. It loses its puffiness if it is stirred too much.


The student will have successfully completed the activity if the clouds are painted in their correct relative position to each other and the Earth and if the information on the note cards is correct.


Grade 2, Strand 3. Earth Science, Substrand 2. Interdependence within the Earth system, Standard 2: Weather can be described in measurable quantities and changes from day to day and with the seasons. Benchmark: Meaure, record, and descrive weather conditions using common tools. Code:

References and Resources