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Cloud Watching

Suggested Grades



Students will examine, identify, and record cumulus, cumulonimbus, cirrus, and stratus cloud formations.


  • drawing utensils
  • drawing paper


  • Teach students the names and the characteristics of the various cloud formations.

    Cumulus -heaped clouds with flat bases and catle-like tops.


    Cumulonimbus -anvil-topped cumulus bringing thunder and rain.


    Cirrus -white feathery lines or bands at great height.

    Stratus -layer clouds usually smooth and dark.

  • Set out a time of the day when the class can go out and do a cloud observation and drawing daily (about 15 minutes).
  • During this time ask students to draw, colour in, and try to identify the cloud formations that they see.
  • Gather as a class and ask students to share their guesses and their reasons for them.
  • As a class make a calculated guess at the type of cloud that was seen the most.
  • Eventually each student will have drawings of many variations of these cloud formations.
  • Note:You may want to include predicting the weather by observing cloud formations.