Sunday, January 22, 2012
Clouds Pt 1
Step 2 of preparing my students for our weather unit is ensuring they all have background knowledge of clouds, as one of our lessons has us trying to predict weather using our cloud knowledge. Our first lesson on clouds, then, is exploring what they are and why they look like they do and behave the way they do. I help the kids create the shape book and give them general directions for format and info, but I put the kids into groups and provide readings that allow them to find the info I ask them to include in their booklet. I also leave room, at the bottom and on the back, for the students to come up with questions they’d like to still have answered. If it something I know they can find themselves, I will suggest they jump on our class computer to research it, but if it is something harder (sometimes things I don’t even know), I will help them research it.
We start with a piece of cardstock or copy paper folded in half. Some of the fold must be kept, in order for the shape to function as a booklet. I tell them to use as much of the paper as possible—large clouds give them more room to write, which increases neatness. I ask them to use bullets (which they know from previous lessons) to identify when a new, separate piece of info is being presented, and I ask them to tell me what a cloud is, how they are created, why they move and float, why they are white or gray, and how they are classified.
BTW, I ask them to add color to the cover. As an artist, I spend a lot of time teaching my kiddos to pay attention to the world around them, and part of this is realizing that most things in nature are not a single color. I couldn’t, in good conscience then, let them show me a solid, white cloud!