Types of Clouds

Many 2nd and 3rd grade students learn about clouds in their science classes.  They learn about how clouds are formed in the atmosphere, what the different types are and what each type forecasts.  If your students need to learn about clouds in your class, keep reading.  In this blog post, I'll introduce you to The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola and a twist on a traditional cloud craft.

Types of Clouds

The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola

The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola (affiliate link to Amazon) has been around for decades. Originally written in 1975, teachers around the world use this book with their science classes.  

Amazon describes The Cloud Book
"Tomie de Paola knows a lot about clouds. He also knows a lot about what people think of them. The Greeks, for example, believed that Hermes, the messenger of the gods, once stole the sun's cattle, which were clouds. In this unique approach to the sky, you can learn about the ten most common clouds. You can learn about the myths that have been inspired by their different shapes. You can learn that clouds tell us about coming changes in the weather. This book will tell you many things about clouds we bet you didn't know. We hope you enjoy it!"

The Cloud Book: Cover

The Cloud Book: Inside Pages

You can also watch The Cloud Book below.  This video was made by Mrs. Clark's Reading Corner:

Four Types of Clouds: Paper Craft

Reach way back into your memory banks.  Do you remember what the four basic cloud types are?  They are cummulus, nimbus, cirrus, and stratus.
  • Cumulus clouds are large, puffy, and white.  They indicate that the weather is changing.
  • Nimbus clouds are large and dark.  They are storm clouds and can produce heavy rains, thunder and lightning.
  • Cirrus clouds are high in the sky and are thin and whispy.  They indicate strong winds in the upper atmosphere.
  • Stratus clouds are low hanging and grey.  They fill the whole sky like a wet blanket.  Stratus clouds produce steady rains that last a long time.
Craft Project

To make a model of these types of clouds, you will need the following:
  • blue construction paper or scrapbook paper (blue for the sky)
  • large amounts of make up remover pads (cotton balls can be used as well)
  • black paint
  • grey paint
  • paint brushes
  • white glue

  1. To make cumulus clouds, take several make up remover pads and glue them into one corner of the construction paper.  Arrange them in a way that makes them look large and puffy.
  2. To make nimbus clouds, repeat the process for cumulus clouds.  Once the glue is dry, paint the make up remover pads with black paint.
  3. To make cirrus clouds, take one or two make up remover pads and pull them apart.  Stretch them until they are long, thin, and stringy.  Arrange and glue them in a way that makes them look light and airy.
  4. To make stratus clouds, arrange and glue them in a way that makes them look like a thick, wet blanket.  When they glue dries, paint them with grey paint.
What other books about clouds would you recommend?  Do you have a special activity you like to do with your students while studying clouds?  Tell us about them in the comments below!

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