"Cloudy, Cloudy Day"
I found a really cool cloud identification "weather window" on www.nature-watch.com. Being the frugal lady that I am, instead of buying this handy-dandy hand-held devise of wonder...we made our own Cloud Categorizer. (Thanks to http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-clouds.htm for the great cloud photos!)
Make your own Cloud Categorizer:
We used the cardboard from a cereal box. Print the cloud photos from the PDF below and cut out the rectangles. Make sure you cut out the center rectangle. Now tape or glue the cloud photo rectangle to the cardboard. Cut around the photos (and be sure to cut out the center rectangle). Tape a handle (one or two tongue depresors, plastic spoons...) onto the bottom of your cardboard frame.
Or you can cut out your own cardboard frame and find pictures in magazines, or print pictures from online to identify the various cloud types. Cut out the pictures and tape them to your cardboard frame.
Peek through your window to see the clouds in the sky. Do the clouds in the sky outside look like some of the clouds on your Cloud Categorizer?
Explain to your child how clouds are formed. Water vapor condenses into the liquid (water) or solid (ice) form. Little tiny water droplets are formed when the vapor condenses around a tiny dust particle in the air. A cloud is a collection of MANY tiny droplets in the air.
There are basically three types of clouds:
1. Cirrus ("curl"): thin wispy and white. They are located high in the sky and are almost entirely made up of ice particles. These types of clouds often are seen before rain or snow.
2. Cumulus ("heap"): white, fluffy and round. They are seen on nice days.
3. Stratus ("layer"): low hanging clouds that are in layers that look like a gray blanket. They look like haze in the sky. These types of clouds can become fog if they get low enough in the air.
The word Nimbus means "rain", so:
Nimbostratus: dark clouds that normally are seen when rain or snow is happening all day long.
Cumulonimbus: tall vertical clouds. Often called thunderheads. They usually produce lightening and storms. (http://www.lessonplanspage.com/ScienceTypesCloudsHowFormedUnit2.htm)
Keep your Cloud Categorizer handy to predict the weather! Check out how the clouds on your Cloud Categorizer can tell you what type of weather lies ahead: http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-clouds.htm.
Happy Cloud Watching...
Oooh, I think I see a cloud that looks like an elephant!