The Topic:
Clouds

Easier - Clouds are large white or gray objects in the sky. Clouds are a collection of very small drops of water or tiny pieces of ice that are held in the air.
 
Harder - A cloud is a mass of small water droplets or tiny ice crystals that float in the air. Clouds are formed of water that has evaporated from rivers, lakes, oceans, or moist soil and plants. Some clouds are white and fleecy; others are dull gray or black sheets that darken the ground beneath them. Most clouds continually move and change shape. Clouds change as parts evaporate in dryer air or they are moved and reshaped by wind and air currents.
 
Clouds are an important part of earth's weather. Clouds carry water that falls to the earth's surface as rain and snow to then support all forms of life. Clouds can sometimes bring destruction in the form of hail or tornadoes.
 
All About Clouds at USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wcloud0.htm
At this website, you learn about the different kinds of clouds, their location, where they were formed, and lots more.
 
Cloud Boutique at the PSC Meteorology Program
http://vortex.plymouth.edu/clouds.html
Here you can find explanations of and access to detailed pictures of some basic cloud forms.
  
Clouds
http://www-airs.jpl.nasa.gov/html/edu/clouds/Cloud_introduction.html
This site explains about clouds and how scientists measure them. There's also information on the water cycle, including evaporation, precipitation, and evapotranspiration.
 
Cool Clouds for "Kids" of All Ages
http://pals.agron.iastate.edu/carlson/main.html
Go through the photos sequentially within each group.
  
Using the websites, complete one or more of these cloud projects:
 
Create a Cloud Collage. Create a cloud collage using photographs from Cool Clouds for "Kids" of All Ages and other websites. Write about each type of cloud. Or, use the pictures to make a cloud identification game.
 
Explore the Water Cycle. Go to the All About Clouds, Clouds, and Clouds websites and learn about the role of clouds in the water cycle. Write a story about a water droplet and how it moves in each phase of the water cycle.
 
Read and Write a Cloud Story. Read the book Sector 7. It's a wordless book about clouds. Create your own wordless book about clouds using the shapes of real clouds. Or, write a story about clouds. Include facts about clouds in your story.
 
Create a Cloud Chart. Create a cloud chart containing the most popular types of clouds in your area. Keep track of the clouds you see. Use computer software to create a spreadsheet or create a chart. What clouds do you see the most and the least? Why?
 
Find the Relationship. Keep track of the temperature three time during the day. Also keep track of the clouds. Is there a relationship between the cloud cover and the temperature? If so, can you explain the relationship? Share your findings with another school.
 
Draw or Paint a Cloud. Look at different types of clouds and study clouds that you can see in the sky. Then create a drawing or painting of your favorite cloud. You might want to use cotton or other materials in your project. What kind of cloud is it? Describe the cloud. Write a story or poem about your cloud.
 
Use a Cloud Altitude Calculator. What is the purpose of the Cloud Altitude Calculator? How and why does it work?
 
Make a Cloud Connection. Read the article Soot Eats Clouds, Turns Up Global Thermostat. Go to the 42eXplore Global Warming website. What's the connection between clouds and global warming?
 
Complete a Cloud Webquest. Follow or adapt the procedures found at the following webQuest sites:
1) Clouds in our Sky (Grades 2-3) by D. Parra http://coe.west.asu.edu/students/dparra/cdquest.htm
2) Cloud Quest (Grade 3) by Lisa Riddle & Kim Shelly http://tess.uis.edu/www/448sp99/cloud.html
3) Cloud Quest (Grade 3) http://www2.lhric.org/kat/wq3rd.htm
4) Cloud Watching (Grade 1) by Kathleen Hasbini
http://www.memphis-schools.k12.tn.us/admin/tlapages/clouds.htm
5) Clouds http://www.macomb.k12.mi.us/wq/WebQ97/clouds.htm
 
More Cloud Websites
Bad Clouds
http://www.ems.psu.edu/~fraser/Bad/BadClouds.html
Learn the truth behind the bad meteorology idea that clouds form when air cools is because cold air cannot hold as much water vapor as warm air. You find this idea repeated on lots of these pages.
 
Cloud Altitude Calculator
http://www.gallaudet.edu/~hdsnyder/cloud.html
This calculator is based on the assumption that the air temperature drops 9.84 degrees C per 1000 m of altitude and the dewpoint drops 1.82 degrees C per 1000 meters altitude.
Related Website:
2) Estimating Convective Cloud Bases http://home.twcny.rr.com/ghernandez/cld_fc.htm
 
Cloud Climatology at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/intro/rossow.01/
In order to predict the climate several decades into the future, we need to understand many aspects of the climate system, one being the role of clouds in determining climate sensitivity.
 
Clouds at Dans Wild Weather Page
http://www.whnt19.com/kidwx/clouds.htm
Here you can learn what clouds are, how they are formed, view pictures of different kinds of clouds, and more.
Similar Website:
2) Clouds http://www.bom.gov.au/info/clouds/
 
Clouds and the Energy Cycle from NASA
http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/gsfc/service/gallery/fact_sheets/earthsci/clouds.htm
The study of clouds, where they occur, and their characteristics, may well be the key to understanding climate change.
  
Cloud Types
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/cgi-bin/tour_def/earth/Atmosphere/clouds/cloud_types.html
Clouds are divided into four main groups based on the height of the cloud's base above the earth's surface. This site provides information about each group and the cloud classes associated with them.
Similar Websites:
2) Clouds at University of California Berkeley
http://www-geography.berkeley.edu/Weather/Clouds/Clouds.html
3) Do You Know Your Clouds! http://www.ffa.com.au/dynamics/clouds.htm#cbc
 
Soot Eats Clouds, Turns Up Global Thermostat from CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2000/NATURE/05/12/sooty.clouds.enn/
This article examines the connection between clouds and global warming.
 
Websites For Teachers
Cloud Case (Grades 5-8)
http://weathereye.kgan.com/cadet/cloudless/teachers.html
This is an interactive online lesson about how clouds form through the principles of condensation and evaporation. The lesson is written around an experiment that the student can perform, or can watch being performed, that will illustrate the ideas of the lesson.
 
Cloud in the Bottle (Grades 4-12) by Michael Kneese
http://explorer.scrtec.org/explorer/explorer-db/rsrc/783750586-447DED81.1.htm
This demonstration activity shows students the direct affects of pressure and temperature on cloud formation.
Similar Lesson Websites:
2) Cloud in the Bottle http://www.col-ed.org/cur/sci/sci66.txt
3) Clouds in a Bottle at Bizarre Stuff http://www.freeweb.pdq.net/headstrong/cloudb.htm
4) Home-Made Clouds (Grade 4) by Kyle Yamnitz http://teachers.net/lessons/posts/14.html
 
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett (Grade 2)
http://www.sdcoe.k12.ca.us/score/Cloudy/cloudytg.htm
This supplemental unit provides Internet resources for students to learn interesting facts about the weather. They will learn and write about the formation of clouds.
 
Clouds (Grades K-3) by Wanda M. Keel
http://www.outerorbit.com/lplans/lp034k.htm
This lesson examines the structure, types, and causes of cloud formations.
 
Clouds Theme Page at Community Learning Network
http://www.cln.org/themes/clouds.html
This site contains curricular information and lesson plans for clouds.
 
Clouds and Solar Radiation (Grade 7-9) from the Oklahoma Climatological Survey
http://outreach.ocs.ou.edu/teachers/lessons/cloudssrad.html
Most people are aware that clouds impact the amount of solar energy that is received at the ground. This lesson examines qualitative and quantitative aspects of how clouds affect incoming solar radiation.
Another Cloud Lesson from the Oklahoma Climatological Survey:
2) How Do Clouds Affect Radiative Energy? (Grade 10-12) http://outreach.ocs.ou.edu/teachers/lessons/cloudeffects.html
  
cloud
altitude
fog
orographic
ice crystal
water droplet
high cloud
middle cloud
low cloud
air motion
front
trough
low-pressure system
multilevel cloud
cirrus
cirrocumulus
cirrostratus
altocumulus
altostratus
cumulus
stratocumulus
stratus
nimbostratus
cumulonimbus
cap cloud
lenticular cloud
'mammatus' cloud
K-H cloud
tornado
'contrail'
cooling
global warming
billow
formation
nuclei
weather
 
  
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99
Updated, 8/01.