Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Art in the Sky

Linda Pentiuk


Students become familiar with four types of clouds by experimenting with cameras and exploring the web. Students observe illustrator's renderings of clouds and draw their own representation of clouds.


The student uses the senses, tools, and instruments to obtain information from his or her surroundings.


-Computers with Internet access
-Clipboards with paper
-Crayons or markers
-Shaw, C (1947). "It Looked Like Spilt Milk." New York: HarperCollins.
-Carle, E (1996). "Little Cloud." New York: Philomel Books. or another appropriate book about clouds
-4 or 5 disposable or digital cameras (ask if a local photo lab would donate the cameras)

Optional materials
-Previously developed pictures of the four main types of clouds.
-Cloud kits or other materials including books and magazines already ordered from school science magazines.


1.Gather 4 disposable or digital cameras.
2.Locate the books "Little Cloud" by Eric Carle, "It Looked Like Spilt Milk" by Charles G. Shaw, or any other book that deals with clouds.
3.Have websites readily available for students to use.

If it is not possible to go outside:
1.Books and/or magazines with pictures of clouds.
2.Previously developed pictures of the
four main types of clouds.


Day 1:
1. Take the students outside and ask them to look at the clouds. (If this in not possible, have the student look at books or magazines that have pictures of clouds.)

2. Encourage students to describe any shapes or objects that the clouds look like.

3. Take the students into the classroom and have them sit down for story time.

4. Introduce the book that you chose by stating the title, author, and illustrator.

5. Tell the students that this is a book about clouds that they were just looking at outside or in the books and magazines.

6. Read the book aloud to the students pointing to and discussing the clouds on each page.

7. After reading the book, discuss it with the students by asking questions about what they thought of the book and if they have seen clouds like the ones in the book before.

8. Guide the students in creating a semantic Web about clouds. Begin with the types of clouds being the central topic. Draw branches off the main topic to capture the studentís ideas about the different types of clouds. Accept all answers.

9. Explain to the student that many things are classified into different categories. Give examples such as plants and animals.

10. Explain to the students that they will divide into groups (number of groups will depend on how many computers are available) and each group will explore the four main types of clouds using the two Websites provided.

11. Give the students about 15 minutes to explore the Websites.

12. After the students have viewed and discussed all four types of clouds at the Websites, take the students back outside.

13. Hand out the cameras to the students and have them take turns taking pictures of the different clouds in the sky. (If this is not possible, have the students look at the previously developed pictures or pictures in books and magazines.)

14. Have the film developed.

Day 2:
1. Display the pictures that the students took the day before of the different cloud types.

2. Discuss with the whole class the four different types of clouds and ask if any of the students want to talk about what they discovered in the websites.

3. Have the students go outside with either clipboards with paper and crayons or markers or chalk to draw the four different types of clouds on the sidewalk.


Individual students will name each type of cloud as the teacher points to the four different types of clouds. Use checklist to indicate mastery. (see Associated File)

Note: Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.


Have the students create a chart of the different clouds they see in the sky. Each day have a different child chart the cloud type they see in the sky. Ask the children to determine which types of clouds occur more frequently.

Web Links

Web supplement for Art in the Sky

Attached Files

Art in the Sky Checklist     File Extension: pdf

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