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NASA S'COOL Lesson: Clouds - A Multidisciplinary Study

Amy Vereen, Sarah Robertson, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Included in this lesson are opportunities to weave cloud study into Science, Language Arts, and Math. This lesson includes a demonstration of cloud formation, data collection and analysis of air temperatures and cloud coverage across time, and creation of an acrostic poem on the word CLOUDS.

This learning activity takes a minimum of three 45 minute class periods. Additional materials may be required.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • The link to how to measure cloud coverage does not work, so instructor will have to develop own method or research methodology.
  • Note that the data collection activity requires data to be collected over a period of time, more than three class periods.
  • There is an opportunity for the instructor to connect the three activities more closely together by asking some key questions.

About the Science

  • Some of the scientific information included in the lesson (in the Science section) may be incomplete or misleading, or too complicated for 3rd-5th graders, but if instructor just focuses on the basic concepts of cloud formation provided in the Background section, the science shouldn't lead to any misconceptions.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • The multidisciplinary approach and hands-on activities will appeal to different learning styles.
  • Lesson includes some strong critical thinking questions to encourage students to make meaning out of the data, and encourages students to create their own questions (though this part may have to be guided a bit more by the instructor).
  • General assessment guidelines for the activities are suggested.
  • Procedures for each of the activities aren't super detailed, but should be sufficient for an instructor to follow.
  • Teacher notes indicate that the emphasis of the lesson is on the different types of cloud types, but is not discussed anywhere in the lesson except in the background info. Lesson does not need nor is enhanced by discussion of cloud types.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Many of the links are not working: all vocabulary links, S'COOL website, cloud examples, and eClips videos. The developer has indicated to CLEAN they are updating the resource.
  • The WeatherWizKids link provided as background information may not be from a scientifically rigorous source.

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