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Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds
Our First Grade Weather Inquiry – Part One: Clouds
9 Sep, 2018. 2 Comments. A Day In First Grade, First Grade, First Grade Science, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Science, Reggio Inspired, Science, STEM. Posted By: Kristen Smith

Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds

Hello everyone! It is a wet and rainy day here in TX which is perfect for blogging about our weather unit that we just finished. My students had an absolute blast studying about clouds and weather through hands-on lessons, paired nonfiction and fiction picture books, and many science experiments. This unit is available with completely written out 5-E lesson plans in my TpT shop. I have a unit for preschool and kinder kids as well as one that is geared for first grade students.  If you are interested, feel free to click on the link below!

LINK: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Weather-and-Clouds-A-Kindergarten-and-First-Grade-Inquiry-Unit-3935265

As this was a three week inquiry, I’m going to break down my blog posts into four parts:

Part One: Clouds

Part Two: Rain

Part Three: Wind

Part Four: Extreme Weather

Part Five: Green Screen Weather Reports

I hope that this will make it easier to read, reference, and refer back to in the future. Simply click on the title to get taken to the blog post.

Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds

To begin our cloud unit, I started with cumulus clouds. We read the book Cloudette and the part in The Cloud Book about cumulus clouds. Luckily in TX, our sky is typically filled with cumulus clouds so it was very easy to spot them as we walked to recess and to PE that day!  As we learned the features of each specific type of cloud, we completed our shared writing anchor chart.

Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds

To help my students remember that cumulus clouds are white and fluffy we made cumulus clouds out of shaving cream and Elmer’s glue. This is always a favorite activity for young learners!

Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds

Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds

After the clouds dried, my students wrote about their clouds using the prompt, “Sometimes a cumulus cloud looks like….”

Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds

As we completed this part of our inquiry the first week of first grade, I made sure to include many play based and art based extensions for my young learners. Especially during the first few months of school, it is so important to remember that our students are still so young and need opportunities to play and explore the concepts that they are learning. In order to help my students understand the terms condensation and precipitation, I purchased these cloud bath toys that fill up with water and then rain! I got them from Amazon here in case you are interested. (link)
Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds

This was a HUGE hit during Choice Time. It also helped my students internalize these two new vocabulary words.

Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds

Another HUGE HIT during Choice Time was sewing cumulus clouds! For this project, I referred to Hello Wonderful’s instructions as to how to make them!

For the project you need:

-white bulletin board paper

-hole puncher

blue yarn

Polyfill stuffing

kid needles 

(affiliate links for your convenience!)

students sewed cumulus clouds during their cloud inquiry

To complete the project, fold your bulletin board paper in half and then have your students draw a cloud on it.

To make cutting easier, I helped my students staple around the cloud so that the paper would not move as they were cutting it out.

Once cut out, my students used the hole punch to punch holes around their cloud and sewed it shut using the blue yarn.

students sewed cumulus clouds during their cloud inquiry

Last, my students used the Polyfill stuffing to stuff their cloud pillows.
Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds first grade students sewed cumulus cloud pillows as a part of their cloud unit

They were SO proud of the way their cumulus clouds came out!first grade students sewed cloud pillows during their cloud unit

Pin for reference below!

How to sew a cumulus cloud

We learned about one type of cloud per day that first week and completed an on going craft to remember what the different types of clouds look like.

a simple cloud craft for your weather unit a simple cloud craft when studying weather

Once completed, we hung them up in the hallway.

Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds

On Friday we had a BLAST making “rain oobleck” (blue oobleck) for our science experiment. My students had so much fun becoming different types of clouds and making it rain in the sensory table.

Our First Grade Weather Inquiry - Part One: Clouds

While super messy, it’s so much fun!

students became rain clouds making rain oobleck during their weather unit

Hearing my students exclaim, “Miss Smith! I’m a cumulonimbus cloud! I am making it THUNDERSTORM!” was all I needed to hear to know it was meaningful, fun, and engaging!

rain oobleck was a huge hit during our weather unit
Come back soon to read the next part of our inquiry: weather!

 

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