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Grade Level: Grade 3-5
Estimated Time for Completing Activity: Approx. 8 50-minute class periods

Learning Outcomes:

The student will:

  • Use sources to gather information about clouds.
  • Create a PowerPoint presentation that describes (and illustrates) twelve different kinds of clouds.
  • Use a rubric to evaluate slideshow (PowerPoint presentation).

National Standards:
  • Science Content Standard D: Earth and Space Science
Virginia Standards of Learning:
  • Science 3.1 : The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations.
  • Science 4.1 : The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations.
  • Science 4.6 : The student will investigate and understand how weather conditions and phenomena occur and can be predicted.
  • Science 5.1 : The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations.
  • English 5.7 : The student will write for a variety of purposes: to describe, to inform, to entertain, to explain, and to persuade.
  • English 5.8 : The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraphing.
Prerequisite:
  • Competence in the use of literary research skills, the Internet, and PowerPoint (or other presentation software)
Materials:
  • access to computer and Internet
  • S'COOL cloud ID chart or other cloud chart
  • nonfiction science/weather books as found in school library
  • S'COOL cloud poster
  • copies of Rubric Grading for Cloud Slideshow-one copy per student
  • spreadsheet or graphing program
Vocabulary:
Lesson Links:
For student use: For teacher use:
Background:

Cloud observation plays a huge role in the study of weather and itís forecasting.  Providing students an opportunity to learn cloud types, synthesize the information, and create a presentation for sharing with the other students  will prepare them for better understanding of all weather phenomenon and the associated changes in the.
Procedure:
  1. Show students a teacher-prepared slideshow of clouds that pictorially illustrates different kinds of clouds. (Picture of clouds or a cloud ID chart could be used.)
  2. Ask students to hypothesize what kinds of weather the different kinds of clouds could help predict. Give students a list of clouds (see vocabulary cited above).
  3. Have students research the different cloud formations via the Internet and/or the books available in the school library.
  4. Distribute and review self-evaluation rubric for purpose of explaining specific requirement of the slideshow.
  5. Have students plan their slideshow presentation by drawing a storyboard.
  6. Have students create their slideshow presentation.
  7. Have students self-evaluate their work using a rubric.
  8. Have students share their slideshows with their classmates.
Extensions:
  • Hold a parent open house so that parents can preview the student's products.
  • Display slideshows on a computer in the school library.
Teacher Notes:
  • A sample rubric is included. The teacher will need to determine the grading scale from the available points which may be earned. For example, 145 - 160 = A.
  • It is recommended that the teacher bookmark several Internet sites for the students to use. Ex. General Cloud Information from S'COOL web page.
  • This unit will serve to introduce Project S'COOL. Upon completion of this unit, students will begin gathering data and submitting it to S'COOL via the Internet.
  • Depending on software on students' computers, different presentation tools could be used in lieu of Powerpoint. If technology is not available, the same activity could be done with students creating a booklet, pop-up book, or posters.
  • This is intended to be done as individual PowerPoint slide presentation but could certainly also be done in partnerships or small groups.
  • Time constraints may be added at the research stage, the planning stage, and the creation of the presentation stage.
Assessment: Rubric Grading for Cloud Slideshow (Note: Different categories of clouds can be used instead of the three suggested on the rubric
Reference: Lesson Plan developed by Pamela M. Saunders, Isle of Wight County Schools, Virginia, USA, for NASA's S'COOL Project; updated September 1999 by Carolyn J. Green; updated June 2012 by S'COOL team.

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