We’re in the middle of winter, and so in our “neck of the woods” we have more clouds in the sky than at other times of the year. This is when I would usually schedule my “weather” units when I taught fourth and fifth grades. Now that I am retired and watch my grandsons several days a week, it was the right time to plan some weather related units to use with them.
I decided to start by creating “Cloud” themed lessons for the grands. After ordering several books from the local library, I created some multiple intelligence lesson plans on clouds that I will share with you in this post.
As always, I planned a variety of lessons in each intelligence to have differentiated activities for each grandson: Tigger (7), Kona (5), and Tahoe (3). Since I am an “afterschooler” for my two oldest grands, and a “homeschooler” for Tahoe, I don’t spend the same amount of time on these lessons with each grandchild. However, during the three weeks I spent on this study unit, I tried to complete at least one activity for each intelligence during that time.
I hope you are finding these Multiple Intelligence activities useful as you plan lessons for children in your care. If you would like to see more of these unit studies as I create them, you can become a follower of this blog.
Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)
Read and discuss books- I read and discussed at least one of these books each day during the three week period. The first few times I read the books to the grands, our discussion centered on vocabulary, discussing the photographs or pictures to predict or better understand the content in the book, and pointing out “describing” words such as colors, shapes, and numbers. After those initial discussions, I had specific reading skills I used as a focus for each book, depending on my grandsons’ individual needs. These are the books I borrowed from the library and the skills I chose for further discussion:
It’s Cloudy Today by Kristin Sterling is a good book to introduce the cloud theme. It provides basic information and beautiful photographs on the three types of clouds and the type of weather they bring. Additionally, this book contains an activity using shaving cream to form clouds. (We used this activity as part of the Spatial Intelligence). There was also information on the Latin root words that are used to describe clouds (cirrus, cumulus, stratus, and nimbus).This was a good book to use with all three grandsons.
Discussion Focus: Latin Roots-This skill was adapted for each grandson. With Tahoe (3), I introduced the pronunciation of the Latin roots for each cloud and had him repeat them aloud. After introducing the Latin roots to Kona and Tigger, I had them match the Latin roots with the cloud type and why those particular Latin roots were chosen to name each cloud.
The Weather Wise book, Clouds, by Helen Cox Cannons, is another good book to use to provide basic information on clouds for all three grands. The illustrations and pictures are very informative in explaining water droplets, water vapor, and the types of clouds. This book has a table of contents and index too.
Discussion Focus: Table of Contents and Index-I discussed how useful it is to know how to use the table of contents and the index. Tahoe was more interested in the numbers, while Tigger and Kona were able to use them to find topics in the book.
The Cloud Book by Tomie de Paola starts with the three basic cloud types and then adds word parts (Latin roots) to make ten categories of clouds. Cloud mythology and common sayings regarding clouds and weather are also part of the story.
Discussion Focus: Rhyming Words: Many of the common sayings were in rhymed verse. With Tahoe I read the rhyming words aloud and had him repeat them. For Kona, I would give him one of the words from a rhyming pair on each page, and he would have to listen and tell me the rhyming word that matched. Tigger had to give me the rhyming pair as I finished (or he finished) reading each page. Sight Words–I had Kona (5) pick a few pages and tell me (or write down on a white board) all the sight words he knew (a, and, the, it, see, of, are, up, can, by,
look, there, ). Tigger (7) and I reviewed the Latin roots and how they were used to create new cloud names in this book. (Tahoe is still learning his letters so we focused on finding the letter “C” on some pages.)
Freddie and Gingersnap Find a Cloud to Keep by Vincent X. Kirsch is a fanciful story about two dragons who look for clouds. One of the dragons wants to keep a cloud, while the other dragon tries to explain that he can’t keep it. Or can he? This was Tahoe’s favorite book of all the “cloud” themed books and he asked me to read it to him over and over again. It has “A Cloud’s Song” as part of the story, which is found in its entirety at the back of the book. (See Musical Intelligence to listen to the song on the author’s website.)
Discussion Focus: Main Character (Who) and Setting (Where and When): I still need to break down “Setting” into “Where” and “When” for Kona and Tigger. I have Kona discuss these with me, while I have Tigger write them down. Tahoe and I talk about who, where, and when as I read this book to him.
Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld tells the story of a little cloud who watches the big clouds water crops and make mighty rivers flow. Cloudette dreams of making a difference too, but what can a small cloud do?
Discussion Focus: Finding Details – I had the grands find the details to answer the major theme of the book: Why are clouds important? The younger grands discussed their answers with me, and I had Tigger write his answers on a white dry erase board.
Logical/Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)
- Lie down in your yard, look up at the sky, and classify the types of clouds that can be seen that day. You can even do this for several days, keep track of them each day, and see if the children can find all three types of clouds in the sky during the length of this unit of study.
- Watch a cloud in the sky and time it to see if it is moving. In which direction does it move? Do all clouds move at this speed? If not, what might make the cloud go slower or faster?
- With the oldest grandson, I can discuss larger numbers, so we discussed the height of clouds using the chart found on this website: http://www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-clouds.htm
Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)
- Listen to “A Cloud’s Song” that goes with the book Freddie and Gingersnap Find A Cloud to Keep. You can find it on the author’s website: http://www.vincentxkirsch.com/listen-to-a-clouds-song/
- I taught my grandsons some songs and rhymes about clouds that I found at this link: http://www.preschoolexpress.com/music-station08/cloud-songs-rhymes-mar08.shtml
Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)
- Creating Cloud Pictures 1: I have several sizes of circle punches that I use for many of the craft projects I do with the grands. They love punching out the circles themselves, so it is a good fine motor activity for them as well. This craft was very simple to create, but helped Tahoe to understand that the rain was going to come from the darker cloud.
- Creating Cloud Pictures 2: I drew a simple cloud for Tahoe to cut out. Then he painted it a dark color. In the meantime, I cut up some linguine and placed them in a cup of blue paint to turn the linguine into a bluish color. Once the linguine pieces were dyed, I pulled them out of the paint and set them on a paper towel to dry. When the cloud and linguine were both dry, Tahoe glued them onto construction paper to create a rain cloud.
- Making Clouds from Shaving Cream: Using the activity on p. 28 of It’s Cloudy Today, I had Kona make the three main types of clouds using some shaving cream. I also had him practice his handwriting by tracing the names of these clouds to label the shaving cream creations. (I placed blue construction paper under a clear plastic tablecloth for this activity. It was easy to clean up afterwards.)
Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)
- Science Demonstration in a Group: Make a cloud in a bottle with adult supervision. The directions can be found here: http://www.weatherwizkids.com/experiments-cloud.htm
- Cloud Recognition Game: Using the illustrations or pictures of clouds in the books from the library, make copies (or draw pictures) of the three types of clouds. Play a game in a small group to see who can say the correct name of the cloud as you hold up each picture.
- Finding a Cloud Game: Hide pictures of the three main types of clouds around the house (or in your yard). Have children take turns finding a cloud, bring it back to you , and tell you the type of cloud they found.
Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)
- Pantomimes: I planned a simple activity to help Tahoe remember which clouds are highest and which are lowest. I had Tahoe place his hands over his head and make his hands pantomime a feather. Then I had him say “Cirrus.” Next he pantomimed a big puffy cloud in front of his tummy and I had him say “Cumulus.” Finally he bent down and waved his hands back and forth in front of his knees and said “Stratus.”
- Cloud Relay: This can be done with one child or a small group of children. Place pictures of each type of cloud at one end of the playing area (or hallway). Have the children start at the other end. Call out a child’s name along with a cloud’s name, and have that child run to get the correct picture and return it to the starting place.
- Water Cycle Game: I found a more complicated “Cloud” game on this website but haven’t yet played it with my grandsons. http://teachers.net/lessonplans/posts/1663.html
Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)
- I had the grands go outside to look at the clouds. I asked them if they saw pictures in the clouds. Kona saw a dragon and a snake.
- Observe the clouds outside. Have the children describe the clouds they see. They might even take pictures of them and later make a Cloud Journal.
Intrapersonal Intelligence (Self Smart)
- Discuss: Which is your favorite type of clouds in the books that we have read?
- I showed the grands “Giant in the Clouds” by N. C. Wyeth, which can be found on the internet. Then I had the grandsons go outside with blue construction paper and a white crayon to draw the clouds and try to find a picture in the clouds they had drawn.
- I leave the library books in a convenient place for the grandsons so they can browse or read them on their own.
I hope the children in your care enjoy these activities as much as my grandsons did.
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