Clouds and the Water Cycle Learning Ideas

When we go on a road trip, I try to add in mini-lessons as we go. One thing I love to revisit is clouds. A cloudy sky with a peek of blue is such a gorgeous site as we drive on the highway! Learning about the water cycle is a perfect compliment to such a lesson on clouds. Here is how we enjoy learning about clouds and the water cycle in our homeschool. 

Clouds and the Water Cycle Book List

Of course, my favorite thing is to start with amazing picture books. No matter the age, picture books are a great jumping off point for learning.

All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson is a testament to water's limited existence on Earth and the cyclical nature of water’s transformation. Lyon's text is poetic even while being instructive. See a more complete review at Rebecca Reads.

This Raindrop Has a Billion Stories to Tell by Linda Ragsdale, illustrated by Srimalie Bassani, covers the “maybes” in a raindrop’s history. There's wordplay in the text that makes a great read aloud: internal rhymes, alliteration, and more. See a more complete review at Rebecca Reads.

In Drop: An Adventure Through the Water Cycle by Emily Kate Moon is the author emphasizes the eternal existence of Drop as she has cycled through Earth’s atmosphere and surface over her 4.5 billion years. See a more complete review at Rebecca Reads.

The Cloud Book by Tomie dePaola (Holiday House, 1975). is one-of-a-kind, and since it is written in the second person, it immediately draws in a young child. DePaola explains what each type of cloud means for upcoming weather and he mixes silliness with the serious details that instruct. See a more complete review at Rebecca Reads.

These are just four of the amazing books I've found about clouds, water, and the water cycle. Become a Line upon Line Learning VIP to get access to the VIP Video Vault for a full video showing suggested books. You can also get the Clouds and the Water Cycle Bundle (links below) to get a full, annotated list!

Learning about the Water Cycle

Related directly to learning about clouds is a background about the water cycle. Otherwise, how would we have clouds to begin with? I wrote about a fun "Rain in the Kitchen" Water Cycle activity. Other activities include an observation of states of water, a cut-and-paste page to understand the four main steps of the water cycle, a water cycle spinner to emphasize the circular nature of the water cycle, and a basic reading to summarize what we learned in the books mentioned above, among other things

Rain Water Cycle Activity

Learning about Clouds

And then we moved on to clouds! After we learned about various types of clouds with readings and a chart, we watched clouds with a mirror (so much easier to see clouds moving!) and used our clouds viewer to determine which clouds we could see. We also tracked clouds for a week to see if clouds predicted the weather that was coming, as the books we read talked about! (I made a second, simpler version of the cloud viewer, with just four cloud types, to give my first grader an easier option for identifying clouds.

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Here are some fun clouds videos and songs I found to learn even more. (My first grader especially loves learning through great videos!)

Evaluating Understanding

I like to make sure we all understand the concepts with some kind of review. This time I used inspiration from the fun picture books we read to write our own water drop story! It is so fun to use creative picture books as inspiration for our own writing! I also had task cards to identify stages of the water cycle, types of clouds, and what types of weather we might expect from each type of cloud.

Get the Clouds & The Water Cycle STEM Storytime Unit

I had so much fun putting together the Clouds and the Water Cycle Science Storytime unit. You can get it individually, in the Science Storytime unit bundle, or as a part of the STEM Storytime & More membership. I hope you love it as much as I do! 

See also TeachersPayTeachers to browse the Science Storytime category for this product.

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