Wednesday, February 22, 2012

C for Cloud and a Cloud Science Demo

We're starting a new unit on weather.  In the next couple of weeks, we'll be talking about rain, snow, the water cycle, clouds, rainbows, making lots of crafts and doing some science experiments. Today, we started out talking about different types of weather and the types of clouds you see. I do use the scientific terms with the kids, like "cumulus" and "stratus", but I also refer to them as the dark rain clouds and the fluffy cotton ball clouds. We made the letter 'C' out of cotton balls for our cloud and did a science demonstration showing how clouds are made up of water droplets.

 Today we used:
White cardstock in the shape of a 'C'
cotton balls
a bowl or other shallow container for water

1. Place about 1/2 an inch of cold water in your shallow container.
2. Give each child a cotton ball to hold and ell them to pretend that they are holding a cloud. Help them describe the cloud (soft, light, white)
3. Show them how to place the "cloud" (cotton ball) gently over the cold water. Explain that water that has evaporated has traveled up to the cloud and it is a lot colder up in the sky, so the vapor turns into water, and it is filling up the cloud. Ask them to look closely and watch the cotton ball fill up with water.
4. Ask the children to gently pick up the "cloud" (cotton ball) from the pan. Is their cloud heavier or lighter? Is the color lighter or darker? Does it feel hot or cold? What is happening to the water? (It should be dripping from the 'cloud') What do we call it when water falls from the clouds because they are too heavy with water? (rain, precipitation) And what happens to the water? (It goes back into the pan which could be a river, or stream, or the ground)

Then each child got a letter 'C':
1. Ask the kids what sound they hear at the beginning of "cloud". What letter makes the -ca sound? That's right, the letter 'C'. Today we're going to make clouds out of the letter 'C'.
2. Have the kids place glue all around their 'C'. They can stick the cotton balls directly to the 'C' or pull them apart some first to help them cover more of the letter.

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1 comment:

  1. Some days here in Southern California, an experiment like this is the only way my child would see a cloud. I love it for learning letters, since I have a 2 year-old.

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