A Closer Look at our Sky

This week, with The Playful Pioneers curriculum we studied cloud formations, the water cycle AND rainbows.  We decided to combine it all in one neat study for our readers to enjoy.

We began with our beloved “Nature Anatomy” by Julia Rothman (broken record, I know!).

The girls shaped cotton balls to recreate the various cloud formations we can see in the sky as I read about what type of weather we can predict from these clouds.   They both picked a favorite and Miss Cumulus came out on top…”because she looks the happiest” says Miss 4.

Mr. Cumulonimbus came in last with his angry shades of grey and black and of course threatening to ruining a perfectly good day, so rude.

We next read “Cloudette” by Tom Lichtenheld

Such a sweet story with many different cloud shapes to discuss!

We decided to make our own little Cloudette in a jar.

This definitely required adult supervision!  Fill a small jar with 1 cup of boiling water, place the lid on upside down and filled the top with ice.  I only took a few seconds for our little cloud to appear.  The girls were mesmerized by this activity and it naturally led into discussing the water cycle.

We used “See Inside Weather and Climate” by Katie Danes as well, beautiful book that the girls devoured!


We continued a few pages over in “Nature Anatomy” by Julia Rothman and copied the beautiful but simple illustration of the water cycle.

Little Cloud by Eric Carle

We added to the study by putting our art on a slant and dripping blue water color down from the clouds (precipitation) on one side of the page.  We let this dry before flipping the page upside down and letting water drip from the body of water up into the clouds again (evaporation).

The girls loved this process and were so quiet as they watched the drops fall.  They noticed how little drops would cling to the page but as they joined together and became heavier, they raced down the page all at once.

After their art had dried they labeled what was happening in their pictures.

Notice the clouds heavy with rain?! 

That’s when I knew this study had really sunk in for Miss 7.

Evaporation, Transpiration and Precipitation by Baby Professor

We got up out of our seats and acted out the whole process…we were little raindrops falling down to the earth or sea, then being warmed by the sun and floating back up to the clouds where we clung to each other and fell back down…over and over until this little raindrop was in a sweat!

We had to include the classic “Water Cycle in a Bag” for our study as well.  I feel like the picture is instruction enough!

Baggie, draw water cycle, blue water and sunny window…tada!

A few pages over we began our study of rainbows.  The girls cut cardboard in an arch shape and then colored in the appropriate colors with marker.  Then they flipped through old magazines and snipped colors to add to their project (fine motor skills!).  I love the little bits of words you can see in some of the colors!

Rainbow by Marion Dane Bauer


Here is where we tied it all together and finished up our study of clouds.

The girls added Cumulus clouds with cotton balls as well as thread and jewels to depict the rain falling.

On the other side they added white thread to show the evaporation process…they turned out so happy and sweet!

Science and Glitter?!

Best Combo Ever!



P.S. See “A Closer Look at Snowflakes” for your winter weather study!



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