The GLOBE Clouds team loves coming up with ways to help students and teachers identify clouds. I've been blessed to visit a number of 4th grade full inclusion classrooms and want to share my quick cloud ID and data collection activity outline!
Anchor question: Do all clouds look the same, even from space?
Goal: Students identify, collect and submit cloud observations by using their own notes and clues for each possible cloud type.
Objectives: Students will,
Why does NASA study clouds? (A)
Tip: You can have students work in pairs for quick discussion.
- Water Cycle Chart
- cloud satellite images before and after identification (see attachments)
- NASA Earth Observatory for Kids: Fresh Water Magazine
- NASA/Sally Ride EarthKAM (pictures of Earth from Space)
How many types of clouds are there? (B)
Tip: If your students are learning about three types of clouds (cumulus, stratus, cirrus) discuss their descriptors. You can play a game of name that descriptor and give students cards with A, B, or C or cumulus, stratus, cirrus. Students raise the correct answer. This also is great for students with special needs.
- NASA Cloud charts in different languages.
- My Cloud Clues graphic organizer (see attachments)
- GLOBE Elementary book: Clouds
- Dr. Tina Cartwright's foldable cloud dichotomous key
NOTE: Tina has two different keys. I like using the one based on physical characteristics (first link).
Making observations using our cloud clues. (C)
Tip: Use a reference like a line or an fence to file line your students to make observations. You can have students make observations with their backs to the sun to avoid any injury and you as the teacher make any adjustments to the measurements.
Apps: Remember that their is a GLOBE data entry app to collect your observations. The GLOBE Observer (GO) app can also save your data if you sign in using your GLOBE information.
No internet, no problem! The GO app will save your data and send it once you gain internet access.
- cloud chart
- My Cloud Clues Graphic Organizer
- GLOBE Clouds observation sheet or electronic device to collect data
- Great image to understand cloud percentage
- GLOBE data entry app
- GLOBE Observer app
How will our observations compare to satellite data?
Satellite Matches: Matches are best if observations are done within 15 minute window (before or after) satellite pass. Be sure to see satellite overpass schedule for your area!
- Learn more about satellite comparison, part of the NASA GLOBE Cloud Protocol
- SciGirls Cloud Clues Episode with NASA Scientist Dr. Yolanda Shea and links to activities