Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Questions to ask about clouds

I am not going to complain about the beautiful summer-like weather we've been having lately! It's made me want to spend every waking minute outside - which has resulted in a lovely sunburn, but that's not the point. I wanted to share one of my favorite activities that you can do with any of the children that you happen to be around this summer, while squeezing in some extra outside time.

I love to explore the clouds, but I don't really take a traditional approach to learning about clouds.  I don't teach the children the proper names for different types of clouds, and while I might do some experimenting with the water cycle, I don't really expect them to understand it fully.  I encourage them to pay attention to the clouds as an exercise in noticing the world around you.  I just want them to look up and take some time to stop and watch.

Here are some of the questions that I might ask about clouds in order to get the children to think critically:

  • Where do clouds come from?
  • How do they get up there?
  • What are they made of?
  • Why are they shaped like that?
  • How do they move?
  • Why are there clouds sometimes, but not other times?
  • Are there clouds when it's dark?
  • Why are some clouds light and fluffy, but others are dark and gray?
  • What else do they look like?
The children's answers to these questions lead to some really interesting discussions that make them think a little harder about the same things that they see every day. Their answers will also give you something to build off of as you have additional conversations about clouds.  Stop back tomorrow and I'll give you a couple ideas for encouraging the children to capture their observations. 

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