National Sky Awareness Week is coming ... April 20 - 26, 2003
A Cloud and Sky Watcher
Objective: to become aware of the different colors
of the sky and clouds
Materials: poster board, poster paint (white, blue
and black), paper plates, paint brushes, paint chips, scissors,
Background: Children love to build and use cloud and
sky watcher windows. It is a great way for each child to view
their special piece of the sky above! It also fosters a stronger
sense of observing the natural world around them.
Procedure: Prepare sky and cloud watchers using 8 1/2"
x 11" poster board. Fold poster board in half; cut out a
rectangle along the folded edge, leaving about a 2" frame.
How many animals can you find in these clouds?-------------------->
Sky Awareness Week
designed by Tracie Talluto
Allow to dry and number or letter the colors in order so that
the children can easily identify the colors they see.
USING PAINT CHIPS...Make a collection of blue and gray paint
chip strips from your local paint store (schools participating
in the National Sky Awareness Week data collection project should
use the special
cloud color chip set posted on the web); be sure to include
at least one or two whites. Please don't take too many paint chips
from the paint store! Give each child (or group of children) several
strips of chips. Have them cut the colors apart, leaving the color
names on the chips for easier color identification (in the example
below, we showed letters; on the spceial posted chip set - above
- we used color and number). Using a glue stick, they should glue
at least a dozen chips onto their window frame. They can paste
colors on just one side, or they can paste blues on one side and
grays and whites on the other.
Have children predict the color(s) they expect to see most
frequently. Post their predictions.
Go outside and have children hold their watcher windows up
to the sky in the direction away from the sun. Have them match
(as best they can) the actual sky or cloud colors with those on
their watchers. Tell the children that it is okay to find more
than one color in the sky or in the clouds!
Make a master sky watcher window for your class. As a class
activity, assign a daily weather observer (or team) to record
observed cloud and sky colors on a daily weather calendar. Children
will often see more than one color during their observations.
The data can later be transferred to a separate data record for
easier counting / charting at the end of the month. How did the
observed sky and cloud colors compare to their predictions?
HERE ARE SOME OTHER QUESTIONS TO PONDER...
Which sky/cloud color(s) are observed
Compare weather to sky and cloud
colors. For example, under what weather conditions is the sky
the brightest blue? the darkest gray? What is the most frequently
observed cloud color just before it starts to rain? snow?
Does the sky/cloud color(s) change
during the day?
Does the sky/cloud color change
from season to season?
Does the sky/cloud color(s) change
from one part of the sky to another?
Does everyone see the same colors
in the sky? Why or why not? What might be causing the different
colors (e.g., pollution or different amounts of sunlight)?
Remember that each child looks at a different part of the sky and the ability to distinguish colors is different for each person. Each child really sees the sky and clouds as no one else can!
EXTENSION ACTIVITY -- Have students rename the paint chip colors according to their frame of reference, experiences,a nd other criteria.
SKY and CLOUD WATCHER
adapted from Anytime Weather Everywhere,
© H. Michael Mogil and Barbara G. Levine,
HOW THE WEATHERWORKS Press, 1996
This page was last updated on September 15, 2002.
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