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Science Circus Theme:

Wondrous, Weather, Whys!

Lesson 1: Air Pressure, whats that?
Lesson 2: Thunderstorm Science
Lesson 3: What is a Cloud?
Lesson 4: Lightening?!
Lesson 5: Capturing the Power of a Tornado
Science SOL Strand: Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems
The student will investigate and understand how weather conditions and
phenomena occur and can be predicted. Key concepts include
a) Weather phenomena;
b) Weather measurements and meteorological tools; and
c) Use of weather measurements and weather phenomena to make weather

Jar with Lid


Hot water


Have you ever looked out the window when youre flying in an airplane
or looked up in the sky while youre riding in a car? What do you see?
Sometimes I see something that looks like big cotton balls. Do you
know what they are called? Mr. Jay Webb from WHSV is putting on a
contest. He wants schools around the county to see if they can
discover why clouds form. The winner with the best explanation will
win a trip to the weather station downtown and be on the news in the
end of May. I have gathered some supplies that may we go


1.) First fill up your jar with hot water and let it sit on the table for a good
30 seconds.
2.) Pour out the water leaving only about 1 inch in the bottom.
3.) Next, place the lid upside down on the jar and fill the lid with ice.
(Enough to cover the lid but not overflow)
4.) Your teacher will come around and light a match. She will hold the
match for 5 seconds inside the jar before dropping it into the water.
5.) Cover the jar with the lid and watch closely.
6.) Record what you see happening and explain why you think this is
happening in your Science journal.
7.) Clean up your station and return to your seats.


Ask the students to explain some characteristics they have seen during
the experiment and write them on the white board. Then ask students
why they think the cloud formed. Make a comment about how the
atmosphere needs three ingredients to make a cloud. Together as a
class come up with the three ingredients: warm/moist air, cooling, and
CNN (not the TV channel). Explain that CNN is also referred to as Cloud
Condensation Nuclei. CNN is small particles in the air on which water
vapor condenses and forms cloud droplets. So what happened in the
jar? As the war air rose, it was cooled by the ice. When the air cooled
it wanted to turn back to liquid but needed to condense on a surface
first. The match provided particles for the water vapor to condense to,
essentially forming a cloud.


Now that we have discovered what causes clouds to form. We should

probably look into the different types of clouds in our atmosphere. Jay
Webb is wanting to know about clouds and as a class we want to give

him as much explanation as possible. I am going to have 3 pictures,

each represents a different type of cloud. I want you to draw each
cloud type and label in your Science journal. I will separate you into
partners and give each pair a sort. The sort headers are going to be
the pictures of each cloud. Then you must sort the labels and facts
accordingly to what you think. Raise your hand when you are finished
and I will come check your results. You will be given 10 minutes to do
so, after 10 minutes we will come back together as a class and go over
the sort. Then you should copy your sort into your notebooks.


We have discovered what how clouds are formed and the different
types of clouds. Next you will need to write a letter to Mr. Jay Webb
from WHSV that explains what we have learned today. Your letter must
be at least 2 paragraphs. Your letter must include the how clouds are
formed, the three types of clouds, and at least one fact about each
type. Anything else is up to you. Below you can see that I have
started the letter for you. This is to be done individually.

Dear Mr. Jay Webb at WHSV,

Our fourth grade class at Millbrook Elementary has

completed our testing and I am ready to share with you all that you
need to know about clouds. First you should know

Hope to see you soon!