Media and Communications
Material Type:
Upper Elementary
  • Lesson Plan
  • photography
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:
    Graphics/Photos, Text/HTML

    Education Standards

    Cloud Identification

    Cloud Identification


    This lesson is to assess students on their ability to correctly label the three types of clouds. It is also assessing their ability to create a presenation using technology and photography, followed by correctly citing any photos retrieved properly and safely from the media. 

    Listed under the Library Media Standard 


    This lesson will be to assess students on their ability to correctly identify the three cloud types. They will observe, take pictures, and label the clouds they observe with the correct name. 

    • Students will have a week to observe clouds in the sky. Plus an additional week to complete the presentation of pictures. As well as 20 minutes of class time 3 times that week for those who do not have access to a camera at home. 
    • Format of this presentation will be in-class time for access to iPads as well as out of class participation to observe the clouds they see at home.


    Background for Teachers


    • To teach this lesson, you will need an understanding of cloud formation and how water vapor, temperature, and particles in the air allow clouds to form. You will also need to correctly know the three cloud types. 
      • Stratus clouds are low, flat, gray clouds that look like sheets covering the sky. They are the closest clouds to the ground. They form as low as surface level (fog) to about 6,500 feet above the ground. They can produce rain, drizzle, snow, or mist.
      • Cumulus clouds are puffy and white-like cotton balls. They form from 2,000 to 20,000 feet above the ground. They usually indicate fair weather. Sometimes they grow very large and become thunderheads. As these clouds gather they create thunder and lightning and produce precipitation in the form of rain and hail.
      • Cirrus clouds are thin, curly, wispy clouds. They are sometimes referred to as mares’ tails. They form between 25,000 to 40,000 feet above the ground. They are so high in the atmosphere that the water droplets freeze into ice crystals. They often indicate an incoming storm or weather change
    • Videos: the district media centers have videos about clouds and safe outside links to videos on clouds. 

    • websites for the students to use to access their pictures taken or to download pictures for their presentation would be:
      • Adobe Spark-to create the presentation
      •  make a gif
      • use a 360 picture
      • flickr images
      • nearpod
      • Google account to upload personal photos taken to.
      • printed pictures, glued into a collage and labeled.


    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes


    Learning Intentions:

    • Students will be able to understand the science of clouds and think critically by putting a photo presentation together using technology. 
    • Students will practice their ability to correctly cite sources they have used from the media. 

    Success Criteria: 

    • Students will apply their previous knowledge and ability on the use of technology to create an Adobe Spark( or another technology option offered) presenation photo. 
    • Students will identify cloud types by labeling the photos.
    • Students will have shown they have cited any sources used outside of their own orginal photos. 


    Step 2 - Planning Instruction


    Library Media 4: Strand 8 stand. 1c.- Follow ethical and legal guidelines in using and citing information to avoid plagiarism and copyright violations.

    Student Background Knowledge

    • Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of the three cloud types and what the names of the clouds are. They will also have already talked about how clouds form.

    Strategies for Diverse Learners

    Students will have a preassement before they are given their assignment. They will work with their desk partner and use white boards to answer the questions I ask. Then after working with a buddy they will then be left to work on their own. They will be given multiple ways to record the clouds they see throughout the week, such as, take a picture, draw a picture, or write a description in their observation journals. Then class time will aslo be given to have access to the classroom iPads where I can also offer them additional support in creating their presentation pictures and accessing pictures safely online. 

    Step 3 - Instruction


    • Students are to create an Adobe Spark(or other source) photo presentation/collage.
      • They can choose to make a photo collage or slide presentation. That will then be displayed on Slideshow, their Google account and share the link. Or they can print and glue photos found online (or was taken with ipad) and then correctly hand write the correct labels for the clouds- for those who have a disability and need differentiated assistance.  

    Week 1

    • They will observe clouds they see outside for the week. 
    • Record on their observation journal (paper provided) of what they notice and see.
    • They will describe what they see and draw a picture of the clouds they observed on the back of the journal paper and then label the clouds they saw-cirrus, cumulus, stratus.
    •  They will need to record ONE picture a day for FIVE days of the week.
    • (For those with disability and cannot draw pictures) They can use a personal/parent phone camera to take pictures of the sky throughout the week and uploaded to google account and shared with teacher. The pictures taken during the week will need to be used in their photo presentation next week.
      • They can also use pictures they find to print online or pictures from a magazine and/or book that they have permission to cut the picture out, and glue those on the back of the observation journal.

    Week 2

    • The drawn pictures from last week will now be used  to create their presentation/collage (those who chose to take pictures throughout the week will now use them to create their final assignment).
    • During 20 minute groups rotations one area will be iPad access where they will create their collage/presentation.
    • Use any of the safe websites/apps mentioned below to aid with finding pictures that match what they drew during last weeks observations.
      • The pictures need to be cited correctly. 


    1. Depending on what website/app you choose you can create a presentation of 5 slides with the 5 pictures you found that depict what you observed last week. Put the 5 pictures in the slides and label with name of that type of cloud: cumulus, cirrus, stratus
    2. Depending on what website/app chosen you can create a collage with the 5 pictures that were found. On one single page place all the 5 pictures. Label each picture individually with correct name of that type of cloud. So, 5 pictures, 5 labels all on one page.
    • For differentiated options: find and print online or pictures from a magazine and/or book that they have permission to cut the picture out, and glue those on a paper and have another student, assistant, or teacher write the label for the cloud that the student says goes with each picture of clouds. 

    -Resources/apps: students can create a gif, collage, 360 photo or any other type of photo editing website we have used in the past weeks to create three pictures depicting the three types of clouds: cirrus, stratus, cumulus. Then each photo will be labled with the correct name.  

    • websites for the students to use to access their pictures taken or to download pictures for their presentation would be:
      • Adobe Spark
      •  make a gif
      • use a 360 picture
      • flickr images
      • nearpod
      • Google account to upload personal photos taken to and put in a slide
      • printed pictures put in a collage and hand written labels.


    Observation Journals are to be handed in the same day as presentation is due. 

    When giving instruction there are three differenty types of examples: slide and two collages using my own pictures I took. Use another app and show them in class. Be sure to cite the pictures found properly as a reminder to them how to do it if they are using picures off the internet.

    Types of clouds student sheet cited:

    Utah Lesson Plans. 4th grade investigations - 2 CS.indd. (2004, July, 26). Retrieved April, 10, 2021 from 

    Step 4 - Assessments

    This presenation/collage is the final assemement. They have many ways to complete the assignment with different apps or other resources to make the presentation/ collage. I have an example of a collage that is correctly labeled of the pictures taken at home during the 5 days. They can do a presentation with multiple slides of the 5 days or they can create a collage of the pictures they took over the course of 5 days. They then create either the slides or the collage and that is their final assignment to show understanding of being able to correctly label the different cloud types while using technology to complete the assignment.