Free Nature Studies: Sky & Clouds

Free Nature Studies: Sky & Clouds
Free Nature Studies: Sky & Clouds

A small particle of dust becomes the core around which a drop of water condenses and thereby collectively form clouds.

We now begin the fifth and last section of the book, Earth and Its Neighbors, which covers the sky and clouds, the solar system, rocks, water and ice, and a final review.

Read the current chapter online: “Skyland and Cloudland”


  • Copy and illustrate Psalm 104:2, 3.  Read the entire Psalm and identify “Who.”
  • Learn how water can power the electric oven and the electric washer at ThinkQuest.
  • View the various clouds discussed in the lesson: cumulus, cumulonimbus, and cirrus.
  • Listen to a scientific explanation of “mackerel sky.”
  • Read about cloud crystals and halos at
  • Scientists no longer believe the sky is blue due to the dust particles in the air.  Find out why the sky is blue at NASA.
  • Narrate (orally or in writing) why the sky is blue.
  • Find out how raindrops form at The Weather Doctor (scroll down).
  • Narrate (orally or in writing) how raindrops form.
  • Read about how clouds form.
  • Learn more about fog at The Weather Channel.
  • Explain how fog is formed.
  • Study hail and how it is formed at NOAA.
  • Tell someone everything you can about hail.
  • Something to do #1: Make a cloud notebook with one cloud type per page.  Write a description underneath that includes the cloud’s characteristics, the type of weather it portends and the Latin meaning of its name.
  • Something to do #2: Read “The Cloud” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.  Copy and illustrate the poem to add to your notebook.
  • Something to do #3: You’ll find helps for drawing a sunset below.
  • Something to do #4: You’ll find the poems referred to for this activity in the poetry resources below.
  • Something to do #5: Look up Bible verses that deal with clouds, wind and sky using topical searches. Choose a verse (or verses) to copy and illustrate.
  • Memorize Psalm 148:7-10 or Job 37:9-11.
  • Read “Who Has Seen the Wind?” by Christina Rossetti and “The Wind” by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Choose one of the poems to memorize and recite.  You may also want to copy and illustrate the poem to include in your notebook.
  • More about clouds and sky from the Book of Knowledge:

To understand the origin of clouds it is necessary to understand that wind does not always blow in a horizontal direction but also, to a certain extent, up and down.

Now, when air is moving downward, it is being compressed and this makes it warmer. When it moves upward, it is expanding and therefore becoming colder. In the first case, no water vapor can condense; in the second, it will condense readily. Air which is moving downward toward the ground is therefore clear and free from cloud; while air which is moving upward away from the ground is usually cloudy….

When the cooling of air, which has been caused by its ascent, continues after a cloud has been formed, the little drops of water of which the cloud is composed run together into larger drops. When these become heavy enough to overcome the resistance of the upward-moving air, they fall to the ground as rain. The size of the raindrops depends on the rapidity with which they are being formed. In other words, it depends on the speed of the moving air.

“Clouds, Rain and Snow,” The Book of Knowledge
  • Water Forms
    Ready to go outdoors? The Handbook of Nature Study covers clouds and other water forms beginning on page 808, and continuing through page 814.

Further Investigation

How Clouds Form
Great explanation at Web Weather for Kids.

Basic information at

Cloud Types
Tutorial from NASA.

Cloud Types
Common classifications that also include the meaning of the Latin roots at the University of Illinois.

Scientific explanation of cloud formation and types from NASA for older students.

Weather Proverbs
From the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Why is the Sky Blue?
Scientific explanation at


ID a Cloud
Matching activity to see if you can identify the cloud types at the University of Illinois.

Cloud Lab
Interactive at PBS focusing on identifying clouds.

Create a Portable Cloud
Great activity for Kids.

How to Paint Mackerel Skies
Free oil painting lesson at OilPaintingDemonstrations.

Why the Sky is Blue
Explanation and three investigative projects at

Cloud in a Bottle
Experiment at where you make your own cloud!

Make Fog
Experiment to make fog (and explanation of why it works) also at

Three Clouds Activity
Three different ways of making clouds and activity sheets for older students at

Painting Clouds
Using watercolor lifting techniques at

How to Draw Clouds with Chalk Pastels
Includes free video tutorial also at


“Fog” by Carl Sandburg

“Boats Sail on the Rivers” by Christina Rossetti

“April Rain” by Robert Loveman

The Cloud Book

The Cloud Book by Tomie de Poala
Covers the ten most common cloud types from a favorite author.

Cloud Studies ~ Free eBook
Excellent introduction.

Wonders of Creation Series

The Weather Book by Michael Oard
Written by a meteorologist, this beautifully illustrated hardback covers the causes of weather, world climates, how to read a weather map, and weather features including four pages devoted to clouds.  Free study guide is also available at the publisher.

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

Take a Cloud Walk
34-page download at that includes information, activities, ideas, and room for journaling and taking field notes.

Clouds Out My Window
48-page download from NOAA to help students identify clouds.

Cloud Key
Download with great printables from Scholastic with instructions for identifying clouds.

Cloud Unit
From based on The Cloud Book by Tomie de Poala above.

Hail: A Unit Study

Hail: A Unit Study
One of our own with dozens of resources!

Printables & Notebooking Pages
Cloud Chart {Free}

Cloud Chart {Free}
Free download at NOAA with our own go-along suggestions.

Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}
With space at the top for illustrating and room at the bottom for copying Psalm 104:2,3 as suggested above.

Reference for notebook showing the types of clouds sorted by altitude.

Cloud Chart
Helpful cloud chart for reference at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Sky & Clouds Notebooking Pages
Simple pages that go with the lesson for copywork, narrations, recording cloud observations with day, and Something to Do #4.

Enjoy the complete series:
Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World