Cloud in a Bottle (SOL 2.6)

Cloud in a Bottle

Instructor’s Name: Gemma Griffin

Grade: 2nd

Time: 45 minutes

Topic: Weather Changes

Concept: Cloud formation

SOL: 2.6 The student will investigate and understand basic types, changes, and patterns of weather.

Rationale: Being able to predict the weather just by looking outside is important in every day life, in terms just as simple as looking outside and knowing what to wear, or whether or not to take an umbrella out with you. Clouds are a good indicator of the type of weather in store for the day. By understanding clouds, students will begin to understand the types of weather changes associated with them.

Goals:     To promote science as inquiry.

To investigate how clouds are formed.

To become aware of basic weather patterns and changes.

To practicing the sequencing of events.




The student will be able to identify the steps in cloud formation; evidenced by their water cycle poster and participation in class discussion about cloud formation.



The student will be able to make a cloud; evidenced by their participation in making a cloud in a jar with their group and participating in class discussion about how the cloud was formed.

The student will be able to sequence the events of cloud formation; evidenced by correctly sequencing all four steps in the water cycle on a poster.


The student will be able to recognize how clouds affect the weather and their daily lives; evidenced by a class discussion.


It Looked Like Spilt Milk, large jar, plastic bag with ice, warm water, one sheet of black paper, flashlight, matches,

Student supplies: paper, glue, markers, scissors, cut outs to sequence the water cycle.

Advanced Organizer:

It Looked Like Spilt Milk. Discuss with students what they know about clouds (assessing prior knowledge) and talk about how they think a cloud is formed. Brainstorm ideas on the board, or chart paper, where all students can see for future references.


1. In small groups, of no more than five, perform an experiment of making a cloud.

2. Groups who are waiting to make their cloud should be instructed to use their art supplies and cut outs to create a poster that shows the sequence of the water cycle.

Cloud Experiment:

1. Tell the students that we are going to perform a simulation of the forming of a cloud. Take out the jar and have one of the students tape the black piece of paper onto one side of the jar. Ask another student to pour the warm water into the jar until it is one third full.

2. Light a match and hold it in the jar for a few seconds and then drop it in. At this point, have a student quickly cover the jar with the bag of ice.

3. Have another student (or teacher) shine the flashlight on the jar while they record their observations.

4. Now the students will explore what happened.

5. See “Questions for Discussion” below to help guide student inquiry.

Questions for Discussion:

1. What did you see in the jar? (a cloud)

2. Where did the cloud come from? (the water in the bottom of the jar)

3. How did the warm water effect the cloud formation? (caused the water

to evaporate and warmed the air, causing it to rise)

4. What did the ice cubes do to help the clouds form? (cooled the air [made

the water vapor condense]).

5. What role did the match and its smoke play in the cloud formation?

(gave the water something to condense or grab on to)

6. Now what would you tell me a cloud is made of? (small water droplets)


Ask students to describe the process of cloud formation from what they

just learned.


Class Discussion, participation, and sequencing of water cycle (cloud formation).


This lesson was differentiated for visual, auditory, kinesthetic and artistic abilities.


Lynchburg, VA 24503

Last modified Thursday November 24, 2011