5th Grade Cloud Science Project

5th Grade Cloud Science Project

My three kids have been lucky enough to have the same kindergarten teacher and the same 5th grade teacher — bookends to their elementary school lives. Every year in 5th grade, the grade does a big science unit on the weather which includes cloud formations. And, every year, the kids make cloud posters.
5th Grade Cloud Science Project

Day 1: Painting the background

Kids also have the option to think outside of the box. For her 5th grade cloud unit project, PickyKidPix made a cartoon book using an app. I never saw it, but she said she got full marks for it.
5th Grade Cloud Science Project

Day 2: Creating the Clouds

I dread class science projects but I have to say that this one was painless. My son just needed one trip to the drug store for cotton balls, a glue stick, and poster board. He decided not to use blue poster board and used watercolors to paint the background. Actually, he hated using my watercolor set (Windsor and Newton Artists Watercolors in tubes) and asked for poster paint, but I just made him use the paint I had on hand.

5th Grade Cloud Science Project

Day 3: Painting the Clouds

I wasn’t sure if watercolor paint would work on cotton balls, but it seems to be fine. My son used a Cloud Diagram via WeatherWizKids to get the information he needed.

cloud chart

cloud charts

These cloud charts are from Pixdaus.

He needed to include:

  • the height the clouds are found
  • at least three main types of clouds
  • what type of weather is associated with each type of cloud
  • clouds need to be neatly labeled
  • neatness counts; he’s also graded on attractiveness of poster and correct spelling and capitalization

cloud poster

Day 5: Making and attaching the labels

More resources:

Cloud chart with photos

Cloud Identification Guide

Cloud Identification: photos and descriptions of clouds in Canada

Ever wonder how clouds got their names? This video will shed some light.

My son was very proud that he got 20/20 for his cloud poster! I was just happy that I didn’t have to do anything besides the drug store shopping trip! And, as it turns out, you don’t need two bags of cotton balls. I think he only used about 15.

5th Grade Cloud Science Project

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. I like your son’s poster. Looks like you are doing your own cloud project along with your son. Nice video. Glad I’ve made it through the classroom projects days.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…These HandsMy Profile

  2. And Mia, you can’t forget the artistic and creative sides to clouds. I have been shooting clouds since the 70s and presented THE BIG CLOUD SLIDE SHOW to my 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students and they loved it. In this instance we were not talking science so much as “clouds that look like things.” They would come up to the screen and point out all the “things” they saw and imagined and then wrote some amazing cloud poetry.

    If you want your audience to see some amazing clouds and learn more about the science of clouds, please ask them to check out THE CLOUD APPRECIATION SOCIETY at http://www.cloudappreciationsociety.org. Gavin Pretor Pinney runs the website and the author of several cloud books and appeared on Martha Stewart’s TV show at the time to showcase his cloud books.

  3. What a great visual science project!
    maryanne recently posted…Celebrating 10 Years of Parenting LessonsMy Profile

  4. That’s a really cool project! 😀 I wish I had assignments like that! 😀

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