Clouds may be very mysterious
to children. If asked to look at the sky, they can “float” with the clouds.
They can see the clouds move and don’t know if the wind is moving them
or if the Earth is moving so fast that they just appear to move. Children
wonder how a cloud can get in the way of the Sun warming the Earth.
A shadow can be seen tracing the path of the cloud.
Cartoons and books portrait clouds
as soft, pillow-like substances in the sky. But that is so very far
from the truth!
In this demonstration you
will illustrate the major components of cloud formation. You can
make a cloud by following the instructions below. Describe each ingredient
as you go. Let them know that the cloud is sometimes hard to see
(but having students seeing you make a cloud will help them remember how
clouds are formed.)
- Boil water. Fill a jar with
one third hot water.
- Tell students that the steam represents
the water rising from lakes and oceans. Tell them that the ocean
is not hot, we are just speeding up the process. This is an experiment.
- Spray a little refresher
into the jar. This represents the dust in the air. Cloud droplets
form around particles.
- Put a dish or margarine
tub on top of the jar and put ice in it. See diagram for set up. This represents
the cooling high up in the air.
- You will see some faint swirling
of the steam inside the jar. Have the students look closely at the
- Once you get the feel for making
clouds, make a few stations for the students to observe the clouds.
Refer to this experiment as a cloud in a bottle. Tell students if
they want to make a cloud at home, they must ask their parents to help.