Weather is one of my favorite units to teach in first grade. I especially love finding ways to connect content and literacy and weather is just so easy to do this with fiction texts!
Eric Carle's Little Cloud is the perfect creative writing story for weather! I have done this every year with my first graders...it makes a great display and the kids love the creative outlet! This year, I am on mommy break with my little preschooler, so we did this project during our school time the other day! And we had a blast! Read for more on how I adapted this art activity to push higher order thinking skills in my kiddos and get the freebie download...
First, we read Eric Carle's Little Cloud. We talked about what shapes the cloud turned into in the story.
Then, we each took half a page of white construction paper and started tearing. Over the years in first grade, I have changed this part of the activity. I started out years ago letting my firsties tear whatever they wanted their cloud to be--no scissors...tearing only. But I kinda got bored with this. It really ended up being more of an art project and less of a creative thinking project.
So a couple of years into teaching, I changed the rules! Now I set a limit on the number of tears. And we all tear together to make sure no one purposefully makes a shark or whatever. We tear once. Then we tear again. They can choose to turn the paper whichever direction for each tear. I usually stop between 4-6 tears. Sometimes, I even give them the choice to stop at 4 tears or tear another time.
Once, we've finished tearing, we look at our "cloud" and decide what it turned into. We turn it all different directions wondering, "What could my cloud be?" This has really helped beef up this activity to more higher level thinking because it forces kids to take what they already have and make something out of it...instead of having full control.
This was Cooper's first cloud he made. "Yook, Momma, it's a pig! See his nose?"
Once he figured out what his cloud had turned into, we glued it onto his "sky."
Then, Cooper wrote what his cloud turned into...this was his first cloud, a boot. This writing activity was perfect for my little emerging writer. But even in first grade, the focus of this activity isn't writing, it's pushing kids to think outside the box!
This made the perfect display for our refrigerator at home, and our hallway in first grade!
This activity comes from my very popular, 6 week integrated unit on Weather.
Or just download the freebie HERE!