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Cloud Inquiry Project


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Here is my 5th grade inquiry project on clouds.

Here is my 5th grade inquiry project on clouds.

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  • 1. Clouds By Lynsey Wilkie
  • 2. Experience
    • The children I had at Delaware Elementary School over the summer looked up into the sky one day and asked many questions about clouds. In school I had learned some of the basics about clouds but I was unable to answer their questions. I became curious about clouds and wanted to find out more about them.
  • 3. Questions
    • I asked myself:
      • What are their names and what classifies them?
      • How are they produced?
      • Do they vary in color?
      • What type of precipitation do they produce?
        • How do they produce precipitation?
        • What happens?
  • 4. Standards
    • 5.3.4
      • Investigate that when liquid water disappears it turns into a gas (vapor) mixed into the air and can reappear as a liquid when cooled or as a solid if cooled below the freezing point of water. (Core Standard)
    • 5.3.6
      • Demonstrate that things on or near the Earth are pulled toward it by the Earth's gravity.
    • 5.3.8
      • Investigate, observe, and describe that heating and cooling cause changes in the properties of materials, such as water turning into steam by boiling and water turning into ice by freezing. Notice that many kinds of changes occur faster at higher temperatures
    • 5.3.9
      • Investigate, observe, and describe that when warmer things are put with cooler ones, the warm ones lose heat and the cool ones gain it until they are all at the same temperature. Demonstrate that a warmer object can warm a cooler one by contact or at a distance.
  • 5. Types of Clouds
    • Cumulus
      • “ Puffy”
      • Look like cotton
      • Produce Thunderstorms
    • Stratus
      • “ Spread out”
      • Low level
      • Thin
      • Layer the sky
    • Cirrus
      • “ Feathery”
      • High level
      • Whispy and thin
    • Nimbus- means rain
      • Cumulonimbus and Nimbostratus
  • 6. Types of Clouds
    • Wall Cloud
      • Come with severe weather
        • Potential to create a Tornado
      • Produces no rain
      • Looks like a thick cloud covering the sky
    • Roll Cloud
      • Long and tubular
      • Detached from a storm cloud
      • Looks like it’s rolling
  • 7. Types of Clouds
    • Shelf Cloud
      • Low and horizontal
      • Broken off from a storm cloud
      • Looks like a shelf
    • Anvil
      • The top part of a cumulonimbus cloud
      • The top is flattened giving it the look of an anvil
  • 8. Making a Cloud
    • Air contains water or is in the form of water vapor
    • Warm air rises, expands, and cools
    • Cool air cannot hold as much water vapor as warm air
      • Some of the vapor turns into small droplets
    • Billions of droplets come together and form a cloud
  • 9.
  • 10. Colors of Clouds
    • Caused by sunlight
    • Gray- sun shines through the top instead of the bottom
    • Dark Gray- the cloud is thick and sunlight gets blocked
    • White- the cloud is thin and doesn’t block as much sunlight
    • Sometimes clouds take the color of the environment such as near sunrise of sunset
      • Clouds are not actually these colors they just appear to be
  • 11. Clouds & Precipitation
    • Rain
      • Vapor droplets become too heavy for a cloud to hold and fall
      • Ice crystals combine and make snow flakes and fall but warmer air melts them into liquid droplets
    • Hail
      • Large frozen rain drop made during a thunderstorm
      • Snow flakes fall and liquid freezes on to them which makes ice pellets
      • The more droplets the freeze on to the snow the greater the size of the hail
  • 12. Clouds & Precipitation
    • Snow
      • Water vapor freezes into ice crystals
      • The ice crystals attract cool droplets and take different shapes
        • Snowflakes
    • Freezing rain
      • Rain gets extremely cold and freezes once it hits a cold surface
    • Sleet
      • Frozen raindrops
      • Surface temperature decreases and causes freezing rain to change to sleet
  • 13. References