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Clouds and Precipitation

  • Lesson Plan Creator: Lynne Larson
  • Grades: Grade 2, Grade 3, Grade 4
  • Subjects: Science, Language Arts
  • Part of Class: Creative Movement
  • National/State Fine Arts Standards: Create, Perform/Present, Connect, Respond
  • Tags: Creative Movement
  • Skills Addressed: Contrasting energy work with verbs and adverbs

This lesson plan uses creative movement to introduce students to different types of clouds and different types of precipitation.

Learning Objectives/Goals

Using verbs, adjectives and adverbs students will define the 4 different types of clouds in movement and create sequences that show how each type differs from one another.

Materials Needed

Large open space, music and/or a drum


State Goals and Class expectations, space boundaries.


Using descriptive words to inspire movement, have the students spread out in the space.  Ask them to do the first movement that pops into their head when you say the following words, (stress using different levels, and body parts during their movement):

  • feathery (How does a feather feel? What does it look like? Gentle, smooth, soft)
  •  make a thin shape, use one body part to make a thin shape
  • How could you show layers in movement? How could you show layers in a frozen shape?


Introduce the types of clouds we are studying today: 

  • Cirrus – thin, feathery, high (use these words to explore movement) This type of cloud indicates fair weather – if you were outside, what types of activities might you do in fair weather?
  • Stratus – low level, layered (use these words to explore movement) This type of cloud normally brings steady rain.  How could you be the steady rain?  Use movement and sound to explore.
  • Cumulous – white, fluffy with flat bases (make big fluffy shapes with your body) Can you make group shapes that are big and fluffy?
  • Cumulonimbus – these bring thunderstorms – heavy rain, snow, hail, sleet, lightning and even tornadoes. Pick one of these to show in movement. When you hear the word “change”, change to a new precipitation.
  • Fog – a cloud on the ground.  How would you move if you were in fog?  It is really hard to see, would you move carefully? Cautiously?


Look outside and see what types of clouds are in our sky today?  Can you show me in movement?  Have students create a pattern of clouds.  Select 2 or 3 to put in a pattern and have them create a cloud sequence.


Show to the group and have the audience try and guess what clouds are being shown.

Extension to the Lesson

Use this movement to travel through the space in different pathways, straight, curved or zig-zag.

Follow Up Resources

Dance To Learn Video Lessons

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What People are Saying

The diversity of the dancers really spoke to my students! It was great to see boys and girls dancing, and different races. The high level of engagement was so refreshing and got students excited about thecontent.
This activity was valuable because it helped students make connections between dance, rhythm, healthy lifestyles, and expression. The students were impressed by the talent of the dancers and it was motivating to them.
Opportunities for art and expression are so limited at school but so essential and valuable for all students, especially those who struggle to learn through traditional methods. My Kindergarteners have been dancing since you left!
This was so engaging. I looked around the auditorium and every student was watching. Not one person was talking or distracted
This activity is valuable to teachers and students because it gives them a creative outlet. We need movement in the classroom to engage, energize and deepen student learning.
I got great ideas on how to incorporate movement into math and science lessons.
I loved how you made movement and exercise relatable to the students. The dancers were full of energy and there was very little down time so students stayed engaged.
Our children were captivated by the performance. They listened to you and they were learning without knowing. They usually giggle when bodies are shown and talked about. But the way you presented it was so tastefully done, they now do poses and movement around the room and outside. You brokesome barriers and they took that permission and literally ran with it!