We’re keeping our heads up in the clouds in April!

5th Apr 2022

We’re keeping our heads up in the clouds in April!

If you flip your Qizzle 2022 calendar to April, you’ll learn that this month we’re celebrating cloud watching. So find a comfy outdoors spot, gaze up, and admire the clouds.

How will you explore the clouds with your tamariki?

To help facilitate exploration with your students in April, we’ve included some fun cloud watching activities.

Be sure to let us know how you’ve been exploring your local area during this month’s Facebook community week, from April 11-15. Every month we’ll be giving you the chance to share how you and your school have been exploring your backyard.

Here's some fun cloud watching activities

Cumulus clouds are round puffy low clouds that look like cotton balls

Did you know you can determine the weight of cumulus clouds?

Science alert estimates that cumulus clouds, which are fluffy marshmallow-like clouds, can weigh 500,000 kg! They estimate that this type of cloud has a density of about 0.5 grams per cubic metre, therefore a 1 cubic kilometre cloud contains 1 billion cubic metres.

If we do the math, (1 billion x 0.5 = 500 million grams!) that’s 500 tons of cloud floating above our heads! The good news is they won’t fall on our heads, because cloud material is less dense than the same volume of dry air.

Have a go with your tamariki. Next time you are outside try identifying a cumulus cloud and ask your students how long they think it is and use the formula above to work out its weight.

Sketch the clouds, what shapes do you see?

Clouds provide endless possibilities. Take tamariki outside on a nice day and have them observe the clouds. Ask students questions like what shapes do you see? Do they resemble an animal or maybe a building? Make sure you encourage that there are no wrong answers.

Once students have found a shape, have them sketch their favourite clouds. You can even add a literature element and ask students to tell a story about the clouds they are drawing.

Identify the clouds

There are heaps of cloud types to explore, see if you and your tamariki can spot and identify them.

According the the World Meteorological Organization, there are 10 main groups of clouds divided into three levels (Low, medium and high cloud).

The 4 most common clouds to explore are:

Cirrus clouds, these are high clouds (about 20,000 ft or above). These are thin and wispy clouds that appear during good weather.

Nimbostratus cloud, these are medium clouds that are typically at about 6,500 to 20,000 ft above. These clouds are thick enough to blot out the sun and appear as a thick grey layer.

Cumulus cloud, these are round puffy marshmallow like clouds are low clouds, usually at about 6,500 ft or above.

Stratus clouds, these are are low clouds like the Cumulus cloud and are uniform and flat making a grey layer of cloud cover.