This page last changed on Oct 11, 2007 by cstaudt.
by Flickr user T Hall
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What do you think clouds are made of?

  1. Take a look at this cloud. What is it like?
        • L5: Write your response in the box below.
        • L4: Try to describe the color and shape of the cloud and how it might feel.
        • L3: The cloud looks like... If you could touch it, I think the cloud would feel...
        • L2: The cloud is: a) light and fluffy b)heavy and thick c) solid
        • L1: The cloud is light and fluffy. If you tried to touch a cloud, your hand would go right through it.
  2. Now we are going to take a trip into the cloud. We'll get to see what it's really like inside the cloud.
  3. Click here and when asked, select "Open" and then "Trust"
  4. Click "Zoom In" and watch as we enter the cloud!
  5. Continue clicking zoom in.
  6. Draw what you see when you finish zooming in.

In this activity, you took a trip into a cloud. As you move closer and closer, you saw that clouds are actually made up of tiny particles. These are droplets of water! There are tiny droplets of water in the cloud. The droplets are so small that you can't see them individually, but you can tell they are there when a lot of droplets in the same place and form a cloud.

Now that you've taken a trip inside a cloud, what can you say that clouds are really made of?

I like the idea of bringing in both water droplets and ice/snow. It invites some simple pictures or illustrations. Perhaps 5-6 gets two activities with two different MW models, one focusing on droplet formation and the other on crystal formation (the atoms form neat rows).  Or is this too advanced?

Posted by ehazzard at Aug 09, 2007 10:36

How do you scaffold elicit questions without interfering with students' access to prior knowledge?
Ed: you scaffold the structuring of an answer, rather than the content. For example, "give two examples that support your idea" is a structural and not a content scaffold. But I think this one is hard - finding scaffolds that fit equally well with a yes or a no answer.

Posted by mateoaw at Aug 25, 2007 12:44
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