Grandma Bird / After Reading / /

Different Types of Clouds

Learning about cloud formation and seasonal changes

Lesson length: 1 session

Lesson from Grandma Bird series

Text potential

  • Wider learning opportunities: Science: weather and seasons


  • Science


We have different seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom. Knowing different types of clouds can offer clues to the weather. If Noi had been more aware of the cloud patterns, perhaps he wouldn’t have needed rescuing in the storm.



Would the clouds have given Noi a clue about the way the weather would turn out?

Revisit the story asking the children to comment on the appearance of the clouds. Collect the words used and list them on the board. Ask if they know that there are names for different types of clouds. Can anyone name any? Share the slideshow.

  • Cumulus clouds are big and fluffy. They form low in the sky. They bring short, heavy showers of rain.
  • Stratus clouds are big blankets of dull clouds. They hang low in the sky and cover the whole sky. They give a light drizzle but not heavy showers.
  • Cirrus clouds are found high up in the sky and are made almost entirely of ice.

Identifying different clouds

Keep a cloud diary for a week, going outside and spotting different clouds. Draw, describe, and identify the clouds in the morning and then make a note of what happened to the weather.

Final reflection

Link back to the earlier question about Noi.

  • Would knowledge of the clouds have helped him?
  • Can you name the clouds that were in the sky that day?
  • Which clouds are indicators of a storm coming?

Key vocabulary

cirrus, stratus cumulus


Nikki Gamble

Nikki Gamble
Director, Just Imagine
Nikki has worked extensively in schools across the UK and internationally. She is the author of Exploring Children’s Literature (4th edit) (2019) and co-author of Guiding Readers (2016) which was awarded the UKLA Academic Book of the Year Award 2017. Nikki is KS2 reading advisor and series consultant for Oxford University Press and content creator for the Oxford School Improvement and Oxford Owl websites. Nikki is Associate Consultant at the University of London, Institute of Education and Honorary Fellow at the University of Winchester

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Sam Keeley

Formerly a teacher and local authority advisory teacher, Sam now works with Just Imagine as an English consultant and manager of the year 6 Reading Gladiators programme.

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