Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.
It Looked Like Spilt Milk
It Looked Like Spilt Milk is a cleverly written book that encourages students to look at clouds and find the shapes within. The activities below, best used with elementary level students, have been created for use with the book as a means of helping students connect with the content and learn to look for shapes in clouds (and other things).
White Paint Designs
Materials: dark colored construction paper, white paint
- Put students into pairs.
- Give each pair a piece of dark construction paper.
- Instruct each pair to fold their paper in half to create a crease in the middle of the page.
- Walk around the room and drop several drops of white paint in the crease of each paper.
- Have each pair fold their papers again and press so as to move the paint around inside.
- Now, have each pair open their papers to see what type of design they have created.
- Give each pair some time to determine what their painted shape might look like.
- Next, have each pair share their creation with the class and explain what shape they see.
- Now, have each pair exchange their papers with another group.
- Instruct each pair to try and see something in their paper that the previous group did not.
- Again, allow some time for the pairs to look and discuss.
- Do another round of sharing.
- If time allows, exchange again and repeat the full process.
- Sets of index cards, each with one of the words below printed on it, enough sets for each small group
- Sets of picture cards, each with a picture of the words below (these are matching the 'word' index cards), enough sets for each small group
- Ice cream cone
- Birthday cake with candle
Ahead of time, and using the materials listed above, prepare several match game sets where students will match the picture to the word
- Put students into small groups and give each group a pre-made match game.
- Explain the rules of the game:
- Each group is to spread out their cards upside down so that they cannot be seen.
- Taking turns, each student will flip two random cards. If they find a match, they keep it for a point and their turn continues. If they do not find a match, they turn the cards back over and play moves to the next student.
- The winner of the game is the student with the most matches once all of the cards have been matched.
Cotton Cloud Designs
Materials: dark construction paper (dark blue or black is recommended), cotton balls, glue, writing paper, pencils
- Give each student a piece of construction paper, several cotton balls, and some glue.
- Instruct students to use their cotton balls to create a shape of some kind and glue it to the construction paper. Show them how they can pull the cotton balls apart and shape them how they wish.
- Next, give each student a piece of writing paper and a pencil.
- Have each student write about their cotton creation, but instruct them to mimic the model in the book (''Sometimes it looks like a...'').
- Once all of the shapes have been created and all the pages written, gather them together and bind them to create a book.
- Title the book ''Our Version of 'It Looked Like Spilt Milk'.''
- Place the book somewhere in the classroom so that students can read and revisit as they wish.
Look at the Sky
This is an activity you'll want to do on a day when the weather is agreeable and there are plenty of fluffy clouds in the sky.
Materials: black construction paper, white crayons, writing paper, pencils
- Begin by revisiting the story and reminding students that all of the pictures turned out to be clouds in they sky.
- Tell students you will be taking them outside to look at the clouds.
- Give each student a piece of black construction paper and a white crayon. You might also want each student to have a book or clipboard or some other hard surface to draw on.
- Take students outside and let each find a comfortable place to sit.
- Instruct students to look up at the sky (remind them not to look directly at the sun). Ask them to observe the clouds they see.
- Next, have students draw a picture of what they see (using their white crayons on the black construction paper).
- Once completed, take students back inside and give each a piece of writing paper and a pencil.
- Now, instruct students to write about what they drew. As they write, have them:
- Tell what shape their cloud looks like (explain that they can be creative and that it is okay if their drawing of the cloud does not look exactly like the shape they describe).
- Write a complete sentence about the shape.
- Finally, put students into groups of 4 - 5 and have them share their work with the other members of their group.
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