ALEX Classroom Resource


Clouds and Precipitation StudyJam

  Classroom Resource Information  


Clouds and Precipitation StudyJam


Content Source:

Type: Interactive/Game


Clouds are made of water vapor and dust. When the water gets too heavy, it falls back to the Earth. Clouds are named according to their location and shape, such as cumulus, or puffy, stratus, or blanketed, and cirrus, or high and cold.

The classroom resource provides a slide show that will describe how clouds are formed and how precipitation is created. This resource can provide background information for students before they create their own models. There is also a short test that can be used to assess students' understanding.

Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
14 ) Use a model to represent how any two systems, specifically the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, and/or hydrosphere, interact and support life (e.g., influence of the ocean on ecosystems, landform shape, and climate; influence of the atmosphere on landforms and ecosystems through weather and climate; influence of mountain ranges on winds and clouds in the atmosphere).

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Developing and Using Models
Crosscutting Concepts: Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth's Systems
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Atmosphere
  • Hydrosphere
  • Geosphere
  • Biosphere
  • Model
  • Phenomenon
  • System
  • Earth
Students know:
  • Earth's major systems are the geosphere (solid and molten rock, soil, and sediments), the hydrosphere (water and ice), the atmosphere, and the biosphere (living things, including humans).
  • These systems interact in multiple ways to affect Earth's surface materials and processes.
  • The ocean supports a variety of ecosystems and organisms, shapes landforms, and influences climate.
  • Winds and clouds in the atmosphere interact with the landforms to determine patterns of weather.
Students are able to:
  • Develop a model, using a specific given example of a phenomenon, to describe ways that the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact. In the model, identify the relevant components of their example, including features of two of the following systems that are relevant for the given example:
    • Geosphere (i.e., solid and molten rock, soil, sediment, continents, mountains).
    • Hydrosphere (i.e., water and ice in the form of rivers, lakes, glaciers).
    • Atmosphere (i.e., wind, oxygen).
    • Biosphere [i.e., plants, animals (including humans)].
  • Identify and describe relationships (interactions) within and between the parts of the Earth systems identified in the model that are relevant to the example (e.g., the atmosphere and the hydrosphere interact by exchanging water through evaporation and precipitation; the hydrosphere and atmosphere interact through air temperature changes, which lead to the formation or melting of ice).
  • Use the model to describe a variety of ways in which the parts of two major Earth systems in the specific given example interact to affect the Earth's surface materials and processes in that context. Use the model to describe how parts of an individual Earth system:
    • Work together to affect the functioning of that Earth system.
    • Contribute to the functioning of the other relevant Earth system.
Students understand that:
  • Systems, like the atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere, can be described in terms of their components and their interactions.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Dynamics of Ecosystems

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.5.14- Identify how the atmosphere and hydrosphere interact to support life (e.g. air, water).

Tags: cirrus, clouds, cumulus, meteorologist, precipitation, stratus, weather
License Type: Custom Permission Type
See Terms:
For full descriptions of license types and a guide to usage, visit :

The test may be completed as a whole group or independently on student devices. 

  This resource provided by:  
Author: Hannah Bradley