Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Unit

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs unit study

Because we planned to see the movie, and I love the book to begin with, we decided to do a unit study on the book. The kids are super excited about the idea. There have been some new books that have been published in anticipation of the movie. If you have older kids, there is a novelization of the movie also. We decided to focus on the weather and nutrition for our part of the unit study.

**Unlike other units I have written, this is not my original work, I have merely compiled other resources into one place for our unit.



Oats, and Beans, and Barley Grow

Oh my what will the weather be?
Oh My, What will the weather be?
Oh my, what will the weather be?
Oh my, what will the weather be?
It will be (rainy, cloudy, sunny, snowy, windy) today.

Whats the weather like today?
Whats the weather like today? like today? like today?
Whats the weather like today? on this (day of the week) morning?
The weather is (sunny, rainy, cloudy, snowy, windy) today X2
on this (day of the week) morning.

Mr Sun
Oh Mr. sun, sun, Mr. Golden sun
Please come shine on me
Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden sun
Hiding behind a tree
These little children are asking you
To please come out so they can play with you
Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden Sun
Please come shine on me.

What's The Weather?
sung to the tune of "Clementine"
What's the weather?
What's the weather?
What's the weather like today?
Tell us (child's name),
What's the weather?
What's the weather like today?
Is it sunny? (hold arms above head in a circle]
Is it cloudy? [cover eyes with hands]
Is it rainy out today?[flutter fingers downward]
Is it snowy?[wrap arms around body and shiver]
Is it windy? ["blow children over" with a swoop of your arms]
What's the weather like today?

  • Take the kids for a walk to look at the clouds in the sky on multiple days and talk about the different shapes of the clouds.
  • Watch a weather report with the kids, then have the kids give their own weather report using cut out pictures of weather.
  • Let the kids do a fashion show for various kinds of weather
  • Make a storm. Begin by rubbing your hands together making a soft sound, Tell the children to imagine that it is beginning to rain softly. continue to develope the storm by snapping fingers. Follow this by patting your legs, then reverse the action to have the storm subside. (You can add in thunder with a drum, or a cookie sheet). Then have the kids create a storm also.
  • write the names of different clouds onto a divided sheet of paper, then have children create the cloud types with cotton balls, glue, and marker.
  • Graph the weather for the week.
  • create Mr. Weatherbear from cardboard, cover him with felt. Cut out various weather outfits from felt. Each morning when we do the weather graph, have the children dress Mr. Weatherbear for the day's weather.
  • Practice writing in the "snow" (using shaving cream).
  • Turn on the sprinkler and go rainbow hunting.
  • There are many people that work together to make the community function smoothly, called community helpers, such as the mayor, doctors, police and firefighters, as well as the storeowners, transportation workers, and sanitation workers. Make a list of community helpers referred to in the book. Have your child brainstorm other community helpers to add to the list.
  • Have your child make a pretend map using the description at the beginning of the book, including oceans, deserts and mountains. Make sure he adds a compass rose (North, South, East, West) and labels the town of Chewandswallow. Make a story disk (maybe with a meatball on it) and place it on your map. You could also let your child make a small map of Chewandswallow for your lapbook.
  • visit a land fill and a recycling plant. Think about ways you can stop throwing so much stuff away that will be hauled to landfills (recycle more, take things to Good Will, start using cloth bags at the grocery instead of plastic, make a compost pile as mentioned in the story- “the rest of the food was put back into the earth…”).
  • Measure 15 inches (like the drifts of cream cheese and jelly sandwiches). What in your house is 15 inches high/long? Compare to things bigger or smaller.
  • make giant meatballs or pancakes together!
  • Messy, but fun- Dry out some pieces of bread and let them build a boat or house with peanut butter.
  • Go and see "Cloudy with a chance of meatballs" at the theater.

Science Experiments
  • "When it rains where does it go?" Have kids use eyedroppers and various materials (cotton, synthetic, paper, papertowels, cardboard). Drop water onto the materials to see which are absorbant. Then ask question like which surfaces outdoors will, or won't absorb the rain? What type of clothing do you want to wear in the rain? What causes flooding? Talk about saturation point.
  • Pop Popcorn, show kids a cup of popcorn kernels. How much popcorn do you think this will make?
  • The water cycle involves evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and collection of water.
  • Make it rain using this condensation technique
  • Read here about thunderstorms and lightening.
  • conduction activity here
  • convection activity here.
  • convection current activity here
  • make a tornado here
  • Make a storm with a tornado tube and some old bottles.
  • Learn about evaporation by placing a dish of water in the shade and another in a sunny spot. Put a thermometer alongside the dish to introduce temperature. Observe the dishes and thermometers periodically during the day.

  • Make a cloud mobile (p 463 circle time)
  • make rainbow mobile (p.476 activity)
  • make a windsock
  • Make a symmetrical cloud painting by placing drops of white paint on a blue paper, then folding the paper in half, pressing down. Open he paper, add glitter to the paint areas, and there's a white puffy cloud.
    Observe the clouds and draw what you see.
  • Make a diorama of a favorite part of the book (you can use play food to be the “giant food”).
  • make a spaghetti and meatball hat craft here
  • make this picture except have food falling.
  • corn weaving with yellow, brown, and orange construction paper. (p. 169 circle)
  • make an ear of corn from a paper plate.
  • make banannas from hand tracings. Paint the fingers yellow and the little bit of wrist brown.
  • make grapes with purple paint and fingers.
  • make paper plate pizza. take paper plate, paint red paint for sauce. Cut toppings out of construction paper.

  • Play the weather game (p. 473 activities)
  • make "puddles" (about 8-10) out of blue construction paper and laminate them. Have the kids practice gross motor skills jumping from puddle to puddle.
  • play games on movie site

  • In this book the sanitation department has to work really hard to keep up with the leftovers. How do you get rid of your garbage? Does your student know where it goes? How is recyclying different?
  • Where does our food come from? We know it doesn’t rain down from the sky, but does your student understand that food doesn’t really “come from” the grocery store? Talk about Froberg Farms.
  • List the problems that happened, such as flooding, tornados, etc. Ask, how can we stay safe during this weather?
  • how it would affect the economy, employment, etc. in our town or area if food suddenly started falling from the sky. **Think about stores, employees, truckers, shipping industry, warehouses, factories, packaging plants, and an almost endless list of areas it would affect.
    ** How would it affect your family economically? This will vary depending on your employment and buying habits or how much you grow yourself, etc
  • how it would affect the economy, employment, etc. in our town or area if food suddenly started falling from the sky. **Think about stores, employees, truckers, shipping industry, warehouses, factories, packaging plants, and an almost endless list of areas it would affect. ** How would it affect your family economically? This will vary depending on your employment and buying habits or how much you grow yourself, etc
  • Discuss your family food budget. Compare prices from several stores and graph the information. Talk about using coupons, buying in bulk, etc.
  • Discuss cooking from scratch versus packaged or restaurant meals. Compare price of prepared food to fresh. For example price raw potatoes, frozen potato products, boxed or canned potato products, potato chips, French Fries at a restaurant, etc. Compare cost per ounce.

Language Arts
  • Write about what food you would like for it to "rain" on you. If food dropped like rain from the sky, wouldn't it be marvelous! Or would it? It could, after all, be messy. And you'd have no choice. What if you didn't like what fell? Or what if too much came? Have you ever thought of what it might be like to be squashed flat by a pancake?
  • The Israelites and Manna (Exodus 16)
  • Students will use a spreadsheet to organize compound words they find in the book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. After entering the data, they will sort the columns by alphabatizing the words. As a fun ending activity, they will re-sort, using only one column of words, thus creating “new” compound words. Students will write a sentence with their new compound word.
  • A tall tale is a story that contains humor and elements which are exaggerated or hard to believe. Discuss with your child how this story fits the definition of “tall tale” and give specific examples.

  • Discuss healthy food choices, including the five food groups (grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and beans). You can include in your discussion any particular choices your family makes regarding healthy eating (trying to eat mostly whole-grains, not eating meat, etc.).
  • Talk about the food pyramid, identify the different categories. Try to eat meals with offerings from each.
  • Ask your child to analyze the day’s meals as written in the book (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Are the meals healthy? If not, what could be changed?

  • Have a vegetable tasting.

  • Where does it come from? (ketchup, orange juice, peanut butter, applesauce)?

  • make butter, fruit salad, peanut butter, muffins
  • make "stone soup" (veggie soup with a stone in it) and read stone soup.
  • Junk food, or healthy food? Talk about what makes food healthy, what makes it junk?

  • using the food ads, make a nutritional menu for your own healthy restaurant, then using notpads dramatic play restaurant.

  • Memory verse: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” (Psalm 34:8)

  • The people of Chewandswallow came to a place where they needed a refuge from the extreme weather they were experiencing. Talk with your child about what it means that the Lord is our “refuge”; share personal examples of how He has cared for you and how you have experienced “tastes” of His goodness in your life.

  • Bible Story- Manna From Heaven

    In the Bible, there was a time when food really did rain from the sky! Read Exodus 16 with your students. Be sure to discuss thankfulness and complaining. You may even want to mention that we need to be thankful for the foods we do have to eat even when they aren’t our favorites.


  1. Wow, such a detailed lesson plan - Thanks!

  2. Wow this was a great list of ideas! I'm going to use it for a class of three year-olds tomorrow. I'm excited about the weather fashion show, making a storm with our bodies, puddle jumping (I'm going to draw with colored chalk outside: yellow for mustard, orange for orange juice, etc) and about the spaghetti hat. And what a great idea to talk about manna from Exodus 16. Thanks!!!

  3. Emma that is a great idea! Please let me know how they like it!

  4. soooooooo helpful!! thank you so much for sharing!! I love how you listed activities for each subject!! I am writing a unit and your ideas are very helpful!

  5. Thank you so much for sharing these great ideas. I've looked at many, many sites with Cloudy ideas and this is the only one with a bible story lesson! I can not wait to share the story of manna falling from the sky with my future kindergartener.


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