Cloud Experiment

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11905

Why does it rain? Just to ruin your picnic? Rain is good for us, but how does it come out of the sky? Perform a simple yet scientific hands-on experiment to show why it rains and how scientists think!


Earth Science, Scientific Method

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


When you look at the sky, what do you see? What are those fluffy white things, and how did they get up there without engines or wings?

Think about a time when it was raining where you live.

What did the clouds look like? What did the air smell like? How did that day feel? Share your rainy-day story with your parent or teacher.

dark clouds

In this lesson, you will experiment with rain clouds like a scientist! The first step scientists always follow is thinking about a question. A question for the experiment you will perform is, "Why does it rain?"

The experiment you will conduct will teach you a little more about why it rains. The whole point of the experiment is to discover more about clouds and precipitation. Precipitation is when water molecules fall from the sky. Precipitation may take the form of rain, snow, sleet, or hail.

Before you begin the experiment, you need to gather some supplies. Round up all the supplies from the list below:

  • blue food coloring
  • large open-top glass container (vase or pitcher)
  • shaving cream
  • measuring cup
  • water
  • paper towels
  • dropper (pipette)

Great work! You have all of your supplies ready. Make sure you are very careful with the glass container!

In this experiment, you will create a cloud in a glass!

Now that you have your materials ready and know what you will be doing, make a prediction that states what you think will happen. The scientific word for prediction is the word, "hypothesis." You will create a hypothesis about what will happen if you drop food coloring onto a shaving cream cloud.

Read this hypothesis example for a different experiment: "If I put Mentos in Coke, then the Coke will foam over." Any time you come up with a hypothesis, you should start with "If" (tell what you are going to do), then, you should explain what will happen next by saying, "then" (what you think will happen).

Now that you have seen an example, try writing your own hypothesis for this experiment. Your hypothesis should focus on what will happen to the shaving cream cloud if you add lots of food coloring to it. With the help of your parent or teacher, work together to come up with a hypothesis.

Once you have come up with your hypothesis, move on to the Got It? section to begin the experiment.

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