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Clouds
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Clouds

Clouds
Clouds


Clouds
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.86

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    cirrostratus, classification, cumulus, nimbus, strato, stratocumulus, stratus, cumulonimbus, meteorologists, towering, based, Altocumulus, cirrus, canyons, recall, altostratus
     content words:    Sides Now, Joni Mitchell


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Clouds
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     
Bows and flows of angel hair,
And ice cream castles in the air,
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way.

But now they only block the sun,
They rain and snow on every one.
So many things I could have done,
But clouds got in my way.

I've looked at clouds from
Both sides now,
From up and down,
And still somehow
It's cloud's illusions I recall.
I really don't know clouds
At all.
- from the song "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell

 
2     Remember when you were little and you and your friends would lie back on the grass and look up at the summer sky? It was fun to see dragons, bunnies, cars, and other shapes in the white, puffy clouds. Sometimes you look out at the gray, cloudy sky on a rainy day and wish the sun would come out. In the late fall, big puffy dark clouds form in the sky. Sometimes people say, "Those look like snow clouds." On a hot, sunny afternoon, suddenly high, dark clouds move in and it begins to storm. Clouds come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors.
 
3     You usually can't see them, but there are always tiny particles of dust in the air. They might be dirt, pollen, or sea salt. They are called condensation nuclei. The water vapor in the air condenses around these particles. When millions of them collect, a cloud is formed. Not all clouds are alike, however. Clouds form at different heights and in different shapes. There is a classification system for clouds based on these differences.
 
4     Clouds are named by the way they look. Meteorologists use Latin root words to describe them. The most common clouds are puffy white clouds called cumulus. This word in Latin means, "heap." Cumulus clouds are usually seen on a sunny day. They may block the sun for a little while. Usually the breeze blows them away, and the sun comes out again.
 
5     The root word stratus means layer. Stratus clouds are usually seen on a rainy day. They are like a blanket of light gray in the sky. There are few breaks in them. You can't tell where one cloud ends and another begins.

Paragraphs 6 to 12:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable



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