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Database Provider




3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 8 minutes, 2 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States


YouTube Video

How to Be a Cloud Detective

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  • This video by Vox provides an overview of the types of clouds, tips for identifying them, and explains how identifying clouds can help you predict the weather. 
  • The video features many clips and photos of different types of clouds as well as an interview with an atmospheric scientist. 
Teaching Tips


  • This is a great resource for introducing the topic of clouds, weather, and climate. 
  • The information is shared in a format that is accessible for many ages. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Although the video briefly outlines how clouds are formed, it might be helpful to review some basics about the water cycle before watching the video. 
  • There may be an ad before the video and the last 30 seconds are credits.


  • This video would work well as a resource to use within a unit on weather and climate.
  • This resource could be paired with this game or this coloring page about the water cycle, as well as this MIT resource about how clouds affect climate change. 
Scientist Notes
The types of clouds you see in the sky can tell you a lot of information about what is happening with the weather and what to expect a little later on. This Vox video explains the most common types of clouds, how to identify them, and what they may indicate. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS2: Earth’s Systems
      • 3-ESS2-1 Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
      • MS-ESS2-4 Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
      • MS-ESS2-5 Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
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