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Make a Rain Cloud in a Cup with a Free Printable

This is a fun experiment!

Materials needed:

  • shaving cream
  • water
  • a clear cup
  • food coloring

Directions:

  1. Fill the cup with 3/4 full of cold water
  2. Spray shaving cream on top
  3. Sprinkle a few drops of food coloring 
  4. Observe

Questions to ask students:

What do you observe?
In what ways is this experiment like our weather?
Why do you think it takes awhile for the food coloring to drip through the shaving cream?
What happens when the clouds get too full of rain droplets?

Background Information for the Teacher:

The shaving cream represents clouds and the food coloring represents precipitation. In the water cycle, the water droplets within a cloud continue to grow until they become heavy and fall through the clouds to the Earth.  The same thing is happening in our experiment.  The food coloring becomes heavy as it saturates the shaving cream.  The molecules in the cold water are moving slowly, so it takes longer for the food coloring to spread throughout the water.   The food coloring may appear as streams.
Here is a free printable half-fold that you can use for students to record their results. 

You may also like the other foldable graphic organizers I have in my Super Pack Click Here for Super Pack of Foldable Graphic Organizers


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Comments

  1. Sometimes you have to wait a bit for it to saturate the shaving cream. the amount of shaving cream and the amount of food coloring make a difference. You should see something within five minutes if you are using enough food coloring.

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I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!

 
Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit

Tina S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:05:39-06:00

Tina S

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!   Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit
The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!

 
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Richard S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:07:52-06:00

Richard S

The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!   Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2
As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.

 
Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4

Sharon M

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:24:44-06:00

Sharon M

As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.   Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4
Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.

 
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Expedition Fourth

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:44:55-07:00

Expedition Fourth

Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.   Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning
My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.

 
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Heidi J

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:45:49-07:00

Heidi J

My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.   Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer
5
3
Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams