JOY & PRACTICE & ADVENTURE
WEEK 6: CLOUDS & SKY
Dearest Studio Friend,
We are thinking of you now and each and every day that we are away from Studio. Let’s find creative and imaginative ways to play and share with each other. Let’s find ways to plant a garden of happiness and creativity each day through projects and adventures. We will explore things that you can connect to from your very own window, from inside your home, and also outside in our city and in nature.
THIS WEEK’S THEME:
Clouds & Sky
With our eyes to the sky
we can find them.
Sometimes they hide the sun and the stars, sometimes they change the light of the day as they float above. Clouds dance around Earth in the atmosphere fast and slow. They remind us how to imagine, create, and move. Clouds are different no matter where we look. And they can become all different formations throughout the day. Because of the clouds, no part of the sky is ever exactly the same. And sometimes it is even hard to distinguish the clouds from big white mountain ranges and summits.
Inspired by clouds and the sky, let this adventure begin!
The different levels of air surrounding Earth make up what is called the atmosphere.
Clouds hold water and dance in the sky and throughout the atmosphere.
FINDING & CREATING CLOUDS
The Clouds Above - Be A Cloud Watcher
Near your home or in a park or forest, go to two or three different places to find clouds.
Bring paper, pencils, or crayons, and a hard surface (like a book) to put your paper on for drawing.
Identify the size and shape of the clouds as huge, wide, long, scraggly, mountainous, or tiny.
How thin or thick do the clouds appear, and what objects do they resemble?
As you look at those clouds as big shapes in the sky, what music would you most like to hear?
How do the clouds move? How does the wind push the clouds in a particular direction?
Where is the sun? Does the sun hide behind the clouds today?
Do the clouds in the sky touch each other? Do they blend together to make bigger clouds?
Do the clouds look light and fluffy, or heavy and weighted?
Do they float easily high up, or are they low near the horizon?
Draw a few of the clouds that you see. See how much of the paper you can use up as you sketch your clouds. You can also imagine your own clouds to draw. You can make clusters and families of clouds who play in the sky together! If there are no clouds in your sky, you can find images of clouds and continue to imagine how these clouds might be if they sat above you in your sky.
MORE DRAWING, COLORING & CREATING
DAY TWO: CLOUD BUILDING & EXPLORATION
Draw & Arrange
Keep seeing and imagining the clouds. You can hold your hand up to the sky and imagine the way each one feels. What is the texture of the cloud, what is the temperature, and how thick or dense is the cloud?
DRAW AND CREATE:
On a door or wall in your home, tape or pin up your drawings of the clouds.
You can arrange your drawings in any way that you like. You can even cut out the drawings of clouds and place them diagonally, horizontally, vertically, or in layers—creating different cloudy sky designs.
Create more clouds of different materials. Perhaps fabric, or pieces of nature, cardboard, newspaper, or magazine cut outs. Trace the outside of the clouds with your fingertips.
These are just a few of the different ways you can display your clouds shapes all around you.
Take the cloud cut-outs and tape them to a window.
Roll up the clouds that you’ve created and place them in a shoe box, or in a jar, or string them on a piece of wire or yarn, just as you would beads.
Attach a piece or pieces of string to your ceiling or top of a windowsill and dangle your cloud shapes down.
By hanging your clouds on many strings strung from the same piece (like a stick or a dowel) you can create a cloud mobile. Your clouds can now dangle, float, and move above and around you.
Experimenting with your cloud's shapes in this way is creating a cloud art installation. Your clouds can hold your ideas, your imaginings, and your dreams!
Ask and Explore:
How many clouds did you make?
What were the size, shapes, and textures of your clouds?
Did your clouds have colors, patterns, or images?
What was the most unique part about each one of your cloud arrangements?
Send a photo to a friend or a family member of one of your clouds or your cloud art installation.
Clouds abound and travel through the sky.
You have so many clouds! Now, imagine the places above which your clouds live.
Are these country clouds, city clouds, or forest clouds, or ocean clouds?
Maybe your clouds are those of a specific place in your neighborhood?
In which part of the world do these clouds float? Maybe your clouds can be those of a particular continent, or maybe an imaginary place with you!
Continue to draw to create more places in which your clouds roam overhead
Creating these environments in which your clouds soar will give them bigger stories and will ignite your imagination further as you think of the life and movement of the sky.
What inspired you to create and design with the clouds in the way that you did, and why did you place
your clouds over certain environments?
What made you choose the materials that you did in your cloud creations?
Let’s learn the sign language for Cloud, Sky, and Air
Here is the sign for Cloud:
Here is the sign for Sky:
Here is the sign for Air:
Remember the signs for Clouds, Sky, and Air and share them a few times per day with your friends and family.
ART FOR THE SKY
All over the world, people celebrate the power of the wind and the sky by creating enormous colorful kites to fill the atmosphere. These giant shapes twirl, fly, and dance under clouds like a parade in the sky for the international kite festivals held in Taiwan, India, China, and other cities each year. This motion-bound joy and creativity brings people from diverse cultures together from all over our planet to look up and see these beautiful art forms. These international kite festivals offer adventures once again within the land of clouds and nature as the perfect playground.
Watch the International Kite Festivals!
TYPES OF CLOUDS
There are so many different types of clouds based on where they are in the sky, how they form, and what they look like. And just like snowflakes, there are no two clouds that are exactly alike. This is true!
When you look out at clouds, they seem to hover at different levels above you. Some are so thin and wispy that you can almost imagine sitting on them and falling right through them. Others are so thick and prominent it is as if you can imagine building a skyscraper on top of them.
Clouds are formed as water is warmed up and evaporates into the air, and air with the evaporated water in it rises in our atmosphere. (“Evaporate” in this case means that the water goes from being a liquid like how you would drink it, to another form, a vapor which is in the air and you can’t see.) It makes its way all the way up to the sky. It’s chilly up there, high in the sky! The temperature of the evaporated water cools and eventually becomes tiny water drops or freezes into tiny crystals. Clouds form from these drops or crystals and find a home in the sky until they fill, burst, and it rains or snows! Then the water that rained down will at some time evaporate up into the sky again! What a cycle!
Here are 4 different types of clouds:
High Cirrus Clouds – These clouds are thin and wispy; they are almost see-through and can look kind of like a horses’ tail or mane blowing in the wind. They often appear on clear sunny days
Middle Altostratus Clouds – These clouds are dark and cloudy, and usually mean that it will soon rain.
Low Stratus Clouds – These clouds are closer to the ground and appear to blanket the sky. These also bring drizzle and light rain.
Vertical Cumulus Clouds – The tallest of the clouds, these may cover many different layers and levels of the sky and atmosphere. These clouds may reach so far up that we cannot see their tops. From an airplane they might appear as though they are huge stretches of mountain ranges.
Can you research which types of clouds you have seen in the sky based on these cloud type descriptions? Or, what type of clouds are the ones that you’ve drawn and created?
Here is a video all about clouds!
DAY FOUR : FILLING THE SKY
Just like clouds decorate our atmosphere, you can arrange your own sketched clouds in different ways and spaces.
Place your sketched clouds upon a large foundation, such as poster board, brown paper, or cardboard.
Glue the clouds onto the surface in a design.
Create texture in the clouds by gluing cotton balls, newspaper, tissue paper, yarn and other strings on top of them.
Fill in the clouds and the background of the sky with strokes of crayon, pastel, pencil sketches, watercolor, and paints.
How colorful can you make your sky?
MOVEMENT AND BREATHING
No matter their shape, all clouds are unique. They become formations, grow and shrink, and move mysteriously.
Stand with your feet planted firmly on the floor or ground, and allow your body to become the shape of a cloud. Once you find its form, allow your breath and your voice to move into the next shape the cloud will take on.
Move from one formation of cloud to the next and the next, and make the sound of the clouds transforming, swaying, floating, and dancing in the sky.
Imagine your body, your breath, and your voice as anything you choose. You may stretch, rest, rock, leap, or twirl.
If your cloud became the shape of a paintbrush, what would it paint?
What would painted rainbows, sunsets, and kites look like high up in the atmosphere? How would they move?
If your cloud suddenly began traveling the world, what shape would it take on? That of a hot air balloon, an airplane, a musical instrument?
How does your cloud move and why? Find that movement with your body.
Become the most flaring, dramatic and outstretched cloud you can become and then pull into a tiny, condensed puff of a cloud.
Use your voice and movements to imagine how clouds might be moved by wind and the atmosphere. Each time you can imagine the life of a cloud in its stillness, movement, and sound.
Here are our breaths:
We breathe by becoming still and calm, our legs crossed before us.
Closing our eyes, we remember and call to mind the clouds, real or imagined.
Using our hands and arms to move with our breath, we twirl them, as we inhale from our nose or mouth.
Exhaling, still twirling our arms, we decide to make whatever sound we want, from singing to laughing, to howling, to humming. We continue to focus on the clouds and our cloud creations.
We breathe as clouds forming in the atmosphere, meeting, becoming bigger, and taking on smaller shapes.
We breathe as clouds gracefully floating above, slowly, and then taking on greater speed.
We breathe as clouds moved by the wind, covering the sunlight, and becoming wide streaks against the sun setting.
We breathe and remember that clouds are made up of tiny water droplets or ice crystals.
We breathe as we remember that cloud droplets are so small and light that they can float in the air and dance in the sky.
MUSIC WITH ANGUS
Angus' piano music will lead us into imagining the calm and open space of the clouds and the sky.
His musical pieces will tell the story of how--just like clouds--music can also move in different speeds and styles. Mostly we think of clouds moving gracefully across the sky, but with different types of winds they can also move at different paces. These musical ideas will allow us to imagine the paths in which clouds move and the different types of clouds and cloud environments in the sky.
Through Angus' piano he will explore the musical dynamics of grazioso, stringendo, and rallentando to articulate the life and motion and space of the clouds we watch above.
THE MUSIC OF JOHAN SEBASTIAN BACH
This week we’ll listen to the symphonic composition Air, by Johan Sebastian Bach. Bach made music almost 300 years ago that is still now some of our favorite music today. People listen to Bach to feel still, calm, and peaceful, and to celebrate moments in life that mean the most. The way that Bach composed music also strengthens our imagination and inspires us in creative thinking and expression. As you listen to Air, do you think at all of the sky or clouds, the air, and the atmosphere?
Listen to Bach's Air here:
STUDIO SCIENCE & ENVIRONMENT:
The Himalayas mean “Abode of Snow” in the very old Indian language of Sanskrit. And indeed, this incredible mountain range holds an enormous amount of snow. The Himalayas are so large and expansive that on the continent of Asia they cover 5 countries: Pakistan, China, India, Nepal, and Bhutan.
About 20 million years ago on Earth, when the landmass of our planet was different than it is now, two tectonic plates called the Eurasian plate and Indo-Australian plate collided into each other. They crashed together with such a tremendous force that they actually formed these great mountains, The Himalayas.
The Himalayas are about 380,292 square miles of range. The mountain with the very highest altitude in the Himalayas is Mount Everest. People from all over the world come to the Himalayas to surmount the very top, the summit, of Mount Everest. It is a dangerous adventure and one that requires a lot of training by the strongest of climbers.
Though the Himalayas are full of cold and blustery peaks, the area also experiences summer and has a vast array of climates, weather patterns, grasslands, scrublands, and forests. Most animal life of the region also exists in the lower valleys of the mountains. These habitats hold monkeys, birds, rhododendron plants, snow leopards, musk deer, and yaks.
The Himalayas are also home to many different people and cultures. The people of the Himalayas live in the lower regions of the mountains, where there are milder climates and temperatures. As people live and celebrate life amid these country regions, they are able to breathe easily in these high altitudes where there is less oxygen (which is a gas in the air that people need to breathe). People who are not from the Himalayas need to take time to get used to this, and can feel tired or have a headache until they adjust. People especially need to take time adjusting if they are going to try to hike or climb in the Himalayas. Here in these mountain villages, long distance walking, trekking, and farming throughout these mountain villages are daily parts of life.
The Himalayan mountain range holds one of the highest peaks on Earth and is also home to some of the most beautiful clouds. The clouds of the Himalayas are of all kinds and consistencies, at varied heights and levels. They decorate the sky and valleys throughout the sweeping alpine expanse.
Can you imagine walking through the Himalayas or climbing to one of the highest mountains there?
See this video on a family's trek through the Himalaya's with children to learn more and imagine more about this experience and great part of the world.
We’d love to know how you are creating and playing related to clouds and the sky. If you’d like to share your ideas, projects, and creative work with Studio and your class, you can send your teachers a photo of something that you did, made, or displayed. Each week we will put together a mosaic to share with your class and our Studio community with all shared pieces included.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Display and Celebrate Your Art!
Here is the sign for Celebrate!
Art can be most enjoyed when it is shared and can be viewed and seen over and over again.
Displaying our art in our home is one of the ways that we feel the most proud and accomplished in our creations.
Those who live with us and who visit our home can also then delight in the shapes, forms, colors, depictions, and imaginings of our mind. We express ourselves through art, and it is one of the ways that we feel
the most alive and free.
Take time to arrange a special place for art to hang or dangle and be displayed in your home. An art line or art wall can be that special place. It is a place to keep adding to, or hanging drawings, forms, and even 3D structures from. Our art can inspire others to create and give them ideas about how to see the world and how to be creative.
As you change the artwork from time to time on your art wall or on the line, make sure that you take the time to save and place art that you want to keep in a drawer, folder, box, or portfolio. Other pieces can also be recycled and/or used for new artwork.
Be proud of all of the artwork you are creating and the way that you continue to share
with your family, friends, and community through it!