Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Written by
Judi Barrett
Illustrated by
Ron Barrett
Page created by Kayla Racklyeft and Stephanie Wisser
Concordia University Wisconsin

Anticipation: Activity 1

WISCONSIN MODEL ACADEMIC STANDARDS: A.4.1 Use effective reading strategies to achieve their purposes in reading. -- Comprehend reading by using strategies such as activating prior knowledge, establishing purpose, self-correcting and self-monitoring, rereading, making predictions, finding context clues, developing visual images, applying knowledge of text structures, and adjusting reading rate according to purpose and difficulty.

Below is a Voicethread used in correlation with the book "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." The Voicethread provides anticipation questioning for the students. Before beginning to read the book, the students listen to the Voicethread and respond to the questions that are raised. The focus of the book and lesson is on cause and effect, but there is some predicting that occurs in this activity. The students are asked to look at the cover and think about what the story will be about. They will also identify objects in the picture that related to events that take place later on in the story. At the end, the students are informed about the cause and effect relationships throughout the book and are asked to look out for these as they read.

Anticipation: Activity 2

WISCONSIN MODEL ACADEMIC STANDARDS: D.4.1 Develop their vocabulary of words, phrases, and idioms as a means of improving communication.

Below is an activity from Kidspiration. This is a vocabulary chart used before a lesson to prepare the students for terms they may come across in the book. The teacher will chose a groups of words to focus on with this activity and go over the definitions with the class. The students are required to add words, phrases, or pictures that help them remember or visualize the concept. The students can either make their own charts on the computer and complete the assignment electronically or they can already be printed out. Either way, the chart can be used as a resource for the students throughout their reading and beyond.


Building Knowledge: Activity 1
WISCONSIN MODEL ACADEMIC STANDARDS: A.4.3 Read and discuss literary and nonliterary texts in order to understand human experience -- distinguish fiction from nonfiction, realistic from fantasy.

In the middle of reading "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs," they students can use this Voki to help guide their reading. The Voki is made to simulate the Grandpa in the book who is telling the tall-tale to the children. The purpose of the Voki is to prompt the students to continue to look for cause and effect situations that are taking place while they read. This particular Voki asks the children to consider what factors affect life for the people who live in the town of Chewandswallow. The students should be able to point out the areas in which Chewandswallow differs from the town they live in and what kind of effect that has on the people. The Voki is a fun way to keep the students interested in the lesson and it also makes some of the learning independent of the teacher.

Building Knowledge: Activity 2
A.4.2 Read, interpret, and critically analyze literature -- Recognize and recall elements and details of story structure, such as sequence of events, character, plot, and setting, in order to reflect on meaning
E.4.1 Use computers to acquire, organize, analyze, and communicate information -- Operate common computer hardware and software. Use basic word-processing, graphics, and drawing programs. Create, store, and retrieve electronic files

Throughout the story, the students should be able to pull main events and big ideas out of the story. Below is an example of a Timeline. The students will make their own Timeline of main events that they picked out of the story. This activity incorporates the use of technology within the classroom. It provides a clear-cut way for students to look at the events that happened in the book and analyze what caused them and how they had an effect on the story. They can post these events and show their opinion of what the "timeline" was in the story. This activity can also be used for individual projects to give other students an overview of a story that one or two students read on their own.


Consolidation: Activity 1
WISCONSIN MODEL ACADEMIC STANDARDS: A.4.2 Read, interpret, and critically analyze literature -- Summarize ideas drawn from stories, identifying cause-and-effect relationships, interpreting events and ideas, and connecting different works to each other and to real-life experiences

When the students are completed with the story, they will create a cause and effect chart, focusing on the main events that took place within the story. This activity solidifies the whole lesson, bringing together the main ideas from the other activities throughout the lesson. A cause and effect chart allows the students to analyze the story completely and identify the two or three major causes. Here, they can add additional details and/or pictures to portray their thoughts about the story and reasoning for their opinions.


Consolidation: Activity 2

WISCONSIN MODEL ACADEMIC STANDARDS: A.4.1 Use effective reading strategies to achieve their purposes in reading. Identify a purpose for reading, such as gaining information, learning about a viewpoint, and appreciating literature.

Another activity for the students to take part in is to watch this Smilebox slide show below. The slide show provides additional examples of book that involve the idea of cause and effect. Make sure that there are copies of each book suggested in the classroom. The students may choose from these books to read individually and afterward, share with the class. They will be required to incorporate previous activities done during "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Cause and Effect Books
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