Learning and doing Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs activities is great way to help your child not only celebrate this whimsical picture book, but to understand the story behind it.
About the Book
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was written and illustrated in 1982 by the husband-and-wife team Judi and Ron Barrett. As told by Grandpa Henry to his two grandchildren, the story takes place in the small town of Chewandswallow, a place that was normally like every other city, except for its weather. Three times a day -- at breakfast, lunch and dinner -- it rained. Sometimes it rained juice or soup with a wind gust of hamburgers. If it snowed, you may see mashed potatoes fall from the sky.
This was a delicious way of life for the townspeople. They didn't have to shop for their meals, so there was no need for grocery stores. They ate whatever fell from the sky.
One day, the food and portion sizes started getting larger. Instead of calm rains, there would be massive storms and floods. The food that fell from the sky was damaging the town and residents there feared for their lives. So they left. In bread-shaped boats, they left Chewandswallow for life in another town where food didn't fall from the sky.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Activities
If your child loves the popular book, which is geared toward 4- to 8-year-olds, then he or she will love to do some activities associated with the story. Either online or around the table, these tasks are designed to enhance reading skills, writing and even give a short lesson about the weather.
Free Printable Activities
These websites have lesson plans and activities that are great for classroom work or additional seatwork to do at home:
- Teacher Vision has a classroom lesson designed to enhance a child's comprehension and summarization skills. This activity allows them to create pictures they created based on the story that was read. Detailed instructions are included.
- Happy Homeschool offers a printable unit study based on the picture book. Children will use the book in five areas of study: Art, mathematics, language arts, social studies and science. A complete study guide is included with directions on how to develop this unit with the children.
- Coloring Book Info has free coloring pages for you to print out, as does this blog, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Coloring Pages.
Arts and crafts are great ways to illustrate a book's story line. These websites have some fun crafts for your child to do alone or with a parent or teacher:
- Stitch Craft Creations has some colorful homemade felt foods on display. You and your youngster can have hours of fun sewing these together.
- PreschoolRock has an easy preschool weather craft for children. Learn how to make the sun or a cloud with rain.
Create Your Own Activities
If you love food, weather and fun, you will not have any problems coming up with a few of your own Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs activities. Ideas for homemade projects include:
- Create a weather chart and using food stickers or pictures in place of temperature and climate.
- Make a great spaghetti and meatball dinner. You can make large meatballs and long strands of spaghetti.
- Mix-and-match game. Draw or write words of different foods on index cards. Turn them over and play a memory game. Person with the most matches wins.
- See how many words you can find within the book's title, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
If You Loved the Book
If you loved Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, then you may also enjoy some other of Judi Barrett's books:
- Pickles to Pittsburgh: The Sequel to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
- The Marshmallow Incident
- Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing
- Benjamin's 365 Birthdays
- Never Take a Shark to the Dentist: And Other Things Not to Do
- Things That Are Most in the World
In 2009, Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation brought this book to life in the full-length movie by the same name. Even though there is an expanded plot and characters, the imaginative and funny story line is the same. Your best bet would be read the book, see the movie and then come home and work on some of the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs activities. You and your child will not be disappointed.