What Is Your Cloud? What Is Your Silver Lining?

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SWBAT examine expressions and what they mean. SWBAT write about their own connections to the expressions and create an artistic representation for the expressions.

Big Idea

Wind cloud...carry my troubles away and silver lining, show me the way.

Prepare the Learner

20 minutes

I have my students sit with me on the carpet in front of the SMARTboard.  This is video will give the kids a concrete reference when discussing the meaning of the expressions “May the wind blow your troubles away” and “Every cloud has a silver lining.”  Giving my students context behind expressions is English is important.  It helps trigger understanding and strengthens retention of the actual meaning.



I read or watch  The North Wind and the Sun.  I like this video version because there is text on the screen along with the narration. 

I pause the video at 1:50 and  say:  Boys and girls, who do you predict who will be stronger, the wind or the sun. 

I quickly tally the votes on a t chart for sun and wind.  We also write a result sentence at the bottom.

We continue to watch/read the story and  I ask: Who was stronger?   We review our predictions and compare our predictions with the conclusion in the story.  We record our result on the chart.  


Interact with text/concept

45 minutes

We talk about what it means when the wind is ‘strong’ and what it means when the sun is ‘strong.’  I want to check for understanding and see if students understood the surface meaning of the video before going into the deeper meaning behind the story. 


I say: We have two expressions that mention clouds and wind.  They talk about good and bad things that can happen to us.  I don’t like it when I fall down because it hurts.  Think about something that you don’t like or something that you don’t like when it happens to you.  I give the students think time and then have them share their ideas with a partner using the linguistic pattern: I don’t like __ because ___.


 I say:  When we want to wish someone well or tell them to feel better we can use the expression “May the wind blow your troubles away.”  Everybody say that with me.  Students chant the expression with me.


I then have 3-4 students share out things they want the wind to blow away/things they don’t like and I record their ideas on our circle map.

I follow the same procedure (explain, discuss, share, record) for things we like and the expression “Every cloud has a silver lining.”  For the ideas, I focus students on who is their silver lining and ask them to think about who helps/makes them feel better.

I say: When I want to feel better I ususally talk to my mom.  She is my silver lining.  She is my special person who makes me feel better.  Who is yours? Turn and tell a partern who your silver lining person is. 

 I give the students think time and then have them share their ideas with a partner using the linguistic pattern: My silver lining is ___.  We then record those on a separate circle map.


Here is an explanation of the circle maps.

Extend Understanding

30 minutes

First, I have students cut their cloud and I cut one to use as a model on the document camera.  We echo read the two expressions that we just learned. 

Next, we read the first sentence frame ‘My cloud is ___’    I model how to ‘read off the map’ as I choose one of the ideas to write on my cloud from the circle map.  I think aloud: I really don’t like it when I fall down because it hurts.  I am going to write that as my wish for the wind to blow away!  I already have written here ‘The wind blew,’ so I just need to write ‘falling down.’  Boys and girls, which of our ideas here says ‘falling down?’  What letter says /f/ for ‘falling down?’  Students help me to find my idea and I copy it onto my cloud as they watch.  I say: Now I want you to write your idea for your own wish for the wind to blow away.  ONLY write on the first sentence for the wind blowing away like I did. 


Many students will not need to find their idea on the circle map.  Many will sound out the word in order to write it.  I encourage students to do this.  This is the point in the lesson that helps me to see who can do what in terms or writing unknown words, which is a huge skill that they acquire in kindergarten!

I follow the same procedure for ‘silver lining.’ 

May the wind blow your troubles away!

Every cloud has a silver lining!


My cloud is falling down.

My silver lining is my mom.





We then complete the cloud by gluing a piece of tin foil on the right side to represent the ‘silver lining’ and tissue paper strips to the bottom of the cloud to represent the wind.  


If you have any struggling students, check this out!