The wordless picture book Sector 7 by David Wiesner has been one of my favorite resources for teaching sentence structure, transitional phrases, commas, and descriptive writing in the classroom. I have recently used it to teach the reading skill of sequence of events and cause and effect. Here are our favorite Sector 7 activities.
What is the plot of Sector 7?
A child joins his class on a field trip to the Empire State Building. The child goes to the building observatory and meets a friendly cloud. The boy helps his new friend, and an incredible cumulous adventure begins. All of David Wiesner’s books have incredible detail that leads to writing instruction, but this one is so captivating because you can take the lesson outside for real-world connections to the sky.
What literacy skills can be taught with Sector 7?
- Simple to complex sentences
- Commas, types of punctuation, and dialogue
- Sequence of events
- Cause & effect
- Transitional phrases
- Writing transitions
- Descriptive writing
Our Favorite Follow-Up Activities after reading Sector 7
Fluffy Cloud Painting
In a large bowl, we added shaving cream and glue. I mixed a 3:1 ratio and then stirred to see if I should add more glue. Then I grabbed some shallow trays, textured brushes, various shaped sponges, and blue construction paper. Kids had fun for an hour making as many clouds as they could.
Zip-lock Water Cycle
I saw this idea over a decade ago while planning a water cycle unit. In the classroom, I used to teach this activity with The Magic School Bus Water Works book/ video. Now I love teaching it through picture books and nonfiction books.
We used zip-lock bags, permanent markers, and water to do this experiment. With the permanent marker, we drew clouds on the top of the bag, the ocean on the bottom, arrows going up on one side, and hands going down on the other side. Then we discussed evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and predictions of how this will look in the bag. We added a small amount of water and closed it. Then we marked the water line to watch as the level changed with precipitation and evaporation began. Kids love observing throughout the day to see the changes that occur.
Shaving Cream Rainbow Rain
I grabbed a small container, water, shaving cream, food coloring, and eye droppers and mixed colors in the shaving cream to watch it rain and swirl severe weather in the container. We took this bin outside and this activity eventually turned into a water sensory activity.
Field Trip Cloud Hunt- Observations
We walked around nature and took photos of the clouds we saw. This has been a favorite thing to do whenever we have left the house this week. Now the kids have been trying to identify the types of clouds and imagining different shapes.
Eric Carle The Little Cloud
We love reading ALL Eric Carle books. The book The Little Cloud shows off Eric Carle’s imagination and style of illustration perfectly for students to experiment trying to retell their cloud observations through painting. The fun with this book is found on this post about Eric Carle books. This activity is simply shaving cream, hands, and paper! I added cookie cutters to cut shapes of clouds before the kids started playing, but they covered the page instead.
Nonfiction Cloud Read Aloud
We took a field trip to the library and gathered all the weather, clouds, and rain books. We then got to work reading.
Here is David Wiesner’s website for more information about his books. I LOVE his children’s books! Flotsam is my favorite, I use that book for our ocean unit.
Favorite Amazon Resources for these Activities
Textured Paintbrushes: These brushes are great for little hands to grip easier and get the paint onto the paper. We have used our set for years now, and I love how we can use them to make small paintings like the cloud ones here and massive projects like giant rainforest murals. For showing the different types of clouds, they allow kids to experiment with the fluffy cloud paint the way a regular paintbrush can’t do.
Sector 7 Picture Book: I have read this picture book to every class I taught in public schools and with every tutoring student and during homeschool now. It’s the perfect wordless picture book to allow for any narrative writing skill you can imagine and fiction story elements. The detail in this book will have your students wanting to review it repeatedly.
Eye Droppers: For making raining clouds, we used these colorful tools. I love the size of the handle for my little kids.
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