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Cloud Diary


Artist’s will create a sketchbook to record clouds they see.

Grade Level



Construction, Drawing

Big Idea/Theme

Artists document their observations in sketchbooks.

Essential Question

How can artists create their own materials?

  • Video
  • Slide Deck

Materials and Tools

  • Scissors​
  • Paper​
  • Drawing tools: pencil, pen, marker, crayon


Look at how quickly the sky changes!​

See how many different kinds of clouds there are!

Today, we’re going to make a sketchbook so you can draw the clouds you see.​ It will be small enough to put it in your pocket and carry with you

Step 1: Choose a piece of paper and fold it in half the long way, like this:

Step 2: Then, fold your paper in half again, like this:

Be sure to press down hard on your folds!

Step 3: … and fold it in half again like this:

Step 4: Unfold it and take a look. There are 8 rectangles on the page.​

Step 5: Fold it in half again like this.

Step 6: Using your scissors, make one cut:

When you unfold your paper, you will have a cut right down the center.​

Step 7: Refold your paper on the long side, with the cut on the top…​

… then press the center together to make four “arms.” (These are the pages of your book!)​

Last, fold all the pages to one side – and here’s your book!​

Now that we have made our sketchbook, let’s look out the window.

What do you see today?

Label your book with the date, to remember when you started.

Then, ask yourself:

  • How should I draw the sky today?​
  • Do I use light marks, or heavy marks?​
  • Do I color the whole page and leave only the cloud white?​
  • Do I draw them fast or slow?

What kind of story can you imagine from a whole book of clouds?​

  • When we are looking at the sky and drawing the clouds, we can think about how we feel.​
  • Do I feel heavy like a raincloud or as light as a cloudless sky? ​
  • Is the sky bright or dark today?


Cloud Diary
Written by Elise Deringer, Artist Instructor​

Studio in a School NYC Team
Andrea Burgay, Associate Director
Julie Applebaum, Senior Director
Hasna Muhammad, Ed.D., Chair, Board of Directors, Studio in a School Association
Alison Scott-Williams, President, Studio in a School NYC

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