Partly Cloudy

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Area: History and Social Studies
Grade Level: Primary/Elementary School
Topics: animals, ethics, Friendship, social and political, trust
Estimated Time Necessary: 45 minutes

Lesson Plan

Objectives:
Thinking together about what makes an animal or human dangerous.
Students can think about how we know an animal or a human is dangerous and whether there are good things about having dangerous animals and humans around.
Thinking together about loyalty.
The film raises interesting questions about loyalty and the limits of what we should do for others when doing those things imperils ourselves.

Plot Summary: In the animated short film Partly Cloudy, storks deliver adorable infants of all kinds to homes. We discover that these infants are made by delightful, puffy, and cheerful clouds who work in partnership with their designated delivery stork. One cloud who is less cheerful and “partly cloudy” makes the pricklier infants (alligators, sharks, porcupines, etc.). His loyal stork delivers these babies at much peril to his physical wellbeing and wistfully glances over at the other clouds and their harmless infants. Eventually, the stork goes over to one of these other clouds, leading the partly cloudy character terribly sad thinking he’s been deserted. He is delighted when the stork returns with protective gear the other cloud fashioned for him so that he can make his deliveries without getting hurt.

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Video

Discussion Questions

  • Why is the grey cloud the one who makes the more dangerous animals?
  • Is it important to have dangerous animals around?
  • What does it mean to be loyal? Is the stork loyal to their cloud?
  • Is there a limit to how much we should harm ourselves to do our jobs?
  • Why is the grey cloud so sad when the stork flies off to the sunny cloud?
  • Are the stork and the cloud friends?
  • Why are some people more attracted to prickly or dangerous animals than soft and safe ones?

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