Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
by Judi and Ron Barrett

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs tells the story of Chewandswallow, a small town similar to any other small town except for one thing: the weather comes three times a day and not in the form of snow or rain or wind. Instead, it rained soup, juice, mashed potatoes, hamburgers... It was an idyllic life, until the weather took a turn for the worse. Suddenly, rather than falling in edible, manageable portions, the town was plagued by floods and storms of giant food items, ruining town buildings and endangering the residents' lives. What were the townspeople to do about their weather now?

This book is a true classic! Even if your students have seen the recent movie, they'll enjoy the original too. The storyline--about food falling instead of rain--is super clever and the illustrations are fantastic (although the printing is a bit dated). In addition to being a just-for-fun read aloud, this title can be also helpful when teaching compound words. Barrett likely didn't write the book for this purpose, but the text is full of examples of compound words!

And you end up loving this book like decades of readers have before you, be sure to check out other books by Judi and Ron Barrett -- they are equally clever and fun!  We especially love "Animals should definitely not wear clothing".  So funny! 

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Reading Level:

Interest Level:  Kindergarten - Gr. 3
DRA Level:  24
Guided Reading:  M
Lexile Measure: 730L

Read-Aloud vs. Independent Reading:
The intended audience for this book is Kindergarten to Grade 3.  Children in Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade will most likely need this book to be read aloud to them, since kids generally do not read on this reading level until the end of second grade. Many to most third graders will be able to read this book independently.

Sample pages from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs:

Below are several pages from inside this book. As you can see, there certainly is quite a bit of text per page, but the concept is so funny and clever that kids do seem to stay engaged throughout a read aloud.  We know our small samples can be heard to read, so we have included super large versions as well.  To see larger versions (readable ones!), simply click on the images below.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Lesson / Activity Ideas:

There are a dozen lessons to go with this book on this page of the A-to-Z-Teacher-Stuff website and a dozen more on of And considering what a classic this, there are surely many more. We will look through them soon and pick our favorites.

Also, the website I Heart Teaching has a fun activity to do after reading the book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. In short, the teacher taped half of a compound word on each students' back, and then at the signal, the students must interact to find their compound partner. To see the complete write up of this fun lesson ideas (with pictures for each step-- including the one at right), click here.