While the summertime usually evokes images of hot days and endless sunshine, it can also be the start of some pretty wild weather. From coast to coast, many regions in our country experience more extreme weather than usual. From hurricanes to tornadoes, it’s good to have a plan and be prepared. Here are 5 cross-curricular lesson ideas from our Units on Extreme Weather, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, and more! Share with your readers if they have questions about local weather patterns or to inspire the future meteorologist.
Have students pretend that they are a weather forecaster who is reporting from an area that will be hit by a hurricane in the next 24 hours. Using the information from the Preparing for a Hurricane Topic in our Hurricane Unit, students should warn viewers of the possible damage that may happen and how they can prepare. Next, students should act as a reporter in an area that will be hit by a hurricane within the next hour. Reporters should also warn viewers about possible hazards and talk to “local people” (other students) whose homes were damaged.
Have students locate on a map or globe the places mentioned in the Causes of Weather Topic from our Weather Unit. Ask students to create an appropriate symbol to use to mark the hottest, coldest, wettest, snowiest, driest, and windiest places in the United States. Ask questions based on the marked locations: Which place is closest to the equator? Are any of the places in our state? In which time zone is each location? Which two record-setting locations are closest to each other?
Have students research different storms from our Top Ten Twisters Topic from our Tornadoes Unit. Ask students to draw a map illustrating the path of the tornado and to make a timeline detailing the time frame of the tornado. Explain that a timeline for the storm would show hours and minutes rather than years. Suggest that students prepare a short report about the tornado for presentation to the class.
What should you do to protect yourself when extreme weather hits your area? Have students work in teams or independently to make a safety booklet outlining steps to take in different weather extremes. Their booklet might detail what to do during thunderstorms when lightning strikes. It might identify what to do in preparation for a hurricane. It might list supplies that should be available if a blizzard or another storm results in power blackouts. Encourage students to research for our Extreme Weather Unit for safety procedures for a specific kind of storm. Then they can compile their reports and bind them into a booklet.
Many different kinds of clouds exist, which your students can read about in our Clouds Topic from the Rain & Snow Unit. Each one is unique looking and each signals a specific kind of weather. Cumulonimbus, for example, signal thunderstorms. Have students find out about the different kinds of clouds and draw a picture of each. Below each picture, students should write the name of the cloud, details about the cloud, such as whether it is a “high” or “low” cloud, and what kind of weather the cloud foretells.