Stage Plan Overview: Before Lesson: Prep all materials required and make the appropriate photocopies.
Tell students they will again learn about weather! To spark their interest, go over Teacher Resource 1 – Crazy Weather Facts and Teacher Resource 2 – Weather Key Words.
Look at Teacher Resource 3 – Wild Weather. Ask the students to name the weather conditions they see (Hurricane and Tornado).
To peak interest further, watch the two videos if you have an iPadhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ysA4wJ2PZw - Buildings flying through the air! Deadly Nebraska Tornado and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDFK40UMotcHurricane Wilma Video - Miami Beach, Florida
As a group, read through Teacher Resource 4 - What is a Hurricane? And then answer Activity Sheet 1 - Hurricane Questions
To further understanding, go through Teacher Resource 5 – What is a Tornado and Teacher Resource 6 - How tornados are formed?
Complete Activity Sheet 2 - What is the difference between a tornado and a hurricane?
Complete Activity Sheet 3 - If I was a tornado or a hurricane
Complete the experiment in Activity Sheet 4 – Tornado in a Jar
Forces of Nature Word search
Forces of Nature Maze
Teacher Resource 1
The highest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica is 14.6 °C (59 °F), recorded on January 5, 1974.
The most rainfall ever recorded in 24 hours is 182.5 centimetres (71.9 inches) in Foc-Foc, La Réunion, during tropical cyclone Denise on January 8, 1966
The most rainfall ever recorded in one year is 25.4 meters (1000 inches) in Cherrapunji, India. More rain facts.
The highest snowfall ever recorded in a one year period was 31.1 meters (1224 inches) in Mount Rainier, Washington State, United States, between February 19, 1971 and February 18, 1972. More snow facts.
The fastest wind speed ever recorded is 484±32 km/h (301±20 mph). This was a 3 second gust recorded by a Doppler on Wheels (DOW) radar unit in Oklahoma City on May 3, 1999. More wind facts.
The heaviest hailstone ever recorded weighed 1.0 kg (2.25 lb) and landed in Gopalganj District, Bangladesh on April 14, 1986.
Clouds can be categorized into a number of different types; these include cumulus, stratus and cirrus. More cloud facts.
The Earth experiences millions of lightning storms every year, they are incredible discharges of electricity from the atmosphere that can reach temperatures close to 54,000 °F (30,000 °C) and speeds of 60,000 m/s (130,000 mph). More lightning facts.
The USA has more tornadoes than any other country in the world, averaging around 1200 a year. This is due largely to its unique geography which forms an area in central USA called “Tornado Alley” which is frequently hit by tornadoes. More tornado facts.
Teacher Resource 2
Teacher Resource 3 – What weather conditions can you see?
If you have an IPad then please watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ysA4wJ2PZw - Buildings flying through the air! Deadly Nebraska Tornado
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDFK40UMotcHurricane Wilma Video - Miami Beach, Florida
Teacher Resource 4
A hurricane is a very large storm that forms over tropical regions of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Rotating in a counter clockwise motion around a center, called an eye, hurricanes can reach speeds up to 200 miles per hour and measure 600 miles wide. Though a storm rages all around, in the eye of a hurricane, there are only light winds and the weather is rather calm. Hurricane season in the Atlantic is from June 1 to November 30 and May 15 to November 30 in the Pacific. Hurricanes need specific conditions in order to form. They need warm ocean water of 80 degrees or warmer, which gives the hurricane energy then causing more evaporation making storm clouds.
The wind must be blowing in the same direction and hard enough to force air upward and away from the surface of the ocean. As the warm air rises, it gets cooler and cooler escaping through the top of the hurricane. A hurricane is able to travel because lighter winds outside the storm push it along and help it grow in size. They can travel up to 20 miles per hour over the open ocean and will stay active for more than a week.
When a hurricane comes onto land, its strong winds and heavy rain can cause mild to severe damage depending on its size and strength. Hurricanes have storm surges, which cause flooding. Storm surges are large mounds of water gathered at the storms center by the rotating winds of the hurricane.
There is a rating system called the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, which is used to determine how severe and what kind of damages a hurricane may cause. The scale has five categories. A category one hurricane has winds up to 95 miles per hour and causes only minimal damage. Category two hurricanes can reach wind speeds of 110 miles per hour and cause moderate damage. When a hurricane reaches category three winds can top out at 130 miles per hour causing extensive damage.
A more severe hurricane is a category four. It has wind speeds up to 155 mile per hour and causes extreme damages to anything it touches. The worst hurricane is a category five. Winds in a category five hurricane are in excess of 155 miles per hour and damages are catastrophic, meaning the hurricane will destroy whatever lies in its path
Teacher Resource 5
A tornado is a funnel shaped column of air capable of causing mass destruction. Some people call tornadoes twisters or funnel clouds because of their shape and swirling motion however, a funnel cloud does not become a tornado until it touches the ground.
Tornados rotate in a circle with violent wind speeds up to 300 miles per hour damaging anything in their path. On average, there are 1,000 tornadoes reported per year nationwide and their path of damage can be larger than 50 miles long and more than 1 mile wide. Most tornadoes form from thunderstorms.
When moist warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and dry cool air from Canada meet, the atmosphere becomes unstable. As wind speeds increase and wind direction changes, an invisible horizontal spinning effect happens in the lower atmosphere. As air rises, the spinning tilts from a horizontal to a vertical position.
This rotation will extend far and wide through the thunderstorm and this is where most tornadoes form. Tornado season is from March through May for southern parts of the United States and during the summer months for northern parts, occurring most often between the hours of 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. however, a tornado can form any time of the year, day, or night if conditions are right.
Across all of the United States, the most common place for tornadoes to form accounting for more than 500 tornadoes per year is the Great Plains area. Because so many tornadoes form in this area each year, the Great Plains have taken the nickname “Tornado Alley.”
Teacher Resource 6
Activity Sheet 1 Please answer the questions after you read the passage in Teacher Resource Sheet 4
A hurricane is a huge storm that can be up to 600 miles across. Hurricanes have strong winds that spin inward and upward, and range from 75 to 200 miles per hour. Hurricanes usually last about a week, traveling 10 to 20 miles per hour over the open ocean. The evaporating ocean water gives energy and heat to a hurricane. Hurricanes rotate counter-clockwise around the center of the storm called the “eye”. The eye of the storm is the calmest part; it has fair weather and light winds. Hurricanes only form over ocean water that is 80°F or warmer. These storms usually form between 5 to 15 degrees latitude north and south of the equator. When hurricanes hit land they bring lots of rain, high winds, and large waves that can cause a lot of damage to buildings, trees and cars. Please Answer the Questions: 1. How big are hurricanes? 2. Describe a hurricane.
How long do hurricanes usually last?
How fast do hurricanes travel over open water?
What is the “eye” of a hurricane?
What temperature must water be for a hurricane to form?
Activity Sheet 2 Complete the Venn diagram and list the differences between the two forces of nature
Activity Sheet 3
Activity Sheet 4 - Experiment
mayonnaise jar or large clear jar
clear liquid soap
Youtube Video of experiment if needed - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU7jUx5Mvx0How to make a tornado in a jar science trick
Fill the jar about three-quarters full of water.
Put a teaspoon of the liquid soap into the jar.
Also, add a teaspoon of vinegar into the jar.
Tighten the lid and shake the jar to mix up the ingredients.
Now, swirl the jar in a circular motion.
The liquid will form a small tornado.
*If you want to get creative, you can also use food coloring to make the tornado have a color and glitter to represent debris
The swirling motion you give the bottle forms a vortex and is an easy way to create your own tornado.