# The Science of Natural Disasters

## Severe Weather Trackers

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After viewing our curriculum units, please take a few minutes to help us understand how the units, which were created by public school teachers, may be useful to others.

## Lesson Plans

### Lesson 1: Sounds of Thunderstorms

Objectives:

Students will describe the different sounds they hear during a thunderstorm.

Students will write about the sounds they hear.

Materials:

CD: Thunderstorm and Rain Sounds by Natures Music, CD player, 1 piece of paper for each child, pencils, crayons.

Preparation:

Before beginning the lesson, make sure the CD is in the player and that the player is near the carpet.

Lesson:

- 1) The teacher will begin reviewing what the children have learned about
- thunderstorms.
- 2) The children will sit in a circle on the rug.
- 3) The teacher will explain to the students that they will be listening to a CD that has
- recorded thunderstorms. She will ask to the students to listen carefully to the
- sounds as they will have to describe them later.
- 4) Then the teacher will ask one student to turn off the lights.
- 5) Once the lights have been shut off, the teacher will play the CD.
- 6) Once the CD is done, the teacher will ask the students what they heard. As
- students are called on, the teacher will record their answers on the board.
- 7) After calling on a number of students, the teacher will ask the students to return to
- their seats.
- 8) Once the students are seated, the teacher will remind the students of the sounds
- they heard on the CD. She will tell them that they will be writing about those
- sounds today. Each student will receive a piece of paper, a pencil and some
- crayons. They are to draw a picture of what they heard and then write about it.
- 9) After giving the directions and checking that all students understand, she will then
- have one student pass out paper, one pass out pencils and one pass out crayons.
- 10) Once the students have received their supplies, they may begin working.
- 11) The students will be given a time slot of 20 minutes to complete their picture and
- writing.
- 12) The teacher will signal for the students to begin cleaning up when the 20 is over.
- 13) After the students have cleaned their area and returned supplies to their areas, the
- students will again have a seat on the carpet.
- 14) The students will then take turns sharing their pictures and writing.

### Lesson 2: Twister in a Jar

(adapted from http://eo.ucar.edu/webweather Web Weather for Kids)

Objectives: Students will make a tornado.

Materials:

8 oz jar with a lid, water, vinegar (1 teaspoon per jar), clear liquid dish soap (1 teaspoon per jar), pinch of glitter, small cups, Twister Trouble (The Magic School Bus Chapter Book #5), Twister the movie.

Preparation:

Before presenting the lesson, pick a tornado clip from the movie Twister that is appropriate for first graders. Have the video or DVD stopped at the clip you want the students to see.

The teacher should also have the water, dish soap and vinegar pre-measured in individual cups for each student that will be participating. This will allow the students the freedom of following the teacher's directions but physically doing the steps by themselves, hopefully without making too big of a mess!

Lesson:

- 1) The teacher will begin the lesson by having the children sit on the carpet,
- facing him/her.
- 2) The teacher will introduce the topic of tornadoes to the class. He/she will explain
- that today the students will be learning more about how tornadoes are made and
- what damage they can cause.
- 3) The teacher will then begin reading the book, Twister Trouble by Ann Schreiber.
- It describes tornadoes in kid-friendly terms. Ms. Frizzle bring the children to
- Weatherama Theme Park where the major attraction is riding a tornado!
- Throughout the book, the students will learn all the basics (how they are formed,
- what they look like, etc) of tornadoes.
- 4) After the teacher finishes the book she will have the students sit back at their seats.
- 5) The teacher will then explain that the students will be making their very own
- tornadoes.
- 6) The teacher will call on students to help pass out the supplies to each student.
- 7) The teacher will walk the students through the process, by demonstrating each step
- before allowing the students to do it.
- 8) Each student will hold his/her jar in front of them and take the lid off.
- 9) Using the water in their first cup, the students will fill their cups ¾ full.
- 10) Then they will add 1 teaspoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of dish soap to their jars.
- 11) Next, the teacher will walk around the room and each student will add a small
- amount (a sprinkle) of glitter to their jars.
- 12) Last, the students will place the lids back on their jars.
- 13) The students will then twist their jars to see a vortex like a tornado form.
- *If you would like, you could add small monopoly size houses to the jars and the
- students can watch them spin around in their tornado.
- 14) Finally, the students will be able to see what a real tornado would look like. The
- teacher will play the clip from Twister.
- 15) To end the lesson, the teacher will review the basics of tornadoes and the students
- will participate in a question and answer session.