Beacon Lesson Plan Library
DescriptionThis activity is a great way to introduce hurricanes into your curriculum. Students will understand the anatomy of a hurricane, the change in energy that occurs during a hurricane and how to track a hurricane.
ObjectivesThe student understands that energy changes cause weather to change (for example, formation of high and low pressure systems in the atmosphere results from changes in temperature).
The student knows that speed, velocity, and acceleration can be calculated, estimated, and defined.
Materials- K-W-L Chart (see attached file)
- Anatomy notes & recording sheet & key, compliments of the RED CROSS (see attached file)
- T-chart & key (see attached file)
- Flow of Energy activity sheet (see attached file)
- Two 2-liter soda bottles
- Tornado tube connector / (or a washer & duct tape can be used as an alternative)
- Food coloring
- Water (warm/hot & cold)
- Aluminum pans
- Tracking Map at Tracking Map at http://lumahai.soest.hawaii.edu/Tropical_Weather/atlantic_track.gif
-Tracking Map Data (see attached file)
- Classroom chalkboard (optional)
- Overhead projector
-Transparency paper (to be used with a copier)
Preparations1. Gather materials for the activity. Teachers may want to set up the materials on a table prior to class beginning. Using a funnel, teachers should pour the cold and hot water into the 2-liter bottles as the students receive materials. Students should not handle hot water.
2. Create a K-W-L chart for the class on the board or create an overhead of the sheet to be used with the overhead projector. (see attachment)
3. Make copies of the K-W-L chart for each student. (To save paper students may create one on their own paper).
4. Create a T-chart for the students on the board or create and overhead of the sheet to be used with the overhead projector.(see attachment)
5. Make copies of the T-chart for each student. (To save paper students may create one on their own paper).
6. Create an overhead of the hurricane-tracking map for teacher use.
7. Tracking map-(see website for internet location) Make copies of the hurricane-tracking map for each student.
Procedures1. Create a K-W-L chart for the class on the board or on an overhead projector before students enter the classroom.
2. Ask students to write down what they know under the “K” on their
K-W-L chart about hurricanes.
3. Class discussion of the -K.-
4. Record student/class responses underneath the “K” on the board or overhead projector.
5. Ask students to write down what they want to learn about hurricanes under the “W” on their K-W-L chart.
6. Class discussion of the “W.-
7. Record student/class responses underneath the “W” on the board or overhead projector.
8. Explain to your students that today they will begin learning about the anatomy of a hurricane, the change in energy that occurs during a hurricane and how to track a hurricane.
9. Discuss the different parts of a hurricane's anatomy. (Anatomy of a Storm notes provided- see attached) Encourage the students to take notes.
10. Distribute the Anatomy of a Storm assessment worksheet. Allow students ample time to complete the worksheet, using their notes.
11. Create an overhead of the Anatomy of a Storm assessment worksheet to use as a key (optional) or discuss the answers of the worksheet and allow the students to conduct a self-assessment.
12. Divide the class into groups of three or four students. Have the groups brainstorm as to how hurricanes form and what makes them function.
13. Discuss group responses.
14. Distribute lab activity materials to each group- (two 2-liter soda bottles, tornado tube connector, cold & warm/hot water, aluminum pan, food coloring (drop 3-4 drops of food coloring in the cold water), and “Flow of Energy” activity sheet).
15. Have the groups read the directions and complete the activity worksheet.
16. Compare group results and discuss for accuracy. (Concept- as the warm/hot water and cold water combine in the 2-liter soda bottles the warm/hot water will rise to the top and the cold water will sink to the bottom. The idea is that the molecules in the warm/hot water are moving faster and spread further apart. There is more energy in the hot water. In the cold water, the molecules are more condensed, which causes it to be heavier with less energy. The warm/hot water will become lighter than the cold water, which causes it to rise. This same principle applies to the air inside of a hurricane. Some students will argue that the cold water is heavier because of the food coloring. Teachers may redo the activity as a demonstration and add food coloring to the hot water instead of the cold water. The results will be the same.
17. Upon completion of the aforementioned activity, arrange the students in a seating formation that is conducive to independent work.
18. Set the stage for the hurricane tracking assignment by alerting the students of a hurricane that has developed over the Caribbean Islands. Let them know that you have just received notice from the National Hurricane Center asking for student assistance in tracking the hurricane. Distribute a T-chart to each student. Allow students ample time to record any guesses regarding how to track a hurricane under the “Guess” column of the T-chart.
19. Create a T-chart for the class on the board or on an overhead projector.
20. Discuss student responses. Record student guesses underneath the “Guess” column of the T-chart on the board or overhead projector.
21. Class discussion of guesses. Afterward, discuss the correct steps and solutions of tracking a hurricane. Allow students to follow along and record answers underneath the “Solution” column of the T-chart. (see attached file)
22. Throughout the day students will receive coordinates for the hurricane they are tracking. Create an overhead of the hurricane-tracking map provided. The teacher will model for the students how to track the first two coordinates on the hurricane-tracking map on the overhead projector. After that, students will track on their map as coordinates are received. The teacher will map the coordinates on the tracking map on the overhead projector as they are received.
23. On the third day of tracking the hurricane allow students to estimate when the hurricane will make landfall.
24. Collect tracking maps and show/discuss the completed map.
25. Have students to write down what they have learned under the “L” on the K-W-L sheet. Have a class discussion regarding student responses.
Assessments- Assess prior knowledge using K-W-L chart. (see attached file)
- Identify and label various parts of a hurricane. (see attached file)
- Students will successfully demonstrate the movement of energy of air in a hurricane system.
- Students will successfully track a hurricane for a period of six days with 85% accuracy. Students will receive hurricane coordinates and actually track a hurricane. They will be utilizing the wind speed, and velocity to estimate what path the hurricane is taking and when it is going to make landfall. (see attached file)
- Successfully complete the “L” on the K-W-L chart demonstrating learned information regarding hurricanes.
Extensions-Research the ten deadliest hurricanes in Florida, which occurred during the past twenty years.
-This lesson can be extended for block schedules.
-Increased time may be allotted for specific learners.
Web LinksWeb supplement for Hectic Hurricanes!
Movie of Hurricane Andrew
Web supplement for Hectic Hurricanes!
Florida Hurricane Awareness
Web supplement for Hectic Hurricanes!
Attached FilesThis file contains: K-W-L Chart Anatomy of a Storm notes, recording sheet & key (compliments of RED CROSS) Flow of Energy activity sheet T-chart & key Tracking Map & Data FFile Extension: pdf
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