Tornadoes Teaching Box

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Channing Tornado

Tornadoes, also called twisters, are rare and powerful weather events in which columns of air rotate dangerously fast. In this teaching box are resources to help students learn why and where tornadoes happen and how these weather events impact people’s lives.

UCAR Center for Science Education Teaching Boxes are themed collections of classroom-ready educational resources to build student understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Resources highlighted within teaching boxes are from various science education programs and all have been vetted by the UCAR Center for Science Education team.

  • Topic: Tornadoes
  • Level: Middle and high school

How do they happen?

Goal: Students learn how tornadoes form and the atmospheric conditions that are conducive to tornadoes.

Activity: Students compare and contrast the types of tornadoes and how they form.

Where do they happen?

Goal: Students will understand where tornadoes happen.

Activity: Students explore tornado data, including an interactive Story Map from Esri.

How do they affect people?

Goal: Students will learn how tornadoes impact communities and develop a safety plan.

Activity: Students explore the impacts tornadoes have on communities, including an interactive Story Map from Esri, and develop a Public Service Announcement safety plan for tornadoes.