How Tornadoes Affect People
Students will learn how tornadoes impact communities and develop a safety plan.
Engage students with a first-person narrative written by a tornado researcher.
- In Eight Emotions While Tracking One Giant Supercell, SOARS Protogé Logan Dawson blogs about his first encounter with a supercell thunderstorm through a field science project. Logan discusses how he felt while trying to get out of harm's way.
- In class, discuss Logan's blog. What excited him about what he is studying? Was there anything that surprised students about his blog? Why was he concerned about his safety?
- In small groups, have students tell a story about when they experienced one or more of these emotions during a weather event. Everyone should try to pick a different emotion. What were some of the most prevalent emotions in the class? Have students consider why some emotions were more recounted than others.
Explore: Guide students to explore the impacts of tornadoes through literature and media.
- Eye of the Storm: (middle school) In this work of young adult fiction, a girl explores her metereologist father's secret work: creating monster storms. Have students read the story and then discuss the characters' safety concerns.
- Weather in the News: Students investigate how weather events are covered in the news and the Joplin Case Study in the activity focuses on tornadoes.
Explain: Have students present the impacts of tornadoes through a case study.
- Return from Catastrophe: A Year After the Tornado: This activity guides students to investigate Esri's interactive Story Map about Moore, Oklahoma to understand how the community was affected by a tornado and how they are recovering.
- Tornado Damage!: This activity from TeachEngineering (Activity Step 5) guides students to assess tornado damage and understand how engineers can design for potential tornadoes.
Elaborate: Guide students to develop a safety plan for their home, school, and/or community.
- Have students develop a satety plan based on what they learn from one or both of these resources:
- The American Red Cross App has planning checklists, maps, and a tornado warning sirens feature - a good resource for students as they develop their safety plan.
- Have students design a tornado-proof building (engineering), describe the tornado-proof features (construct an explanation), and discuss planning goals with a city council (communication on societal impacts) as described in the Discovery Education: Tornado! lesson plan.
Evaluate by having students synthesize their learning in a Tornado Public Service Announcement for their school, community, or region.
- Get Weather Ready: During a Tornado Public Service Announcement (PSA) from the U.S. National Weather Service is a good model of a tornado PSA.
- Students can write the PSA script and/or record a multimedia PSA and present to their class, school, or community. Student presentations should refer to the impacts of tornadoes on communities, safety concerns, a safety plan for the school or community, and a communication plan for broadcasting the PSA.