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Hurricanes Theme Page

Below are the CLN "Theme Pages" which supplement the study of hurricanes. CLN's theme pages are collections of useful Internet educational resources within a narrow curricular topic and contain links to two types of information. Students and teachers will find curricular resources (information, content...) to help them learn about this topic. In addition, there are links to instructional materials (lesson plans) which will help teachers provide instruction in this theme.

Natural Disasters

General Hurricanes Resources

Here are a number of links to other Internet resources which contain information and/or other links related to hurricanes. Please read our disclaimer.

1901-1996 U.S. Landfalling Hurricanes
A collection of GIF maps that display the locations where and when hurricanes hit the US coastline bordering with the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico . Each map is organized by decade and each hurricane is colour coded according to its degree of severity.

Canadian Hurricane Centre
Environment Canada, Atlantic Region, monitors all hurricane activity along the Atlantic Seaboard. If hurricane activity appears to threaten Eastern Canada, the Centre will inform the region's residents of potentially damaging weather conditions and provide tracking information and services.

Counting on the Havoc of Hurricanes
In this lesson plan, grade 6-12 students use a NY Times article as a starting point to "define and classify all the different ways in which numbers are used in forecasting and coping with the effects of a hurricane. They then conduct research to compare and contrast these numbers as they apply to Hurricane Floyd and other recent hurricanes. Finally, they graph their findings."

Create an Art Object Depicting a Hurricane
A practical art lesson plan for any elementary classroom. It can be used with younger students to encourage them to draw representations of hurricanes. This lesson can be easily expanded for older student to include some hurricane research.

Exploring the Environment: Severe Weather: Hurricanes
This module is part of "Exploring the Environment"™ (ETE) from NASA's Classroom of the Future™. In ETE, high school students are faced with a real life problem and their goal is to use problem solving skills and internet-based data (e.g., remotely sensed satellite images) to propose and defend a solution. A Teacher's Guide is available. This link is to the ETE home page since it gives the easiest access to necessary introductory and teacher information. To access the hurricanes module, click on "Modules and Activities" and then "Hurricanes". The challenge students will have is to use the history of Hurricane Andrew (1992) to track, analyze and predict the course of a new hurricane that may threaten North America this school year.

Handle a Hurricane
In this StormSmart lesson from WICS NewsChannel 20, high school students assume the role of a mayor of a city threatened by an approaching hurricane and needing to make a decision whether to evacuate the city. They read news reports about the storm, memos from staff advising the mayor on whether or not to evacuate, and basic information about hurricanes before announcing their decision.

[The] Heat is On! Creating Weather Emergency Guides in the Science Classroom
In this lesson plan, grade 6-12 students research severe weather conditions common to their geographic location and create weather emergency guides for extreme weather conditions such as tornadoes, floods, blizzards, thunderstorms and hurricanes. They use a New York Times article as a starting point for their explorations.

Use this link to download the .pdf file for a primary level, 10 lesson unit on hurricanes. Students learn report writing skills while studying the weather of the Caribbean islands, hurricanes, and hurricane preparation.

Hurricane Centre
Current news from a Florida media outlet. In addition, they have information on hurricane tracking, names, and terms. There are extensive sections providing advice to residents on how to prepare for hurricanes. For example, there are hints on: checking your roof, how to find a safe place to hide, building plywood shutters, getting a survival kit organized, what to do with your pet, and much more. A collection of maps is available in different formats for downloading, printing and use on-line to help you track storm and hurricane activities. Also, check out "Hurricanes in History" for brief historical summaries of hurricane events off the US Atlantic coastline, starting with Columbus in 1495.

Hurricane Disaster Service
The American Red Cross provides extensive information about hurricane preparation and how to stay safe during a hurricane. Information includes on-line resources and downloadable PDF documents.

Hurricane: Storm Science
Designed for elementary students, the materials in this site include explanations, diagrams/images, stories, activities, and downloadable materials. Contents cover the following topics: What is a hurricane like? How do hurricanes work? What happens when a storm comes? What paths do hurricanes take? Has anyone else been in a disaster?

Supported by the University of Illinois, this site describes several introductory hurricanes characteristics and issues including: What hurricanes are; How they get their names; What affects their development; and, How to rate their destruction with the Saffir-Simpson Scale. Advanced hurricane information is available after accessing these introductory pages.

This instructional unit is part of the "Science With OAR" web site developed by the University of South Alabama. It consists of explanatory sections on hurricanes, student activity assignments, and links to other external hurricane sites where students can collect the data to answer the questions.

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency sponsors this "FEMA for Kids" site on hurricanes. Students can read information specially developed for them on classification, historical events, naming conventions, origins, disaster scales, and hurricane hunters. The site includes a number of student activities as well.

Hurricanes Spark a Storm of Classroom Activity
Education World provides activities and Internet connections to engage students of all ages in a study of hurricanes.

Hurricane Trailhead
This is the starting point for a virtual field trip on hurricanes from Tramline. Experts in the subject have selected a number of web sites on hurricanes and arranged them in a sequence to tell a story for students to follow. Students can move from one web stop in the field trip to the next with ample opportunity to explore within the individual web site as they wish. However, since their web browser page has been split into an inner part (showing that stop in the field trip) and an outer part (giving navigational tools to go through the entire field trip), they can always return to their "tram" and go to the next stop. To be effective, teachers would have to ensure that student browsing through the field trip sites was purposeful. Teacher guides can be printed.

Hurricane Watch
Internet-based activities related to hurricanes for students across the subjects and across the grades from Education World.

Images/Movies of Hurricanes and Special Events
More than 500 satellite photos of hurricanes, tropical storms and typhoons starting from 1968. These photos, collected by National Climatic Data Center, are categorized by year. The collection includes the following types: colour, radar, infrared and MPEG movies.

National Hurricane Center - Tropical Prediction Center
The Tropical Prediction Center is located in Miami, Florida and works cooperatively with the National Weather Service to track and monitor hurricane and storm activity off the US Atlantic coast. A comprehensive site for information regarding current and past hurricane activity.

Tracking A Hurricane
A lesson plan designed for students in grade 9-12 who are familiar with trigonometric conversion formulas from rectangular to polar and back again.

TrackStar is an online interface which allows instructors to create lessons for students by sequencing existing instructional content in various web sites within a lesson. Students explore one topic at a particular location within one web site then move on to the next topic at another web site. The list of topics remains visible throughout the lesson so that students can remain on track. Explorations of the web sites beyond the designated instructional content are also possible.

This link is to their search page from where a keyword search on "hurricanes" will produce numerous hits. Caution #1: Many of the web sites that these lessons access may already be on this CLN page - it's the creation of lesson objectives and the sequencing of the tours through the sites that make the lesson potentially useful to your students. Caution #2: The quality of the lessons (e.g., definining objectives, finding web sites, sequencing the tours) will vary widely within the TrackStar collection.

Weather Eye
We were successful in finding a site of weather instructional materials for teachers. The following links will take you directly to lessons for the grade range listed.
  • Cadet Section 20 weather related lessons for grade 2-8. One of the lessons is for hurricanes, the others could be modified to include hurricane activity.
  • Expert Section Six extensive lessons suitable for Grade 6-12. Most the lessons are designed for role play situations. For example, in the lesson "Handle a Hurricane", students take the role as "Mayor" and must make decisions regarding the town's safety as the hurricane approaches.

[The] Wrath of Hurricane Mitch
In this lesson plan, grade 6-12 students "investigate how hurricanes and other natural disasters can devastate the elements of the infrastructure of a country, as well as the lives of its people. Students then work in committees, each focused on one element of a country's infrastructure, to analyze the existing infrastructure problems in Honduras caused by Hurricane Mitch, devise possible solutions for these problems, and assess how each aspect of a country's infrastructure is interdependent to the others. Students also determine how lesser developed countries and developed countries differ in times of catastrophe." They use a New York Times article as a starting point for their explorations.

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Note: The sites listed above will serve as a source of curricular content in Hurricanes. For other resources in Weather (e.g., curricular content), or for lesson plans and theme pages, click the "previous screen" button below. Or, click here if you wish to return directly to the CLN menu which will give you access to educational resources in all of our subjects.

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