Hurricane season officially started back in June, but those of us in New England tend to associate late summer and early fall with hurricanes. Or maybe it’s just me that makes that association because I was in the first grade when I first learned first-hand about hurricanes through Hurricane Gloria. If you’re planning to teach lessons about hurricanes this fall, here are some resources that could help you out.
Forces of Nature is a film produced by National Geographic designed to educate students about volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes. The Forces of Nature website provides a nice list of complete lesson plans for teachers of students in grades K through 12. Even if you can’t get a copy of the movie, most of the lesson plans and activities are still very usable. Teachers of grades K through 6 may also want to check out the National Geographic Kids page titled Ten Freaky Forces of Nature. If you can’t acquire the Forces of Nature film (available on Amazon $17.99), you may want to consider a similar film from National Geographic titled Violent Earth. Violent Earth can be viewed for free on Snag Films.
Stop Disasters is a game designed for students to learn about natural disasters, disaster prevention, and city design. There are five game scenarios that students can play. Students can plan to prepare for hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires, and tsunamis. The scenarios are set in geographically accurate contexts of Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Caribbean. For teachers Stop Disasters provides fact sheets to distribute to students about each type of natural disaster. Stop Disasters also provides teachers with teaching guides, lesson plan ideas, and links to additional reference materials.
Google Earth is a good tool that teachers and students can use to track the movement of a hurricane. Below is a short video about using Google Earth to track storms. The video was created by Frank Taylor from the Google Earth Blog.
On a related note, the video below shows you how to put weather radar maps on your desktop using Google Earth.
NOAA has a free nineteen page booklet that explains how hurricanes are formed, the structure of hurricanes, and how hurricanes are observed. The booklet also contains information about naming hurricanes. Click here to open and download the PDF.
Snag Films, mentioned above, is currently hosting a documentary titled Katrina’s Children. The documentary explores the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans through the viewpoints of children from New Orleans. Watch a preview of the film below.