Lesson plan

Southeast and Gulf State Weather

Whoa, weather! Using technology as an aid, students will put their research skills to the test while learning about hurricanes.
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Students will be able to explain how hurricanes are formed and the effects of hurricanes based on their understanding of scientific information found from an online source.

(5 minutes)
  • Have students come together near the map of the United States.
  • Tell students that they will be learning about the Southeast and Gulf State region.
  • Ask students to look at the map of the United States and predict which states are in the Gulf State region.
  • After students have made their guesses, reveal that the Southeast and Gulf States are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Point out these states on the map.
  • Ask students if they have ever heard of any weather problems in these states.
  • Direct the conversation toward hurricanes.
  • At this point, tell the students that they will be learning more about hurricanes and the devastating effects that hurricanes have had on this region.
(10 minutes)
  • Pull up the Severe Weather: HurricanesWebsite. Guide students through the background knowledge section of the hurricane module, and instruct them to see pictures of hurricanes from space.
  • Actively engage students by having them click within the website, and ask them to read aloud the information on the screen.
(5 minutes)
  • Show your students how to use a search engine to look up webpages related to hurricanes in the Southeast and Gulf States.
  • As a class, brainstorm a list of potential search terms. For example: Hurricanes in Florida, effect of hurricanes in Southern United States, etc.
  • Input one of these search terms, and demonstrate to students how to choose a website for researching. Encourage students to look for .gov or .edu websites.
  • Explain to students that they will now have the opportunity to look at some of these websites to learn more about hurricanes.
  • Have them write down at least two facts about hurricane formation and two facts about the effects of hurricanes.
(15 minutes)
  • If students need to wait to use the computer or other technology, encourage them to learn more about hurricanes through books or other hard copy resources.
  • Encourage your students to write a poem or story about hurricanes while they wait.
  • Enrichment:Bring in an expert who has experienced a hurricane, or have your students write a letter to a weather service asking questions about hurricanes.
  • Support:Ask your students to present the information they learned orally or through pictures. Encourage students to use websites that offer a variety of audio, visual, and text-based explanations.
  • Students will use computers to research and learn about hurricanes.
(5 minutes)
  • Check your students' facts about hurricane formation and the effects of hurricanes.
  • Make sure your students can correctly locate and identify the Southeast and Gulf States on a map of the United States.
(10 minutes)
  • Call students together to have a group discussion about hurricane formation and the effects of hurricanes.
  • As the conversation is coming to a close, remind students that hurricanes are common in the Southeast and Gulf States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina).
  • Point out or have students point out where these states are on the map of the United States.

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