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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GradeSubjectView aligned standards

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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