The Tornado Diaries. Tornadoes K-2. Tornado Science LESSON PLAN 2. Key Terms and Concepts. Purposes. Objectives

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1 LESSON PLAN 2 The Tornado Diaries Tornadoes K-2 A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes have been reported in every state and, though they generally occur during spring and summer, they can happen any time of the year. Tornado Science Key Terms and Concepts annual circular motion damage debris Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale) funnel cloud seasons tornado twister Purposes To help the students understand the properties of tornadoes To guide the students in finding out when and where tornadoes are likely to occur Objectives The students will Demonstrate why tornadoes are called twisters. Observe and describe how a tornado moves and trace its path. Use Create a Tornado to build and demonstrate a tornado with their families. (Home Connection) Create a word list that describes tornado movement and use it to illustrate a tornado. (Linking Across the Curriculum) Locate their state on the Map of the United States and then use the Tornado Information Map to determine the number of tornadoes expected for the state in a year. Using a calendar, note the seasons in which tornadoes are most likely to occur in their area. Mark (color) other states on the Map of the United States with their families. (Home Connection) Discuss the states they talked about with their families. Read a picture book about tornadoes. (Linking Across the Curriculum) Color code states to rank them according to tornado occurrences. (Linking Across the Curriculum) 1

2 Activities Create a Tornado Tornado Mapping Tornadoes K 2 LESSON PLAN 2 The Tornado Diaries 2

3 Create a Tornado SET UP 10 minutes CONDUCT 15 minutes Science: Physical Science and Earth Science; Language Arts: Writing; Fine Arts: Visual Arts Tornadoes K 2 LESSON PLAN 2 The Tornado Diaries TEACHING NOTE A Tornado Tube, available in novelty or teachers supply stores, may be used for this activity. 1. Tell the students that they are going to see a demonstration to help them understand why tornadoes are also called twisters and, sometimes, funnel clouds. Fill the plastic soda bottle with water. 2. Put three drops of dishwashing liquid into the bottle along with a few marbles or other small objects. Recap the bottle tightly. Materials 2-liter plastic soda bottle with cap Dishwashing liquid Water Marbles or other small objects Small spinning top Create a Tornado, 1 copy per student (Home Connection) 3. With a hand on each end, hold the bottle on its side. Move the bottle using a circular motion to swirl the liquid. 4. Keep the liquid swirling as you turn the bottle upside down. Be sure to keep the cap end of the bottle steady while you continue to swirl the liquid in the large end. 5. Ask the students to describe what they see. How does this represent a tornado? Reinforce their understanding of the words twister and funnel when they describe a tornado. Wrap-Up Based on the demonstrations, have the students work together to list all the words they can think of to describe the movement of a tornado. (These may include spinning, twirling, speeding, rushing, blowing, twisting, running and skipping. ) Have them draw the funnel-shaped cloud of a tornado on a large sheet of construction paper and write the descriptive words in the winds around the tornado. TEACHING NOTE Turn this into a bulletin-board activity with a large funnel cloud in the center of the board and the words spiraling around the tornado. As the students continue to learn more about tornadoes, add information to your bulletinboard display. 3

4 Linking Across the Curriculum Tornadoes K 2 LESSON PLAN 2 The Tornado Diaries Science: Physical Science and Observation For this activity you will require a small top and several tiny toy cars, trees, animals and houses. Now that the students understand the shape and spin of a tornado, demonstrate its movement with a spinning top. 1. Spin the top and ask the students to describe how the top is moving like a tornado. Have the students trace its path. 2. Place tiny toy cars, animals, trees and houses on the floor. Set the top spinning through them. Explain that a tornado creates a path of destruction when it touches the ground. Point out that the tornado winds push the objects and do not suck them in. 3. Focus their observation of the spinning top, which represents a tornado. Ask the class: Does the amount of destruction change when the top moves at different speeds through the toy props? Home Connection Distribute Create a Tornado so that the students can build and demonstrate their own tornadoes with their families. Tell the students they will also need a small top and tiny toys, such as cars, houses animals and trees. Have the students draw their demonstration the setup and the results and then return the sheets to you. TEACHING NOTE You may want to give the students a Masters of Disaster tornado sticker when they hand in the activity sheets. 4

5 Tornado Mapping SET UP 20 minutes CONDUCT 30 minutes Social Studies: Mapping; Language Arts: Listening Tornadoes K 2 LESSON PLAN 2 The Tornado Diaries Materials Map of the United States, 1 copy per student Transparency of Tornado Information Map Crayons or markers Twisters! by Lucille Recht Penner, illustrated by Kazushige Nitta (Random House Children s Books, 1996) (Linking Across the Curriculum) Work through this mapping activity as a whole class. 1. Distribute Map of the United States. Have the students pinpoint the state in which they live on their maps. 2. Have the students color their state red and complete statement 1 on their activity sheets. 3. Using the Tornado Information Map transparency in Masters of Disaster Activities, have the students determine the average number of tornadoes that hit their state each year. Have the students write this number in Statement 2 on their activity sheets. 4. Using the transparency, have the students determine the months tornadoes are most likely to occur in their state and write the names of the months in Statement 3 on their activity sheets. 5. Use a calendar to match these months with the seasons and determine the season(s) that tornadoes are most likely to occur in your state. The students will then complete Statement 4 on their activity sheets. Wrap-Up Using the Tornado Information Map transparency, guide the students as they search for states that average the highest number of tornadoes each year. On their maps they will Color the states blue that average over 30 tornadoes. Color the states green that average over 25 tornadoes. Color the states yellow that average over 20 tornadoes. Based on their maps, ask the students why the area north from Texas to Kansas and over to Iowa and Missouri might be called Tornado Alley. TEACHING NOTE Florida has a high number of tornadoes because hurricanes frequently spawn them. Also, Florida has five times more thunderstorms each year than any other state because of its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. 5

6 Tornadoes K 2 LESSON PLAN 2 The Tornado Diaries Home Connection Have the students take home their completed Map of the United States and have family members talk about other states where they have lived or visited, states where relatives live or states students would like to visit. Ask family members to talk about tornadoes they may have experienced or heard about. Back at school, ask volunteers to share family tornado recollections. Linking Across the Curriculum Language Arts: Reading Read Twisters! by Lucille Recht Penner, illustrated by Kazushige Nitta, to the class or find other picture books about tornadoes. Illustrations can help the students understand the characteristics and power of tornadoes. Mathematics: Charts and Graphs Challenge the students to create a color-coded map that ranks states according to average tornado occurrence from those with the most tornadoes to those with the fewest. Science: Earth Science; Language Arts: Research and Writing There are many myths about tornadoes. Challenge students to go on a tornado myth scavenger hunt on the Internet. When they have found as many myths as they can, help them compile their findings and create a simple presentation on a bulletin board or in a small book to educate people about the truth about tornadoes. 6

7 Create a Tornado Page 1 of 2 Name Directions: Gather the materials below to make a tornado with your family. Materials: 2-liter plastic soda bottle with cap Water Dishwashing liquid Marbles or other small objects Steady 1. Fill the bottle with water. 2. Put 3 drops of dishwashing liquid into the bottle. 3. Place a few small objects into the bottle. Recap the bottle tightly. 4. With a hand on each end, hold the bottle on its side. Move the bottle in a circular motion to swirl the liquid. 5. Keep the liquid swirling as you turn the bottle upside down. Keep the cap end of the bottle steady while you continue to swirl the liquid in the large end. CREATE A TORNADO

8 Create a Tornado Page 2 of 2 Name Draw how you set up your equipment. Draw what you saw. Return this sheet to your teacher after you complete it. CREATE A TORNADO

9 Map of the United States Page 1 of 2 Name Washington, DC MAP OF THE UNITED STATES

10 Map of the United States Page 2 of 2 1. The state I live in is. 2. About tornadoes happen in my state each year. 3. The months that tornadoes usually happen in my state are. 4. The season(s) that tornadoes usually happen in my state is (are). (spring, summer, fall, winter). Take this map home and talk with your family about other states you have lived in or visited, states where relatives live, or states you would like to visit. Mark these places on the map. Then return the map to your teacher. MAP OF THE UNITED STATES

11 Tornado Information Map Page 1 of 1 Name Average Number of Tornadoes, , and Most Likely Months for Tornadoes TORNADO INFORMATION MAP

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