Classroom Content: Hurricanes

Chances are you and your students have learned more about hurricanes in the last couple of weeks than anyone planned. It’s hard to miss the information that comes to us through the media and our daily interactions within the community. Thankfully, extreme weather events often bring out the best in people. “Look for the helpers,” the advice we got from Mr. [Fred] Rogers, can bring real comfort in the face of fierce storms and extreme weather. In addition to encouraging your students to look for the helpers, we encourage you to look to the science to learn more about extreme weather and ways in which people can prepare for the natural disasters that do occur.

Weather Channel Virtual Field Trip

If you have the time for a Virtual Field Trip, this is the one for you: Connect with Weather: Weather Channel Virtual Field Trip (Grades 3-12, Full Video [59:56]). Meteorologists from The Weather Channel take you behind-the-scenes to explore the science behind severe weather, learn about the technology used to predict hurricanes, tornadoes, winter storms, and wildfires.


Science has made huge strides in predicting the strength and course of hurricanes. From mapping software to flights inside the hurricane, scientists have more data and perform more analysis than ever before. Use the resources below with Pin It from the Spotlight on Strategies (SOS) series to help students develop their understanding of hurricanes.
Tornadoes and Hurricanes
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook, Social Studies Techbook,
Grades 3-5, Video Segment

Explains how storms can form tornadoes and hurricanes. The segment also describes the main features of tornadoes and hurricanes.
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook
Grades 3-5, 6-8, Video Segment

Hurricanes are extremely destructive. They are formed from tropical storms. Hurricanes can cause flooding from the storm surge and destruction from high winds. Scientists have devised different ways to study and classify hurricanes.
Fierce Earth: Hurricanes
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 6-8, 9-12, Full Video

Travels to Florida, Texas, and England to investigate the causes and effects of hurricanes, and provides insight into architecture styles that can prevent damage from hurricanes. The program also witnesses hurricane-force winds and interviews three teenagers who were impacted by Hurricane Ike.


Discovery Education resources include up-to-date current events news clips for you to use with your students. Here are the recent stories of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, along with a video segment that explains how hurricanes are named. Be sure to host a classroom discussion about these hurricanes and students’ curiosity, concerns, and experiences with them.
Reuters News: 2017-08-25: Harvey Likely Biggest Hurricane in 12 Years
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook, Social Studies Techbook, Math Techbook
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Full Video

The U.S. Gulf Coast braces for Hurricane Harvey, which could be a category 3 storm by the time it makes landfall Friday night or Saturday morning.
Reuters News: 2017-08-28: Hurricane Harvey Wreaks Havoc in Houston
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook, Social Studies Techbook, Math Techbook
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Full Video

Hurricane Harvey brings unprecedented flooding to southeastern Texas after more than 30 inches of rainfall in just 48 hours. Officials work to rescue residents stranded in their cars and homes.
Reuters News: 2017-09-06: Florida Readies for Powerful Hurricane Irma
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook, Social Studies Techbook, Math Techbook
Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Full Video

Emergency management officials across South Florida are hastening disaster preparations in anticipation of Hurricane Irma’s expected weekend arrival, with possibly greater force than that unleashed by Hurricane Harvey on Texas.
Naming Hurricanes
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook
Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Video Segment

Uncovers the process used to label tropical storms. Weather expert Mark Eliot explains how the World Meteorological Organization names hurricanes.


Students are not powerless when it comes to preparing for extreme weather. They can help their families prepare for the possibility of evacuation and consider what is helpful communication during extreme weather. During the recent hurricanes in the U.S., Twitter was used to convey information to victims, rescuers, and people who wanted to help. Use the strategy Tweet, Tweet! to have your students practice the responsible use of social media in disaster. Encourage your students to begin a list to help their families create a disaster preparedness kit.
How to Prepare for a Hurricane
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming
Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Video Segment

Demonstrates how to prepare for an approaching hurricane. Households should stock up on emergency supplies, have a plan in place for family pets, and educate family members.
Hurricane Preparation
(Canadian Version)
Discovery Education Streaming, Science Techbook
Grades 6-8, Video Segment

Provides instructions in order to prepare for the possibility of a hurricane. The segment includes ideas on evacuation plans, house and pet preparation, and potential dangers and consequences of the storm.


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