I just love teaching about storms. Students sit perched on the edge of their seats anxious to hear all the exciting and dangerous details. Hands fly up around the room with students eager to tell their own experiences and knowledge. To make learning more relevant, I like to teach this unit to coincide with our stormy season. For those of us in the south, the spring storm season works perfectly.
Begin with the Basics
It’s important to start off your study of storms with the basics. Explain the different types of storms, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, winter storms, and thunderstorms.Discuss the characteristics of each and what causes them to form.
Don’t have kid-friendly resources to teach about storms? I created this storms unit many years ago to use for my storms study. It includes videos, fact book, vocabulary posters, skill pages, coloring notes pages, and more. Everything you need is included.
A picture (or video) is worth a thousand words! Use pictures, diagrams, or videos to show students what storms look like or how they form. Add in satellite images of a hurricane or a video of a tornado’s path. I have found many great kid-friendly storms videos on YouTube.
Discuss Storm Safety
As you know, storms can be very dangerous. Teach your students how to stay safe during different types of storms. Practice safety procedures for storms common in your area.
Students just LOVE science experiments, and there are many great ones out there on weather! Here are a few of my favorites.
- Tornado in a jar. Fill a clear jar with water and add a few drops of dish soap. Swirl the water around to create a vortex.
- Simulate a thunderstorm. Fill a large bowl with water and add a few drops of dish soap. Rub a balloon on your hair to create static electricity. Hold the balloon above the bowl to see and hear tiny lightning arcs and the crackling sound of thunder.
- Cloud in a Bottle. Fill a clear plastic bottle with warm water and swirl it around. light a match and drop it in the bottle, then quickly put the cap on. Squeeze the bottle gently and watch as a cloud forms inside.
Invite in a Guest Speaker
Invite meteorologists or other weather experts to speak to your students. They can talk about their experiences with storms and share their knowledge about forecasting.
Assign projects or research assignments to students to encourage them to learn more about storms. They can research the history of famous storms or the science behind weather patterns. I created this project choice board for students to extend their learning of storms through research.
I hope this post has given you some ideas of how to teach about storms. Happy teaching!
Get the storms resource talked about in this post here.