Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Severe Weather - Tornados- Dorothy Was Right! - Section 3: Individual Instruction


During this severe weather unit, I wanted to focus on several weather phenomena that occur across the country.  BetterLesson teachers come from all over the world and I wanted to help them explain weather that was local to their school.  Developing a conceptual understanding of severe weather and its effects is key.  The information allows students to be less afraid and more prepared.  I found the best way to transmit these complicated concepts is to come up with a model.  I got the idea for this lesson's model from a toy that I picked up in a thrift store for $1, similar to a Pet Tornado.  I know students at this age learn well with visual examples.  Add to it an element of kinesthetic learning and you exponentially encourage retention.  As you can see with this lesson, the models don’t have to be complicated.  I just put an e-mail out to parents to collect baby food jars.  Add some water, glitter (or, to be realistic, add some dirt!) and you’re good to go.  The concept is covered; the information shared.  The rest is..history. 

  Retain and Explain
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Retain and Explain
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Severe Weather - Tornados- Dorothy Was Right!

Unit 7: Severe Weather-Wonderful Wizard
Lesson 3 of 7

Objective: Students will create a model to better understand and observe the structure of a tornado.

Big Idea: What makes extreme weather so dangerous?

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