Lesson: Severe Weather Project (Day 3)

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Lesson Objective

Students will work in groups to create a presentation on a severe weather topic (tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, el nino/la nina, or thunderstorms)to teach to the class.

Lesson Plan

California State Standard:

5ES4c.Students know the causes and effects of different types of severe weather.


Students will work in groups to create a presentation on a severe weather topic (tornados, hurricanes, blizzards, el nino/la nina, or thunderstorms)to teach to the class.

What causes severe weather conditions?

What are the effects of severe weather?

Evidence of Learning:

Student Poster, Multiple Choice Test Question, Meteorologist Report, Video, Research Page, Weather Map, and Student Presentation.


1.  Teacher models presentation of a severe weather project (sand storm) with poster, multiple choice question, meteorologist report, and weather map.

2.  Teacher states: "This is what you are going to do in small groups.  Each of you will be assigned a different severe weather topic and work together to make your presentation better than mine."

3.  Teacher asks, "What are things that I could have done to make my presentation better?  What would make the poster look better?  What about the meteorologist report?"

4.  Elicit student ideas to engage them in ideas for their own projects.


1.  Teacher presents power point of student project steps and expectations. 

2.  Teacher assigns students to small groups. 

3.  Teacher chooses one member from each group to come up and chose a severe weather topic out of a bowl.   Some of the topics are repeated.  (Severe Weather Topics: Tornados (2), Hurricanes (2), Thunderstorms, Blizzards, and El nino/La nina)

4.  Teacher hands out reading material to each group and project packet. 

5.  Teacher posts sheet with schedule of each groups' assigned recess meetings (Each group is expected to meet during 5 recess periods to work on project). Teacher explains,"Each group is assigned 5 recess meetings where you meet to work on your project.  These meetings are mandatory and will affect your grade." 

6.  Students are assigned the homework to read through material and find 3 causes and 3 effects of their severe weather type.  (This is to be handed in when students meet with Teacher at their first recess meeting.) 


Printed Readings were taken from the following books:

Storms by Seymor Simon (Reading Rainbow)

Super Storms by Seymor Simon

Time for Kids: Storms! edited by Leslie Dickenson

Teaching Reflection:

This is a large project with many parts for the groups to complete.  They can be adjusted to fit the needs of the students in your classroom.  Having done this project twice it is important to make enough time for students to complete it.  So far, I have not had a group of students who were able to complete all the parts.  I am going to have the chance to do this project once more time this year and expect to have groups complete all parts including video.  This is because I have made the following adjustments:

Students are given the project 4 weeks before it is due.

Students meet with teacher and group members at 5 mandatory recess meetings where they are given time to complete each part of the project.

Day 1 - Finalize Causes and Effects for severe weather type and begin poster

Day 2 - Finalize poster and weather map (Teacher has weather maps pre-made and printed, groups need to label them)

Day 3 - Write and finish Meteorologist Report

Day 4 - Film Report

Day 5 - Multiple Choice Question and finalize any loose ends

It does not have to be a recess meeting, it can be a lunch brunch, after or before school meeting etc.  Students at this stage of development are unable to organize themselves outside of class because of this I created these added meeting times which made for better working conditions and production from the groups.

Lesson Resources

Science Final Project.pdf  
Science Final Project.pptx  
Houghton Mifflin Science Page for 5th Grade
Weather Channel
Inquiry and the National Science Education St


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