Before I begin a lesson, I start with a graphic organizer to help me assess whether we need to revisit any information before we move on. I did that with this lesson by creating a Tornadoes Are Have Can organizer. I also used a short video clip from Time For Kids " TFK Tells You About Twisters" to enable my students to watch a tornado and its aftermath in action.
I created a Tornado Safety power point because I wanted to give my students a lot of visuals as background knowledge, especially since they are going to create safety posters as well as a short PSA on tornado safety. The power point also helped me touch upon diverse learning styles in my classroom, the pictures along with the videos, and the written work, ensured that they are able to connect with the content.
Though we watched clips about schools preparing for a tornado, as well as posters depicting how communities can prepare, I felt that it was important for my students to have a written text to refer to. The Common Core emphasizes the importance of referring to the text as the basis for your answers and the Owlie Tornadoes from the NOAA made the perfect addition to this lesson. The students also used a focus page I created, Tornado PREPAREDNESS What Can You Do? to help keep their thoughts and information organized. The posters What are you drawing on your poster.MOV, Poster 1.JPG Tornado Poster 2.JPG really allowed students to use the facts and explore their own creativity in order to emphasize the DCI idea "that you cannot eliminate natural hazards but can take steps to reduce their impacts".
Working in small groups while giving reasons and evidence really helped my students connect with the information. The collaborative work, and employing the think -pair - share format created a risk free environment for my students to succeed. The posters they created, along with their short videos, really had them understand the danger that tornadoes pose. This lesson also positioned them perfectly for our next lesson which will be on building roofs that can withstand a strong tornado wind.