What is a Hurricane?

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Draw, and explain how hurricanes are formed. Use a model to observe the characteristics of the eye of a hurricane.

Big Idea

Scientists use models to help explain weather phenomena.


1 minutes

Warm up

5 minutes

We have been studying extreme weather. Most of my students experienced Hurricane Sandy and that puts them in the unique position of being an eyewitness to this severe weather phenomena. For this lesson, I used two strategies to engage them, first I showed a short clip from Weather Bug on hurricanes, and the next was allowing them to share what they knew about hurricanes. I used a graphic organizer to help them express their ideas, and had them share with their partner first, and then they decided with their partner, what they wanted to share with the group.

Guided practice

25 minutes

I used a PowerPoint I created,What is a hurricane and how does it form?, to help guide the lesson as well as to introduce scientific academic vocabulary. The students used a modified Frayer Vocabulary Model, that they have glued in their notebooks, as a way to solidify that new vocabulary through their own pictures and words. Along that same premise, I also created a chart for them to list What a hurricane needs and draw a labeled diagram of the hurricane.


20 minutes

I wanted my students to have a real world point of  reference in regards to how objects that are caught in a hurricane react, specifically how unique the eye of a hurricane is as a weather phenomena.For this lesson, I preformed the demonstration where they made predictions while they observed the  eye of the storm paperclip placement. They were observing movement and predicting just as meteorologists do. I created a Eye of the Storm Observation Sheet to help guide them in their observation and focus on the movement of the paperclip. Here's a Completed Eye of storm observation form.

Class Discussion/Wrap up

10 minutes

I think it is essential to have a "what stuck with you" session after the lesson. I have my students write three things they learned and then cite evidence to prove the fact using a graphic organizer they complete and place in their notebooks, 3 facts about hurricanes that stuck with me. I find that by providing students this reflection time, as well as allowing them to share with their partners, they are better able to verbalize and explain what they have learned.