Can You Believe? Hurricanes
- Grades: 3–5
Subject Area: Science, Nonfiction
Reading Level: 3.0
A fascinating, up-close look at the causes of hurricanes and tornadoes. The treatment includes the way hurricanes form, how they move, why they cause the damage they do, and ways scientists are trying to track them. Presented in a humorous question and answer format, this title will engage as it informs.
Through the use of nonfiction, students will gain an understanding of various information-gathering techniques. Standard: Students will learn to use a variety of sources to gather information, including informational books, pictures, charts, and his or her own observation, etc.
Let your students be junior scientists! They'll enjoy mimicking the observations made by weather trackers in Can You Believe? Hurricanes.
- Post several pieces of large graph paper on your bulletin board or chalkboard.
- Mark one piece "Temperature," one piece "Precipitation," and one piece "Wind."
- Along one edge of each chart, mark the hours of the school day. Along the other edge, mark units related to the chart's theme. For "Temperature," for instance, you might mark off temperatures ranging from 40 to 80 degrees (or whatever is appropriate for your region). For "Precipitation," you might wish to mark out inches or simply a notation as to whether or not the day's weather included precipitation. Did it rain? mist? snow? Finally, for "Wind" you may wish to make up a key to identify remarks such as no wind, little wind, strong wind, gale-force wind!
- Pick a set time each day to observe the weather. Each time, ask a different student to record his or her observations on your graphs. (Encourage students to avoid repetition of weather words.)
- After a week or two, examine the graphs and descriptions as a class. Do any patterns become apparent? · Talk about your conclusions. How many ways are there to describe snow? sun? rain?
I Didn't Know That!
Prepare your students for the question-and-answer format of the book by asking them to prepare their own questions.
- Ask students to think about hurricanes. Have they ever witnessed one? What piques their curiosity?
- Have each student write out a list of three to five questions about hurricanes.
- As you read through the book together, ask students to listen for the answers to their questions.
- Allow time for students to record the answers to their written questions.
- If any questions remain unanswered, help direct your students to the proper resource — the Internet or your school library.
- Talk about how your students' perceptions of hurricanes changed or remained the same after reading the book.
Answers for Your Questions
The question-and-answer format is a great way to disseminate information.
- Divide your class into pairs
- Ask each pair to pick a topic of interest. They may choose to interview each other about family histories, investigate a local sports team, or play detective and come up with their own topics (about nature or animals, etc.). Whatever topic they pick, they must work together on a list of 10 to 15 questions.
- Allow class time for the question-writing and the answer-gathering.
- You may choose to reconvene after an hour, after a day, or after a week.
- One by one, have your teams come to the front of the class to present their findings. One member may pose the question while another provides the answer.
- Ask your students to think about their research. Did the questions posed at the beginning of the assignment help them to focus?
- When the presentations are finished, hold a class discussion about the way the material was presented. Did students enjoy the question-and-answer format? Was it more or less interesting than a more traditional report?
Other Books About Hurricanes and Tornadoes
Wild Weather: Hurricane
by Lorraine Jean Hopping
Introduces readers to how hurricanes form, what happens during one of these powerful storms, and how they are tracked.
Do Tornadoes Really Twist? Questions and Answers About Tornadoes and Hurricanes
by Melvin Berger
The engaging question-and-answer format presents fascinating facts about hurricanes and tornadoes.
Hurricanes and Tornadoes (Wonders of Our World, No. 1)
by Neil Morris
A bright, colorful, and appealing presentation of these awesome forces of nature.
Other Books by Sandra Markle
Outside and Inside Dinosaurs
Growing Up Wild: Wolves
Science Surprises Down, Down, Down in the Ocean
Lesson Plan by Rebecca Gómez