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This lesson is on Hurricanes, particularly in Florida


Language Arts, Science, Social Studies  


4, 5  

Title – Hurricanes – Florida
By – Carolyn Murray
Subject – Science, Social Studies, Language Arts
Grade Level – 4-5
Florida – Hurricanes

The lesson plan on hurricanes is intended to teach students many concepts about hurricanes, an important part of Florida’s past and future. This lesson is intended to be taught for an entire week. Students will be able to make connections, understand concepts and retain the knowledge presented for use as needed in the future, if necessary should a hurricane strike South Florida again.
ESOL students will be able to perform all of the preceding areas of content using visuals, audio, books, and personal journals to make notes. They may take notes in the form of a drawing, in their native language or in English.

At the end of the lesson, students will be able to answer or identify the following points about hurricanes:
— How is a hurricane formed?
— What does a hurricane look like?
— What are the parts of a hurricane?
— Hurricane vocabulary words
— What are the different categories of hurricanes?
— Why are hurricanes given names?
— Historical Florida hurricanes during the 1990’s
— How to track a hurricane using a hurricane tracking map – track a pretend hurricane all week long
— How to prepare for a hurricane during a watch/warning

The one-day lesson however, will focus on:
— What does a hurricane look like?
— Hurricane vocabulary words
— How to track a hurricane using a hurricane tracking map – track a pretend hurricane all week long
— How to prepare for a hurricane

Lesson-Initiating Activity
The first day of the lesson, students will play the “KWL” game (D2). We will chart what we know about hurricanes, what we want to know and at the end of the week, what we have learned. These items or ideas will be transferred to a bulletin board/poster and placed in the room all week long to ensure that the items listed are covered.

Each morning, discuss with students and review the vocabulary words (E8) assigned on Monday (or first day of lesson). Use flash cards that contain the word and picture (B5) (E14). Allow class to break into groups and quiz each other (C2). After groups review, hold a class review. Student should repeat the word (E25) after the teacher, give a definition and say the word again. The class can play “Around the World” or other games (D4) to facilitate the review.
ESOL students can use pictures to identify words and by repetition will be able to pronounce the words correctly. As we discuss the vocabulary words in the lesson, the ESOL students will be familiar with the terms and their meanings after reviewing on a daily basis.

Students will keep “Hurricane Logs” or journals each day that contain items like vocabulary words or concepts taught in class (E23). These logs will be the basis of review for homework and in class reviews.
ESOL students can make their notes in English, their native language or in the form of a drawing representing the picture of the object, concept or action.

Core Activities
Students will learn what a hurricane looks like from a radar plane, the same pictures they would see on the television set during news broadcasts. Color picture (B5) of Hurricane Andrew will be given to students to place in their logbooks. Students will learn the colors and what the colors mean on the radar pictures (E6). Students will color a hurricane and place in hurricane logbook.
ESOL students will recognize the colors of the hurricane when viewing in color (as on the news or weather report) and be able to identify the intensity of the hurricane.

Students are given time to write or draw in their journals (D5) about the colors in a hurricane picture.
ESOL students may color or write in their native language or English if they feel comfortable to write in English.

Students will place updated coordinates of make-believe hurricane on their individual tracking map (B2). Students are asked to check with their neighbor (C3) to make sure the coordinates match and everyone’s hurricane is in the same place. Students may predict how the hurricane will travel. These updates are done frequently throughout the lessons each day.
ESOL students can ask their classmates and their classmates will help make sure that they have marked the same spot on the map.

Discussion is held on preparation before a hurricane comes to land. Students will go into groups (C2) to prepare a list of items needed to have in the house if a hurricane should strike. One student from each group will share with the class (C7) the items and write them on the board. The list will be comprised of all items thought of by the class. The class will review and discuss (C8) the items for the most practical items and make one list for the classroom, to be posted.

Students would place information in their log books.
ESOL students may color or write in their native language, or English if they feel comfortable to write in English.

Closure Activity
Students will break into groups of 4-5 (C2) and read a book on hurricanes located in the reading center of the classroom. After reading the book, (E9) they will draw a picture to show something that they read in story. It can be a particular item significant to the story, a person significant to the story, something about the place or setting of the story. The groups will share their pictures with the class. After the pictures are shared, the students may place them around the room on the walls.


· Log Books, 1 for each student
· Paper for students to write on
· Flash cards
· Hurricane Tracking Maps (1 for each student)
· Markers, Crayons, Colored Pencils
· Colored Chalk, Chalk Board or Dry Erase Board and Markers
· Poster Boards
· Color Pictures of Hurricanes
· Library Books (see attached list)
· Videos (see attached list)
· Sentence Strips
· Vocabulary Words
· Copies of all Paper Materials for handouts
These materials are provided for all students so that no pressure is placed on students to purchase something they may not know about. All items are the same or same style, so no students look like they have less than another.


1. Vocabulary Word Matching Sheet (E8)
2. Word Scrambles/Finds for terms and concepts (E15)
3. Group and Class discussion (C8)
4. Create the “What We Learned” Poster for the “KWL” game (D2) and break into groups to discuss what we place on the poster (C7), the groups will decide what to write on the poster(s).
Emphasis placed on alternative ways to “Test” students. Most testing will be done in group discussions and by asking particular questions to be assured students are aware of what they are talking or reading about.

· Students will track the path of a make-believe hurricane and we will predict the path it will take through out the week.
· After creating the list of what to items need to be on the preparation list before a hurricane strikes, the students will take inventory of items in their house (E14) to see what their family would need. This would be discussed in class the next day. The purpose is to see on average, how prepared we are or need to be for a hurricane.
This activity will education the ESOL students about Hurricanes and they in turn can educate their parents and family about Hurricanes and how to prepare for one. This is a start to helping the community learn about events that could someday effect their lives.

Final Note: This lesson is geared to educate students and especially TESOL students about Hurricanes and the possibility of one striking Florida. Students will understand what a hurricane looks like on TV, they can then explain to their parents in their native language. Students will have experience with how to track a Hurricane and again, they will learn what to have in the house in the event a Hurricane is threatening South Florida and again, they can educate their parents in their native language.

E-Mail Carolyn !

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