Academic journal article Science and Children

Forecasting Hazardous Conditions

Academic journal article Science and Children

Forecasting Hazardous Conditions

Article excerpt

For students to know how to prepare for severe weather, they must first understand what types of weather they might experience in their location. Much of students' interactions with and learning about severe weather events will happen through printed text resources and video excerpts. Through the use of such resources, young students can begin to ask questions to learn about different types of weather, whereas older students can start to consider how they can take steps to reduce the impact of severe weather events.

This Month's Trade Books


What Is Severe Weather?

By Jennifer Boothroyd

ISBN: 978-1467744997

Lerner Publishing Group

24 pages

Grades K-2


Through simple language, young readers are introduced to the idea of severe weather. This book provides a general overview of different types of severe weather, including tornadoes, blizzards, and hurricanes, using engaging photos and appropriate text.


The Storm: Students of Biloxi, Mississippi, Remember

Hurricane Katrina

Compiled by Barbara Barbieri


ISBN: 9781580891721

Charlesbridge Publishing

64 pages

Grades 3-6


The words and drawings of students, teachers, and administrators who experienced Hurricane Katrina are shared in this book. From the evacuation to the storm and the aftermath, the firsthand accounts, fears, and eventual hopes of these individuals are brought to the forefront. Young readers can experience a hurricane from the safety of their own classroom, so they can know how to prepare for future disasters.

Christine Anne Royce ( is a professor at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.


Grades K-2: Studying Severe Storms


To identify different types of severe storms, determine whether those storms happen locally, and prepare for those that do.


Begin by asking students to share their prior knowledge about weather. Because weather is often talked about in morning meetings, including discussions about how weather impacts the way we dress, many student ideas will be about clouds, the Sun, rain, or the temperature being warm or cold. After engaging students in an initial discussion, ask them to describe what severe weather is. They will often mention thunderstorms or, if you live in a region that receives snow, snow days from school.

According to the Next Generation Science Standards, kindergarten students should realize that "some kinds of severe weather are more likely than others in a given region ... [and that ] weather scientists forecast severe weather so that communities can prepare for and respond to these events" (NGSS Lead States 2013, p. 8). You can accomplish this by reading What Is Severe Weather? to students. The book describes four types of hazards: thunderstorms, hurricanes, blizzards, and tornadoes. Stop at each different type of severe weather and have students carefully look at the picture and listen to the words. Ask them to use chart paper to develop their own initial description for each type of severe weather.


Create stations around the classroom using four additional texts that elaborate on each type of storm in detail, and have students rotate through each station in groups or with classroom aides/volunteers to learn more about each type of storm. Students should build on their new storm knowledge by using the additional texts to record the answers to the following questions on their weather data sheet:

* How would I describe this type of storm?

* Where do these types of storms most often occur?

* How do scientists predict this type of storm?

* What can I do to prepare for this type of storm? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.