Wild & Windy Waves!

Wild & Windy Waves! lesson plan

Nature is a powerful force! Convey the drama of hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, tornadoes, and other powerful storms in a bold drawing.

  • 1.

    Severe weather conditions are natural events that can lead to catastrophes. Students research information about one type of storm that especially intrigues them. A few details about hurricanes are provided for idea starters.

  • 2.

    Bands of thunderstorms that spiral together over the ocean with winds that reach at least 74 mph (119 km/hr) are called hurricanes. What are some recent hurricanes? How are hurricanes named? Where do they usually form? How are they influenced by changes in the Earth’s climate?

  • 3.

    Certain weather conditions must be in place for tropical depressions to become hurricanes. Only one in every 10 does. Find out what these conditions are and how they organize into a hurricane.

  • 4.

    Besides rain and wind gusts up to 240 mph (386 k/hr), a hurricane creates a storm surge (a bulge in the ocean) causing a steady, fast increase in tides. Imagine the consequences of these conditions! Think about these powerful weather elements as you prepare to illustrate them.

  • 5.

    On white paper, use Crayola Slick Stix™ super-smooth crayons to show what you learned about hurricanes or other severe weather. Students portray a scene depicting conditions such as the wind, rain, and storm surge. Blend the bright colors with a cotton swab for a realistic look.


  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships.
  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • MATH: Represent and interpret data.
  • SCI: Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
  • SCI: Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
  • SS: Describe and speculate about physical system changes, such as seasons, climate and weather, and the water cycle.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.


  • Possible classroom resources include: Weather by Seymour Simon; National Geographic Kids Everything Weather: Facts, Photos, and Fun that Will Blow You Away by Kathy Furgang; DK Eyewitness Books: Weather by Brian Cosgrove; The Everything KIDS' Weather Book: From Tornadoes to Snowstorms, Puzzles, Games, and Facts That Make Weather for Kids Fun! (Everything Kids Series) by Joe Snedeker.
  • Encourage students to research the origins for many weather-related terms such as hurricane, tornado, tsunami, etc. Create a chart including each term researched and provide an original illustration of each. An electronic presentation can also be created for class viewing.
  • Who are storm chasers? Students read Storm Chasers (All Aboard Science Reader) by Gail Herman or Be a Storm Chaser (Scienceworks!) by David Dreier. Investigate real-life storm chasers/survival experts such as Warren Faidley. How do professionals such as Faidley help us survive extreme weather?
  • Invite students to investigate the similarities and differences between hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, tornadoes, and other extreme weather. Students sketch a world map, with country names and borders included. Plot where these storms are most likely to occur. Explore reasons why hurricanes do not form in the South Atlantic or southeastern Pacific Oceans.
  • How can people prepare for violent storms? Invite a local meteorologist to visit with the class and discuss how storms form in their area, as well as the best steps to take when preparing for an impending, major storm. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog.
  • Students work in small groups to investigate a recent major storm. Consider how the public was informed of the impending storm. What steps were advised for homeowners to take? What steps did the community government take to ensure public safety? How much damage was done by the storm? How was the damage cleaned up? What was the financial cost for clean-up? How can the community be better prepared for the next major storm?