Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Dangerous Storms

Debra Giambo PhD


The lesson promotes awareness of media language for dangerous storms. It stresses preparation, evacuation, and emergency assistance, and problem-solving techniques for emergency situations. Use in a second or third grade classroom with ESOL.


The student knows that natural events are often predictable and logical.


-Index cards
-Internet ready computers
-Video about dangerous storms located at the web site


1. Fill in local categories, on attached document, in sample list make sure that the words are used are the keywords from the above section. When defining these words please use generalized terms that would fit the level of understanding in your classroom.
2. Define and prepare presentation of key words that you want to use.
3. Duplicate the attached file for each student.


Part 1:
1. Begin lesson by viewing a filmstrip on hurricanes, and tornados. Ask questions such as:
1) How did the people in the file know that the storm was coming?
2) Are there certain conditions that are necessary for a storm? Could we have a tornado here today?
3) If a storm were coming, how could we find out information?
(Students should be able to determine that events, like storms, can be predictable based on weather conditions, time of the year, location, etc. Students should also be able to determine that storms follow a logical pattern, usually, and so the media information about them does, also. Help students to see that they, too, can be logical by being prepared.)

2. Ask students to share personal experiences with dangerous storms in a group discussion.

3. Introduce vocabulary using the keywords in this lesson plan (see procedure #4) for vocabulary words with any game that you choose. (Bingo, matching cards, Concentration, etc.) Use key words as questions.

4. Distribute list of key words ( tropical strom, hurricane, tropical depression, tornado, flooding, categories, evacuation, watch, warning) to all students as determined and defined by the teacher depending on the level of the students. Ask students to take this list home and post in a visible area. Tell them that it belongs in a place easy to see, such as the refrigerator, for easy access in the event of a storm. Make sure they understand that being familiar with these words and definitions will help them and their families to understand the media reports.

Part 2:
1. Place students in groups of five.

2. Ask students to generate a list of items that should be available in the event of a storm (see Associated File for sample list.) Ask students why they should be prepared for a storm. At this point and time the students should begin to realize that storms are predictable, and that most of the information distributed, as well as preparedness, are accomplished in a logical sequence.

3. Responses from each group's list should be elicited so as to make a class list. (You may need to make sure that the items on the list are appropriate for storm preparedness.)

4. Students should be prepared to provide a rationale for all items listed. Have them write down each item placed on the list and why it is needed. For example: flashlight - in case the electricity is off

5. Background information or help can be obtained from a Website that lists resources such as: and

6. Administer assessment.


As a formative assessment:

Role play a radio news broadcaster. Develop the scenario of a possible weather event. Hand out the worksheet in the Associated File. Read each question and the answer choices aloud as the kids read them silently.
Answer Key:
1. B
2. B
3. A
4. A
5. C
6. A

At the end of the assesment leave a brief amount of time for a question and answer session that is held with the entire group on those questions missed and why they choose other answers. Help students to see that natural events usually occur in predictable patterns and logical circumstances.


-Ask a local meteorologist to visit your classroom, and hold a discussion about dangerous storms complete with a question and answer session.

Web Links

Web supplement for Dangerous Storms
Weather Channel

Web supplement for Dangerous Storms

Use this site for additional information to use with students.

Web supplement for Dangerous Storms

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