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TeachNet NYC: Lesson Plans
There's a Hurricane Out There

Project URL:

How it works:
What causes hurricanes to form? Why are there so many hurricanes in some years and far fewer in other years? Why are some areas in the world more likely to have a hurricane than others? These and other questions are explored via online research in this WebQuest. Students become hurricane hunters and predict where, when, and under which conditions a hurricane will be likely to hit.

Standards addressed:  
Students use information technology to navigate, gather, analyze, organize, and present information; participate in group meetings to research, discuss, and evaluate information; interpret and synthesize information to produce a narrative account explaining how hurricanes form; and use facts to support their conclusions.

Materials used: 
Computers with Internet access and a word processing application such as Word or AppleWorks are required.

The students:
The third grade students who participated in this unit used the computer lab for their projects. This unit can easily be adapted for a classroom or library setting.

Overall value:
In There’s A Hurricane Out There, Students use the Web as a research tool to learn about hurricanes. Information is synthesized so that students can apply what they have learned to predict a future hurricane. Word processing skills are reinforced as students produce a narrative account of how hurricanes are formed.

This unit works well as a collaborative project with students in areas, such as the Caribbean or Gulf Coast, that are prone to frequent hurricanes.

Carolyn Hornik has been a New York City public school teacher for twenty five years (12 years as a classroom teacher in third, fourth, and fifth grades and 13 years as a technology coordinator.) She teaches in-service courses for the New York City Board of Education After School Professional Development Program and on-line courses for new teachers through Teachers Network.


Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 10 or more

Subject: English, Social Studies

Beginning Grade Level: 4

Ending Grade Level: 8



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