Lesson Plan

Status: Hurricane

Students synthesize research on a hurricane to create a social media page.
Todd B.
Classroom teacher
Lancaster Mennonite School
Lancaster, PA
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My Grades 7, 8
My Subjects Math, Science
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

  • gather information on specific hurricanes using online resources.
  • use information synthesized from online sources to create a Facebook page from the perspective of an historic hurricane.
English Language Arts
Grades 7 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Get a Grip: The Power of a Hurricane

Have this question on the board or screen when students enter the room:

  1. How powerful is a hurricane? (Use a metaphor to express your answer.)

Students may need to understand that a metaphor is a comparison of one thing to another. So they need to express the power of a hurricane by comparing it to something else.

After students have time to share their answers, show the video clip from Discovery.

Student Instructions

Answer the following:

How powerful is a hurricane? (Use a metaphor to express your answer.)

A metaphor uses a comparison of two unlike things to express meaning.

Simple example: A hurricane is a mouse.

Better example: A hurricane is a charging rhino, with less control.

2 Grow Understanding: Hands on with Hurricanes (Virtually)

Scaffold knowledge:

Direct students to the National Geographic Education "Forces of Nature" website.

Students should walk through the information presented in the steps. At the end of their investigation students will create a script for a 30 - 60 second news broadcast answering the following questions:

  1. What is a hurricane?
  2. What causes a hurricane?
  3. What are the effects of a hurricane?


Student Instructions

Visit the National Geographic Forces of Nature simulation and learn about hurricanes. Work through the 7 steps to gain knowledge about hurricanes. As you work through the steps, create a 30 - 60 second news broadcast showing that you understand the following questions:

  • What is a hurricane?
  • What causes a hurricane?
  • What are the effects of a hurricane?

Be sure to complete step 7, creating your own hurricane.

3 Grow Understanding: Investigating the Past

Direct students to visit the National Hurricane Center Hurricanes in History site. They will pick from a list of historical hurricanes to investigate as thoroughly as possible using the search engines provided.

Sweetsearch is great for younger students or those needing a simpler interface.

iSeek has a more complex user interface, but is also more powerful in filtering the results.

Information gathered should include:

  • Origin
  • Name
  • Date
  • Effects


Student Instructions

Go to the National Hurricane Center and find a historic hurricane. Using the search engine suggested by your teacher, gather as much in-depth information on your hurricane as you can.

Information gathered should include:

  • Origin
  • Name
  • Date
  • Effects

4 Creation: Fakebook

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Give students the creation task: Create a Facebook page from the perspective of your hurricane. Get other students to friend you with their hurricanes.

Assess students Facebook pages for understanding using the criteria in the instructions for students.

Use the Fakebook Google slides template made available by Amy Mayer of FriedTechnology.

Student Instructions

The Task: Take the perspective of your hurricane, and create a Facebook page for that hurricane. Include the following:

  • Status updates
  • Photos of your hurricane
  • Photos of other hurricanes (friends) with comments and wall postings.

All postings on the Facebook page should indicate a complete understanding of the effects, causes, and mechanisms of a hurricane.

5 Showcase: Hurricane

Google Drive
Free, Paid

Have each student submit a screenshot of their Fakebook home page. Gather the screenshots in Slide presentation and share it with the whole class!

Note: I suggest a screenshot so that the slides cannot be edited once the presentation is shared.

Student Instructions

Submit a screenshot of your home page to be gathered in a class slideshow!