Melody Casey
English Language Arts, Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Lower Primary
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Education Standards

    Meteorologist Report: Hurricane Tracker (AIG IRP)

    Meteorologist Report: Hurricane Tracker (AIG IRP)


    During a second grade science unit on weather, the AIG students will be grouped to extend the topic to include hurricanes. They will gather information and data from multiple print and media sources and will write a meteorologist report to be videotaped using flip cameras. This lesson was developed by NCDPI as part of the Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted Instructional Resources Project. This lesson plan has been vetted at the state level for standards alignment, AIG focus, and content accuracy.

    Lesson Overview

    Brief Description of Lesson/Task/Activity: Concept :: Change
    During a second grade science unit on weather, the AIG students will be grouped to extend the topic to include hurricanes. They will gather information and data from multiple print and media sources and will write a meteorologist report to be videotaped using flip cameras.

    Time Frame: two to three class periods

    Type of Differentiation for AIGs:

    • Enrichment
    • Extension
    • Acceleration

    Adaptations for AIGs:

    • Content
    • Process
    • Product

    Explanation of How Resource is Appropriate for AIGs: AIG students will benefit through extension of the regular classroom curriculum topic of weather. They will research hurricanes, which have real-world relevance to North Carolina, and improve speaking and listening skills through the writing and recording of a Meteorologist report about a fictional hurricane. They will utilize vocabulary specific to the second grade essential standard's weather unit and expand to include hurricane and hurricane tracking vocabulary. They will enjoy choosing a name for their fictional hurricane and will benefit from the open-ended aspect of this task.

    Needed Resources/Materials:

    • Nonfiction texts on meteorology and hurricanes:
    • Possible texts include: All through Scholastic Publishing
    • Cole, Joanna. The Magic Schoolbus Inside a Hurricane
    • Markle, Sandra. Hurricanes. Can You Believe It?
    • Chambers, Catherine. Hurricanes.  
    • Computers
    • Two-column note taking graphic organizer- Cornell note taker
    • Hurricane vocabulary list
    • Flip camera, or other video camera
    • Map of the Atlantic coast of the United States

    Teacher Notes: It will be beneficial and a real-world experience to do this unit during the hurricane season so the students can view current reports and hurricane tracking. They will be very interested in the topic/situation. You can create some kind of background for their meteorology video. Projecting a map of the Atlantic coast area for them to stand in front of works well. Books on the topic are easy to find, as well as internet sources. It will be helpful to view a real meteorologist report. You can print the Cornell note takers from Freeology. You will need to create a vocabulary list of hurricane words for them to use to guide their research- eye, eye wall, funnel clouds, category 1-5, tropical storm, landfall, coastal, wind speed, watch, warning, evacuate, etc.

    Stage 1: Engage

    During the second grade earth science unit on understanding patterns of weather and factors that affect weather, group the AIG students to introduce this hurricane reporting task. 

    Gather prior knowledge about meteorology. 

    Review vocabulary from the whole class weather unit: forecast, thermometer, anemometer, meteorologist, precipitation, wind speed, wind direction, miles per hour, prediction, weather conditions

    View a meteorologist giving his/her report, with the established purpose of listening for the unit vocabulary words used and noticing the delivery of the report, i.e. body movements, hand gestures, facing the camera, clear voice. Why is it important that he/she faces the camera/audience and speaks clearly? Why is a meteorologist's job important? How does the weather affect our daily lives?

    Introduce hurricanes as a type of wild weather that is relevant for where we live. Why are we concerned about hurricanes in North Carolina? Are people as concerned about hurricanes in Missouri? Why or why not?

    Relate information about the role of a meteorologist during a hurricane/tropical storm event. Introduce the words: watch, warning, evacuate.

    Lead the students to determine the critical role of a meteorologist before, during and after a hurricane.

    Explain the research task of gathering information about hurricanes that they will use in a fictional meteorologist report that will be video taped and shared with the rest of the class. 

    Provide a brief explanation of how hurricanes are named and tell them they will choose a name for their fictional storm.

    Share the Cornell note taking organizers and provide an example of how to record information using the format (if you have not used this with them previously).

    Stage 2: Elaborate

    Provide multiple nonfiction texts on hurricanes and time for internet research.  Allow one to two periods for the students to gather information about hurricanes. 

    Distribute (or project) the hurricane vocabulary list the students will use to guide their research. 
    They will use the two column note taker to summarize and record the information gathered and add illustrations in the columns. 

    Guiding Questions:

    • According to the text, where are hurricanes most likely to form and how do they form?
    • How are tropical storms and hurricanes alike and different, and where did you find evidence to support the comparison?
    • What specific conditions did the author's describe for the need to issue a watch, warning, or evacuation?
    • How did the resources you used describe the conditions in the hurricane eye?
    • Where in the text can you find information about wind speed?
    • What happens to a hurricane when it crosses land?
    • What does the author say people should do to prepare for a hurricane?
    • Why are meteorologists critical in reporting a hurricane's status?
    • What text features can help you gather your information? How will you use bold print, the glossary or index to locate vocabulary words?

    After gathering hurricane facts and definitions for the vocabulary words, the students will write a short meteorologist report about a fictional hurricane.

    • They will choose a name for their fictional hurricane. 
    • They will describe the characteristics of the hurricane using appropriate vocabulary as defined in the resource texts.
    • They will create a map showing the path of their hurricane.
    • They will have time to rehearse and then they will be videotaped. They may read their report, rather than memorizing.
    • The videos will be shared with the class.
    • At the conclusion of the task, the students will write a reflective journal entry to summarize the experience and knowledge gained. 

    Guiding Questions for the journal entry:

    • Which text helped you the most with this task? Why was this resource specifically helpful? 
    • How did you use the hurricane related vocabulary words you learned in your meteorologist report? 
    • What knowledge did you gain about the role of a meteorologist?

    Stage 3: Evaluate

    Students will be evaluated for their oral speaking skills and presentation of hurricane facts and content. The Cornell notes taken will be assessed for depth and quality, and vocabulary words defined will be assessed for accurate meaning and use in the report. The journal entry will be evaluated for summarizing thoughts and reflections on the experience. A rubric can be used to assess the standards taught.

                                      Exemplary        Accomplished      Satisfactory      Developing         Beginning

    Cornell Notes                   5                        4                            3                        2                         1
    (main ideas and
    key details)

    Vocabulary                      5                          4                            3                         2                        1
    (completeness of
    definitions and
    accuracy, use in 
    hurricane report)

    Oral Speaking Skills       5                           4                          3                           2                         1
    (audible, use of 
    coherent sentences, 
    use of appropriate facts 
    and descriptive details)

    Journal Entry                  5                           4                          3                           2                         1
    (specific facts and ideas
    used in summary and