- Hurricanes are powerful storms that can cause a lot of damage.
- The centre of a hurricane is called the eye.
- Meteorologists are scientists who study the weather.
- Forecasts enable people to prepare for severe weather events such as hurricanes.
- Weather systems
- Water systems
- Weather forecast
Spark a discussion
- What is a hurricane?
- Where do hurricanes occur? How do they form?
- Why do you think hurricanes affect some places and not others?
- How do we predict the weather?
- Why is it important to predict the weather?
- How do hurricanes affect people?
- How can we predict hurricanes?
- How else could we study hurricanes?
- What is the centre of the hurricane called? Can you describe it?
- What kind of skills do you think a meteorologist needs to have?
Eye of a hurricane
Play this clip as the children enter the classroom to spark a discussion about hurricanes.
Sound of a hurricane
Play this clip before the film to spark a discussion about the children’s experiences of stormy weather.
Show this visual before the film and discuss the differences between the two satellite images.
Show this visual after the film and ask the children to use the keywords as part of a short presentation or written summary on hurricanes.
Show this visual after the film to reinforce key scientific language.
Make a hurricane
CREATE a model hurricane using water and food colouring, to demonstrate the way winds swirl around the eye.
Other activity ideas
- DESIGN a public information poster or leaflet that advises a community on how to prepare for a hurricane.
- RESEARCH how and why hurricanes are given names.
- WRITE a news report about a major hurricane, including information about what happened, the short- and long-term effects, and the use of technology in predicting or responding to the hurricane.
Make a hurricane
Duration: 30 minutes
- (per group)
- Warm water
- Food colouring
- Stirring stick
- Shaving foam
This activity asks the students to make a model hurricane. This will support their understanding of the internal movements and physical features of real hurricanes. It also boosts their observational skills and requires them to present information as a scientific diagram.
- Ask the students to answer the following questions in groups:
- Have you ever watched water as it goes down a plughole?
- What shape does water make around the plughole?
- What happens when the water gets closer to the plughole?
- What shapes did you observe?
- How did the “clouds” move?
- How does this demonstration relate to real hurricanes?
Challenge the students to conduct further research on hurricane formation, and then add additional information to their diagrams.
- Hurricanes are tropical storms with constant wind speeds of over 119 kilometres per hour.
- Hurricanes form over warm water, when warm, moist air rises, leaving an area of low pressure near the water’s surface.
- Air flowing into the area of low pressure is also warmed; it rises, and a cycle of upward-moving warm air is created.
- The calm centre of a hurricane is called the eye. The eye is surrounded by the eye wall, where the winds are at their strongest.
- Hurricanes form over the Caribbean, East Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. In the Indian and western Pacific oceans, this type of storm is known as a typhoon.
- A tropical storm with constant wind speeds of over 119 kilometres per hour.
- The centre of the hurricane around which the winds rotate.
- A specialist who monitors the weather and predicts its behaviour.