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K–12 teaching and learning · from the UNC School of Education

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Related pages

  • Hurricanes: A guide to teaching about hurricanes, including virtual field trips, lesson plans, and interactive websites.
  • National Weather Service - Raleigh: The Raleigh office of the National Weather Service offers tours to middle and high school student groups. The website provides local weather and hurricane data.
  • Weather watchers: This is a week long activity during which the students record the weather, track weather changes, and make predictions about future weather patterns.

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Learning outcomes

Goals

The goal for the instructional unit is for the learners to use available technologies (Internet resources and various software applications) to gather, analyze, and interpret hurricane data. Moreover, the student will encounter personal and social decision-making as they explore the real issues mankind addresses when encountering a hurricane strike.

Objectives

Given a desktop publishing program and access to the Internet, the student will generate a public information booklet that will be used as a guide for the community to use when preparing for a hurricane strike. The student will use internet resources to learn about the following information included in the guide:

  • Stages of Hurricane Formation
  • Classification of Hurricanes
  • Using a Tracking Map
  • Warning/Watch Information
  • Overview of Four Main Hurricane Hazards (High winds, storm surge, heavy rains, tornadoes)
  • Preparedness Tips (Preparing home and yard for a hurricane strike, evacuation supplies/food and cost, evacuation shelters, issues with pets)

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

10-12 days, broken into the following:

  • Activity one: one forty-five minute class period
  • Activity two: two forty-five minute class periods
  • Activity three: four forty-five minute class periods
  • Activity four: eight to ten forty-five minute class periods

Time frames may vary.

Materials/resources

  • All activities:
    • Computer lab with internet access for all students
    • Access to computer hard drive or network for saving files
    • Spreadsheet software (e.g. Microsoft Excel)
  • Activity one:
  • Activity two:
  • Activity three:
  • Activity four:
    • WebQuest files (Note: You will need to unzip the files.)
    • Computer with internet access
    • Computers with desktop publishing software (e.g. Microsoft Publisher or Presswriter)
    • Spreadsheet software (e.g. Microsoft Excel)
    • Assignment scenario
    • Evaluation rubric

Pre-activities

  • Students will need to have an understanding of the composition, properties, and structure of the atmosphere.
  • Teachers should be able to create spreadsheets, use formulas, and use desktop publishing software.
  • Preview each web site before using. Sometimes links change and reading level may not be appropriate.
  • Make sure students have a copy of the rubric for each activity when it is assigned.

Activities

Activity One: Focus lesson — Hurricane catalog project

  1. Inform the students of the project goals.
  2. Show the WebQuest site and explain contents.
  3. Distribute the WebQuest assignment handout and discuss the assignment.
  4. Distribute the grading rubric.

Activity two: Working with spreadsheets

The objective of this activity is to give students experience working with spreadsheets; specifically entering labels, entering values, creating columns, and inserting formulas that calculate subtotal, tax, and total. For help with spreadsheets, see “Websites” below.

  1. Create a spreadsheet file called “budget” and project for students to see.
  2. Inform the students that cell contents can be labels, values, or formulas.
  3. Demonstrate to the students how to create formulas.
  4. Demonstrate to the students how to enlarge columns.
  5. Demonstrate to the students how to format a column for currency.
  6. Distribute the spreadsheet worksheet and have the students complete it using information from the Harris Teeter website. Students who need help can be referred to the following tutorial website:
  7. Use the rubric to assess student work.

Activity three

In this activity, students will use publishing software to demonstrate generating a three-column brochure by inserting text, graphics, and charts in the file and saving the file.

  1. Have students open a web browser and review copyright issues.
  2. Demonstrate to the students how to save an online graphic.
  3. Have students open the desktop publishing software and create a file called “brochure.” Have them select a brochure template that is at least three columns in length.
  4. Demonstrate to the students how to toggle from one page to another.
  5. Demonstrate to the students inserting text.
  6. Demonstrate to the students inserting graphics and clip art.
  7. Demonstrate to the students about appropriate use of Word Art.
  8. Distribute the assignment worksheet and rubric and have students work through it.

Activity four: WebQuest

In this activity, students will generate a public information booklet that will be used as a guide for the community to use when preparing for a hurricane strike. Students will use internet resources to learn about the following information that is included in the guide:

  • Stages of hurricane formation
  • Classification of hurricanes
  • Using a tracking map
  • Warning/watch information
  • Overview of four main hurricane hazards (High winds, storm surge, heavy rains, tornadoes)
  • Preparedness tips (Preparing home and yard for a hurricane strike, evacuation supplies/food and cost, evacuation shelters, issues with pets)

Day one

  1. Launch the following websites to engage in an interactive review of the concepts associated with hurricanes (highs, lows, factors that affect formation, tracking the storm):

Days two and three

  1. Start a Microsoft Publisher file by selecting a template that is at least four pages long, and save the file.
  2. Launch the following hurricane development websites below to gather information on the stages of hurricane development:
  3. Use the information gathered to begin a hurricane development section in the brochure.

Days four and five

  1. Launch the following classification of hurricanes websites to gather information on the scale of hurricane intensities for the brochure:
  2. Update the brochure by including information learned from this section.
  3. Launch the following warning and watch information websites to gather information on what action should be taken when a warning or a watch is issued:
  4. Update the brochure by including information learned from this section.
  5. Visit online clip art websites for weather clip art.

Day six

  1. Launch the following tracking map websites to find a graphic of a tracking chart. Include a section that explains how to plot latitude and longitude:
  2. Update brochure by including information learned from this section.

Day seven

  1. Launch the following websites to develop a section in the brochure that describes the main hazards of a hurricane and how to prevent injury:
  2. Update the brochure by including information learned from this section.

Days eight and nine

  1. Launch the following websites to develop a section in the brochure that describes the necessary hurricane supplies, evacuation procedures, and pet issues for hurricane preparation:
  2. Use the information gathered, the Harris Teeter website, and spreadsheet software to develop a budget of the supplies a family of four will need to survive three days and nights without electricity and water. Insert the chart into the brochure.

Assessment

  • Use the evaluation rubric to assess the brochure.
  • Assess the other activities using additional rubrics.
  • You may choose to have students do peer evaluations using the rubrics.

Supplemental information

Comments

This module is problem-based, realistic and relevant to students who live in North Carolina.

Students will encounter personal and social decision-making as they explore the real issues addressed when encountering a hurricane strike.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Information and Technology Skills (2010)
      • Grade 7

        • 7.TT.1 Use technology and other resources for assigned tasks. 7.TT.1.1 Use appropriate technology tools and other resources to access information. 7.TT.1.2 Use appropriate technology tools and other resources to organize information (e.g. graphic organizers,...
      • Science (2010)
        • 7.E.1 Understand how the cycling of matter (water and gases) in and out of the atmosphere relates to Earth’s atmosphere, weather and climate and the effects of the atmosphere on humans. 7.E.1.1 Compare the composition, properties and structure of Earth’s...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Computer Technology Skills (2005)

Grade 7

  • Goal 1: The learner will understand important issues of a technology-based society and will exhibit ethical behavior in the use of computer and other technologies.
    • Objective 1.09: Demonstrate knowledge that spreadsheets are used to process information in a variety of settings (e.g., schools, government, business, industry, mathematics, science). Strand - Spreadsheet
    • Objective 1.10: Use spreadsheet and graphing terms/concepts to present and explain content area assignments. Strand - Spreadsheet
    • Objective 1.13: Demonstrate knowledge and use of WP/DTP terms/concepts (e.g., columns, tables, using multiple files and/or applications) to create and publish assignments/projects. Strand - Keyboard Utilization/Word Processing/Desk Top Publishing
    • Objective 1.14: Demonstrate appropriate use of copyrighted materials in word processing documents used for content projects/assignments. Strand - Keyboard Utilization/Word Processing/Desk Top Publishing

Science (2005)

Grade 7

  • Goal 3: The learner will conduct investigations and utilize appropriate technologies and information systems to build an understanding of the atmosphere.
    • Objective 3.05: Examine evidence that atmospheric properties can be studied to predict atmospheric conditions and weather hazards:
      • Humidity.
      • Temperature.
      • Wind speed and direction.
      • Air pressure.
      • Precipitation.
      • Tornados.
      • Hurricanes.
      • Floods.
      • Storms.