Thirteen Ed Online
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Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

This is an interactive Internet lesson in which students will learn what tornados are, how they are created and measured, and what their effects are on communities. Eyewitness accounts, animations, and photographs of tornado damage will comprise the online resources for the students to use in this lesson. Students will keep a journal of their activities and as part of an ongoing process, keep track of daily tornado and supercell activity throughout the United States by monitoring the U.S. National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warning site. This lesson uses reading, writing, and measuring skills in an interdisciplinary format.

Grade Level:


Subject Matter:

Meteorology, Mathematics, Language Arts, U.S. Geography

Curricular Uses:

Scales, graphs, magnitude, intensity, weather maps, convection, thunderstorm, supercell.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • list the characteristics of a tornado.
  • describe damage caused by a tornado.
  • discuss safety procedures before, during, and after a tornado.
  • discuss the role of thunderstorms in creating tornados.
  • characterize a supercell.
  • discuss how tornados are predicted and when warnings are issued.
  • discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the Fujita and Torro tornado scales.
  • apply the Fujita scale on actual pictures of tornado damage.

Use of the Internet:

The Internet is used as a tool for Web research, so proper use of search engines must be discussed. Teachers may preview and bookmark useful sites for students before the lesson to save time. Remind students to check that their resources are updated, insuring current and accurate information.

This lesson was developed by Alexander Sabatino jr., a wNetSchool Master Teacher.