This week in our 10 Weeks of Summer Reading series we have a FREE Unit Study about Tornadoes. Learn about how tornadoes form, where and when they are most likely to occur, historic tornadoes, and storm chasers. Resources for learning basic first aid and making your own disaster plan are included!
Grab one or both of the books, sign-up to receive the FREE printable unit study and then explore the other resources below!
(Note: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read our full disclosure.)
The Books about Tornadoes
I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011 is a historical fiction book that contains lots of true facts about the Joplin, Missouri tornado and tornadoes in general. It is definitely a page turner and will keep your kids wanting to read.
The fictional Magic Tree House Twister on Tuesday is set in the 1870s in a one room school house on the prairie in the Midwest of the United States. Jack and Annie use their present day knowledge to help the students and teacher survive the tornado.
The Tornado FREE Printable Unit Study
The unit study includes the following:
Notebooking pages about tornadoes and life on the prairie in the late 1800s.
A timeline activity to chart historic tornadoes.
A mapping activity to see where tornadoes are common in the United States.
Comparing and contrasting activity to compare tornadoes with other weather phenomena.
Sequencing activity to sequence the steps in the formation of a tornado.
Writing prompt to encourage children to write their own fictional story about escaping a tornado.
How Does a Tornado Form
In the printable unit study, we learn the five basic steps to how a tornado forms. Here is a higher level explanation of how a tornado forms for those children that want the details!
Make Your Own Tornado
To see how the winds in a tornado move, you can make this super easy “tornado” in a bottle. It is really a waterspout, which is a tornado that forms over water!
How to Predict the Weather
Predicting the weather is fun and helpful! It is something that humans have been doing for thousands of years by observing the world around them. While, scientists have now developed complex systems to predict the weather, there is still a lot average people can tell about the weather if they learn to look for signs around them. Here is a good video to get you and your kids started!
Also, check out this post about how to identify what clouds are telling you about the weather with a notebooking page to draw and study clouds.
A fun, hands on activity is to make your own weather station. This teaches more about how we can use the information around us to make weather predictions. The National Ocean Service has instructions to make a thermometer, rain gauge, anemometer, wind vane and barometer: Make Your Own Weather Station. Once you’re on the site scroll down until you find the link to the instructions.
Learn about Tornado Storm Chasers
In I Survived the Joplin Tornado, the character, Dr. Gage, introduced us to storm chasers. Storm chasers are people who travel to where there is severe weather to take pictures of it and/or study it. Some are amateurs and some are scientists. If you want to learn more about storm chasing, you can check out the Storm Chasing with Dr. Reed Timmer channel on YouTube.
Make Your Own Disaster Preparation Plan
You may not have many tornadoes in your area, but you still may have some type of natural disaster that you should be prepared for. Discuss as a family what type of natural disasters could occur in your area and then head to ready.gov to make a plan.
Have a child interested in engineering? Learning how to build storm shelters and houses that can sustain high winds would be a fun project! Here is a video about a how someone built a storm shelter in a home.
Learn about First Aid
Knowing how to do first aid is an important skill to have, especially during and after a severe weather event. First aid allows someone to help a sick or injured person until medical professionals arrive. Here are Six Rules to Teach Your Kids Now. And, here is a video about how to help someone with a cut:
This first aid book is a great one to keep in your home:
Reading Twister on Tuesday made me think of the Little House on the Prairie Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder:
And if your children love learning about weather, these are some great books: