Hurricanes to think about

Below is a repost from several years ago. I confess that I have not tried all the links. My hope is that there is still plenty of good stuff to think about as we seize a very real opportunity to discuss hurricanes.


Hurricane Reading

Peter Spier's Rain

Galveston's Summer of the Storm

Isaac's Storm


Magic School Bus inside a Hurricane

Rain Makes Applesauce

Come on, Rain!

Down Comes The Rain

One Morning in Maine

Websites Worth Exploring

FEMA for Kids

National Hurricane Center

Hurricanes: How they Work and What they Do

Alphabetical Order Each year, hurricane names are assigned in alphabetical order. The list of names is recycled every six years. The names of this year's hurricanes can be found at here. List the names out of sequence and let the children put the names in alphabetical order. Ask them to notice a pattern in the names once they are in order. 

Make “lightning”. Static electricity is stored in rain clouds. When a cloud is so full of static electricity that there's no room for any more, a spark might leap from the cloud. That spark is called "lightning"! (Note: This experiment works best when the weather is dry.)

1. Tear up a sheet of tissue paper into tiny little pieces.

2. Hold a comb over the confetti.  Nothing happens.

3. Use a comb to comb the children’s hair. Or rub the comb on a piece of wool or fur.

4. Then hold the comb over the tiny tissue paper pieces.

5. What happens? Why does it happen?

The Water Cycle in a Jar. Discuss the steps of the water cycle:

(1.) Energy from the sun changes water to water vapor.

(2.) Water vapor rises. It cools and condenses to form clouds.

(3.) Winds blow the clouds over land.

(4.) Clouds meet cool air, and rain or snow falls to the ground.

(5.) Most of the water returns to large lakes and oceans.

Draw the steps for nature journals.

Now, re-create the water cycle:

1. Fill a large, glass bottle or jar half full of water .

2. Cover the jar with plastic wrap and secure the plastic wrap in place with an elastic.

3. Place the jar in a sunny window.

4. Observe for a few hours. What happens? Why did it happen?

Create a cyclone in a bottle.

Graphing. Make a bar graph of the number of hurricanes by month.


19 hurricanes


25 hurricanes


77 hurricanes


107 hurricanes


53 hurricanes


5 hurricanes

(Data shows totals for US Landfalls from1851-2015.)


Hurricanes cause millions of dollars in damages each year. Create a bar or picture graph to show the costs of Atlantic hurricane damage over the decades.


$2 billion


$6 billion


$6 billion


$13 billion


$23 billion


$21 billion


$21 billion


$78 billion

Make a weather station. Go to Making a Weather Station and follow the directions to create a weather station at home.

Geography -- track a hurricane. Print off a Tracking Map and track the path of a current storm.

Download the Hurricane Kit Checklist and create one for your own home. This is a good basic disaster kit even if you don’t live in a hurricane region.

Use watercolors to paint hurricane scenes.

Curriculum Looking for a unit study on emergency preparedness? Youth Emergency Preparedness Curriculum

Games  Create your own hurricane and explore the relationship between sea surface temperatures and hurricane strength.


1. What's the difference between a hurricane, a cyclone, and a typhoon?

2. What is the origin of the word "hurricane"?

3. Pick a hurricane whose name has been retired.  Research the storm and find out why the name was retired. Choose from the list a hurricane a US hurricane, research the hurricane, and then create a brochure or lapbook about it. Include such things as the hurricane's path, the costs according to the actual year in which the hurricane occurred, the loss of life, loss of property (particularly notable property and landmarks), rebuilding efforts.

4.  Research relief efforts.  Which organizations rush to offer relief?  How do they operate? 

Geography. Visit Earth Science for Kids and look at the geographic areas to find current tropical storms. Locate the seven areas where tropical storms occur on a world map identify countries that might be affected by storms in each of those areas. Are storms there called typhoons, cyclones, or hurricanes?