In this Mystery, students examine the causes of flooding using the real-world example of Hurricane Katrina. In the activity, students propose plans to prevent flooding and save historic buildings in a coastal town–all while staying within budget!
DISCUSS (1 of 2):
Where does the water in a hurricane come from?
DISCUSS (2 of 2):
Why is there so much rain from a hurricane?
Why do you think some areas of New Orleans flooded while others did not?
You've completed the Exploration & Activity!
Tell your students that the people of Beachtown had a meeting to discuss the proposals your class came up with. Ask your students how they would answer their questions or address their issues.
Remember: There are no right answers and it may be difficult to make everyone happy.
These readings are free with registration on Newsela Elementary. A writing prompt and a quiz is available for each reading.
Learn Hurricane Basics — the parts of a hurricane, how a hurricane’s strength is measured, and how a hurricane forms. (Grade 5)
Find out how changes in ocean temperature near the equator can affect people living half a world away. (Grade 4)
This time-lapse movie shows a satellite view of the 2012 hurricane season — from June 1 to November 29 — in less than 5 minutes. The excitement starts with hurricane Chris at 0:22, followed by Debbie at 0:30, Ernesto at 1:27, and more.
As you watch, try to answer these questions:
You’ll find more satellite views of hurricanes here.
After watching and discussing the movement of hurricanes, have your students plot a hurricane’s path with this activity. Then have students write about the hurricane’s origin, its travels, and its decline from the point of view of the storm itself.
If you want a more hands-on experience (and you’re willing to take on a messy experiment), check out this Teach Engineering activity, in which students make a model of a river and learn first-hand what happens when it floods.
Then give UCAR’s Create-A-Cane, a try. First, you make a tropical depression by changing sea temperature, air moisture, wind’s speed and direction, and latitude. (The "?" will give you tips.) When conditions are just right, your score reaches 80 and you have the beginning of a hurricane. Then follow the instructions on each screen to make your hurricane. It isn’t easy, but you can do it!