How can you keep a house from blowing away in a windstorm?
Mystery 4 image
How can you keep a house from blowing away in a windstorm?
Scroll for prep
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

DISCUSS (1 of 2):

Do you have strong winds where you live?

Have you ever experienced a natural hazard like a tornado, hurricane, or dust storm?

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

DISCUSS (2 of 2):

What kind of problems do you think strong winds cause?

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

DISCUSS:

How could you protect your house during a windstorm?

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity and exploration you just completed.
  • End-of-Mystery Assessment and Answer Key
  • Readings: Two books that show how houses are built and where wind really comes from.
  • Video: This unique dome-shaped house is built to survive huge hurricanes.
  • Activity: Things fly through the air all the time during a tornado or a hurricane. Does this mean nothing is in the air on normal days? This activity explores this question.
Full Screen
Exit Full Screen

Readings

These online books are free with registration as an educator on Epic!

Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Print Prep
Activity Prep

In this Mystery, students explore the effects of natural hazards, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and dust storms. In the activity, Design a Windproof House, students build paper house models. Then, using limited materials, students design multiple solutions that will make their houses sturdy enough to survive a wind storm, and compare the merits of their solutions.

Preview activity

Number of students:
Blank Paper (8.5 x 11")
Recycled is fine.
Details
1 sheet per pair
Scissors
1 pair per student
Dot Stickers
We prefer stickers because they are easier to distribute in a classroom. Tape also works.
Details
2 stickers per pair
Dot Stickers
We prefer stickers because they are easier to distribute in a classroom. Tape also works.
Details
2 stickers per student
Paper Clips
1 clip per student
Paper Clips
4 clips per pair
Toothpicks
6 toothpicks per pair
Design a Windproof House printout 1 per student
Paper House Model printout 1 per student
Windmaker printout 1 per student
Prep Instructions

We recommend students work in pairs. Homeschool students can work on their own.

Prep Supplies for Distribution

Students first need one paper clip and two dot stickers to build their paper house model. For the second part of the activity, each pair will need a blank sheet of paper, six toothpicks, four paper clips, and two dot stickers to design a solution that prevents their house from blowing over in the wind. You may want to separate the supplies for these two parts of the activity for ease of classroom distribution.

Extensions
Download this Mystery to your device so you can play it offline: