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How can you keep a house from blowing away in a windstorm?
Stormy Skies Unit | Lesson 4 of 4
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How can you keep a house from blowing away in a windstorm?
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Stormy Skies Unit | Lesson 4 of 4
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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?

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DISCUSS (2 of 2):

What kind of problems do you think strong winds cause?

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DISCUSS:

How could you protect your house during a windstorm?

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Extensions

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity and exploration you just completed.
  • Lesson 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.
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Readings

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Overview
Grade 3rd
Topic Weather & Climate
Focus Natural Hazards & Engineering
Print Prep
Activity Prep

In this lesson, 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

COVID-19 Adaptations
Students can work solo
Digital worksheets available
See our advice below
Students need a printout

Students at home
Each student needs: 1 piece of paper, 6 toothpicks, 5 paper clips, 4 stickers and the Paper House Model and the Windmaker printouts (printed). Students also need the Design a Windproof House worksheet (printed or digital).
Students at school
How to adjust the supply list so students can work solo: Double the number of paper clips, stickers, toothpicks and pieces of paper.
Number of students:
Design a Windproof House worksheet 30 copies
Paper House Model printout Print 30 copies
Windmaker printout Print 30 copies
Blank Paper (8.5 x 11")
Recycled is fine.
Details
15 sheets
Scissors
30 pairs
Dot Stickers
We prefer stickers because they are easier to distribute in a classroom. Tape also works.
Details
60 stickers
Dot Stickers
We prefer stickers because they are easier to distribute in a classroom. Tape also works.
Details
30 stickers
Paper Clips
90 clips
Toothpicks
90 toothpicks
Prep Instructions

We suggest 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.

Overview
Grade 3rd
Topic Weather & Climate
Focus Natural Hazards & Engineering
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