Submitted by: Sjesteacher
Characters in the novel, The Cay, experience a hurricane while stranded on an island in the Caribbean. To facilitate my students in understanding the life of a hurricane, the amount of damage it can do, and how to survive one, we have a "mock hurricane" in our classroom. This activity lasts 10 days, or whatever length you desire, and is done during the first 5 - 10 minutes of class.
1. Each student is given a hurricane tracking chart to keep in their novel activity folder. (These can be obtained from the Internet or businesses in your area if you live in a hurricane prone state.) A larger class chart should be placed on the board. Using this will help the students who are having trouble with latitude and longitude coordinates, and it is a quick reference for students returning from an absence.
2. Students will track the storm each day by placing a dot on the grid. Beside the dot, record the date and mph of the storm. ***The teacher will need to do a little "creative planning" and make up coordinates. Since we live in a coastal state, I usually plan for it to hit our hometown!
3. When the hurricane is over, students may see what happened to our town by participating in a drawing. The teacher should prepare strips of paper with phrases such as: home totally destroyed, roof missing, truck found 100 yards away, pet cat found 3 miles away, movie theatre untouched, etc.
~~~ Life of a Hurricane
Tropical Depression - unorganized rotation of clouds
Tropical Disturbance - organized rotation of clouds
Tropical Storm - wind speeds of 39 - 73 mph; named at this point
Hurricane - wind speeds 74 mph + ; intensity classified by wind speed
~~~ Saffir-Simpson Scale (intensity scale)
Category Wind Speed
1 74 - 95 mph
2 96 - 110 mph
3 111 - 130 mph
4 131 - 155 mph
5 greater than 155 mph
~~~ Hurricane Vocabulary: eye, eye wall, flooding, storm surge, etc.
~~~ Latitude and Longitude
~~~ Hurricane Names (list available on the Internet, pamphlets, etc.)
~~~ Internet Address: weatherchannel.com
Special Note from Contributor: I have a month long unit on this novel and related activities. I would love to swap ideas with anyone who is also using it in their classroom. My email is: Sjesteacher@aol.com