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The Cay


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:

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: