It’s the beginning of summer and that’s usually the time that the Atlantic Hurricane Season kicks into high gear.
We’ve been learning about hurricanes for a few weeks, so I thought I’d share a simple hurricane unit for kids that helps students learn about these weather phenomena.
If you like using unit studies, this is a perfect way to talk about wild summer weather!
Read on to see the list of videos, activities, and resources you can use to teach early elementary students about hurricanes and cyclones. Plus, grab two free printable activities for studying hurricanes too!
For more weather learning, take a look at our list of 15 Weather STEM Activities for kids to try!
How to Use a Hurricane Unit for Kids
I’ve always been fascinated by hurricanes. They’re basically cyclones over water, which is amazing in itself.
They’re incredibly destructive, but the weather phenomena they produce is breathtaking, especially in satellite images.
We had to evacuate a couple of times when I was a kid and I thought it was exciting. As a child, you don’t understand that the possibility of your house being destroyed is not a fun thing.
But I still find the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, to be an interesting time of year for studying extreme weather.
What is a Hurricane for Kids
Watch the video below to learn about hurricanes form. Have your students answer the questions that follow and record their answers on paper.
(The note taking pages at the bottom of this page are perfect for this!)
- Where do hurricanes form? (Answer: They form in the warm ocean waters near the Equator.)
- How do hurricanes form? (Answer: Warm air above the ocean rises, creating low pressure under the water. Surrounding air rushes into the low pressure area, forming an area of warm, moist low pressure that rises above the water. As air continues to rush in, clouds form. The ocean’s warmth and water vapor causes the clouds and wind to spin.)
- How large can hurricanes become? (Answer: Up to 300 miles wide.)
- What is the eye of a hurricane? (Answer: The calm center of the storm.)
- What is the eye wall of a hurricane? (Answer: The wall of winds that surround the eye. These winds are the most damaging. The eye wall can be up to 30 miles in width.)
- What are the rainbands? (Answer: The rain clouds that surround the eye wall. These can be up to 300 miles in width.)
- Which hurricane categories are the most dangerous? (Answer: Category 3, Category 4, and Category 5)
- How powerful is the energy released by a large hurricane? (Answer: Energy equal to the blast of 10 atomic bombs per second.)
- What are hurricanes that form in the Pacific Ocean called? (Answer: Typhoons)
Hurricane Activities for Kids
These are plenty of ways to learn about summer storms! Try some of these elementary hurricane learning activities in your hurricane unit for kids.
- Label the Hurricane Activity – A printable diagram that displays the parts of a hurricane
- Hurricane In a Jar – An easy science experiment that demonstrates how hurricanes form
- Hurricane Comprehension Worksheet – Printable summary of facts about hurricanes
- Free Printable Hurricane Booklet – A great tool for tracking hurricanes that develop during the season
- Ridiculous Weather Report – Fun activity for kids who want to create their own weather forecast
- Hurricane Fill-In-the-Blank Worksheet – A printable report that helps kids understand more about hurricanes
- Hurricane Tracking Activity – Printable tracking map for hurricanes
- Hurricane Printable Mini Unit – 16-page printable pack with facts and activities about hurricanes
- 5th Grade Hurricane Worksheets – Excellent hurricane printables for upper elementary kids with answer key
Hurricane Note Taking Pages
Round out your hurricane unit study with these printable note taking pages! They’re super handy for writing down some of the facts students will learn in this unit.
Just click the image or the link below to get your set free!
>>>> Tropical Storm Notebooking Pages <<<<
Hurricane Facts Matching Activity
Ready to learn more about different kinds of hurricanes?
This printable hurricane categories matching activity is perfect for introducing students to the Saffir-Simpson scale of hurricane strength.
Along with a brief summary of hurricanes, this activity shows students how to classify each storm’s strength based on its sustained wind speed per hour.
An answer key is also included for easy grading!
To get your copy of this Hurricane Categories Matching Activity, click the image or the link below to have it sent directly to your inbox!You’ll also get our weekly newsletter – coming this Sunday!
Want to learn more about weather with kids? Don’t miss these other ideas!