ALEX Classroom Resource


Protecting Against Tornadoes

  Classroom Resource Information  


Protecting Against Tornadoes


Content Source:

Type: Learning Activity


The teacher will present an informational text from the website, ReadWorks. Students will interact with this non-fiction text by annotating the text digitally. The students will answer the questions associated with the article as an assessment. This learning activity can introduce students to the concept of designing weather-resistant structures, serve as reinforcement after students have already learned this concept, or be used as an assessment at the conclusion of a lesson. 

Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 3
1 ) Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. [RL.3.1]

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.3.1- Answer who, what, and where questions to demonstrate understanding of a story.

SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 3
15 ) Evaluate a design solution (e.g., flood barriers, wind resistant roofs, lightning rods) that reduces the impact of a weather-related hazard.*

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
E4.11: Humans depend on their natural and constructed environment. Humans change environments in ways that can either be beneficial or detrimental for themselves and other organisms.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth and Human Activity
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Merit
  • Claim
  • Problem/solution
  • Design solution
  • Impact
  • Reduce
  • Weather-related hazard
Students know:
  • Engineers design solutions to reduce the impact of weather related hazards.
  • Problems caused by weather related problems.
  • Humans can not eliminate natural hazards but can take steps to reduce their impacts.
  • Some design solutions are more effective than others.
Students are able to:
  • Identify impacts of a weather related hazard.
  • Identify the effects of solutions to a problem that reduces the impact of a weather related hazard.
  • Make a claim about a designed solution that reduces the impact of a weather related hazard.
  • Communicate evidence to support the claim about a designed solution that reduces the impact of a weather related hazard.
Students understand that:
  • There are cause and effect relationships between weather-related hazards and design solutions created to reduce their impact.
  • There are benefits and risks to given solutions created when responding to the societal demand to reduce the impact of a hazard.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Weather and Climate

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.3.15- Identify practices that keep people safe during severe weather.

Tags: design solution, informational text, tornadoes, weatherrelated hazard
License Type: Custom Permission Type
See Terms:
For full descriptions of license types and a guide to usage, visit :
AccessibilityAudio resources: includes a transcript or subtitles

ReadWorks is a website that provides K-12 teachers with free literacy resources (About ReadWorks). ReadWorks has literary and informational texts on a variety of subjects and reading skills. You may narrow your search using grade level or Lexile level, making this website a wonderful tool for differentiation. Students will complete their work digitally, and you will provide their score and feedback digitally. This makes it easy to go paperless for this activity.

Prior to implementing this activity, you will need to sign up for an Educator Account on ReadWorks. After setting up an account, create a class from the Class Admin tab, this will provide you with a Class Code to give to students. Next, use the Find Content tab to search for the informational article that will be used during this activity, "Protecting Against Tornadoes". After navigating to the article, click on the blue Assign button to assign it to your class.

Each student will need access to a digital device, such as a tablet or laptop. The first time students enter the website they will need to enter the Class Code that is listed on your Class Admin page. Alternatively, you can print the article and corresponding questions for students, if digital devices are not available. 

  This resource provided by:  
Author: Hannah Bradley