Before Strategy/Engage: 15 minutes
1. Pass out the "exit slip" from the previous lesson where students responded to the following questions:
- Which months had the highest amount of tornadoes in the United States? Which months had the least?
- How many more tornadoes have occurred on average in May than in January?
- Based on what the tornado group discussed from their findings on climate and tornadoes, why would tornadoes be more prevalent in certain months and certain regions of the United States?
2. The teacher should call on student(s) to share. Explain to students that we are going to focus on tornadoes as a weather phenomenon, especially what causes a tornado and the effects that it has on an area. (4-5 minutes)
3. To review what causes a tornado, the teacher should show students the video: "How do Tornadoes Form?" video from James Spann, an Alabama meteorologist. (4 min 12 sec)
4. On the board, the teacher should write a K-W-L chart similar to this one from ReadWriteThink. The teacher should ask students what they know are the causes and effects of tornadoes based on the short video and the previous lesson. Write the student responses on the board. Ask students what they want to know about the causes and effects of tornadoes. Write the student responses on the board. (5 min)
During Strategy/Explore & Explain: 65 minutes
1. The teacher should pass out the Cause and Effect T-chart from Highlands. Tell students they are going to research the cause and effects of tornadoes. They will fill out the T-chart with their ideas and then convert their ideas into a two paragraph essay.
2. The teacher should model for students how to find an idea from their text and how to put it in their T-chart. (5 minutes)
2. Students will read the causes and effects of tornadoes on their devices using the following sites:"The Causes & Effects of Tornadoes" from Sciencing and excerpts from "Tornadoes" from Weather Whiz Kids which include "What is a Tornado?", "How Do Tornadoes Form?", "What are Some Other Factors for Tornadoes to Form?", "What do Tornadoes Look Like?", "When are Tornadoes Most Likely to Occur?", "Where are Tornadoes Most Likely to Occur?", and "Fujita Scale". They will take the information that they find that fits as a cause or effect and put it into the T-chart. (25 minutes)
3. After twenty-five minutes of working, ask students to share with their elbow partner what causes a tornado from their Cause and Effect T-chart. Ask students to make a claim (Tornadoes are caused by ____.) Then, they need to support their claim with evidence from their T-chart. (5 minutes). Ask students to repeat this sharing with the effects of a tornado. Ask students to make a claim (The effects of tornadoes are ____.) Then, they need to support their claim with evidence from their T-chart. (5 minutes). The teacher should then ask students to share this information with the whole group. A sample T-chart is attached. The answers on the T-chart are not all-inclusive, and students may wish to add other findings from their research.
Note: As students are making claims and giving supporting evidence verbally, they are actually preparing themselves for their own writing. This activity will also help prepare students for constructed response questions on standardized testing.
4. The teacher should ask students to take out a piece of notebook paper. Using their completed Cause and Effect T-chart, students should develop a cause and effect two paragraph essay. The first paragraph will describe the causes of tornado formation. The second paragraph will describe the effects of a tornado. Remind students of the information that they shared with their elbow partner. At the end of twenty minutes, students should turn in their cause and effect essays. (20 minutes) The teacher will use the cause and effect rubric from ReadWriteThink to score the two paragraph essay.
After Strategy/Explain & Elaborate: 5 minutes
1. The teacher should return to the K-W-L that was created earlier on the board.
2. Ask students what they learned today that they did not know at the beginning of class. Write students' responses on the board under the L. (5 minutes) Student responses should include the causes and effects of tornadoes.