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What Could A Hurricane Do To My Home?

Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

This activity examines the impacts of hurricanes and storm surges on coastal communities.

This activity takes about 1-2 45-minute lesson periods.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy

This Activity builds on the following concepts of Climate Literacy.

Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.

Energy Literacy

This Activity builds on the following concepts of Energy Literacy.

Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Resource is written for an audience that lives in coastal areas. Educators of students who don't live in coastal areas will have to alter the language of the questions.
  • Prior to this activity make sure that the students are familiar with the concept of contour lines. (see the link to "What do maps show?" on page 5)
  • Educator might need to provide more explicit instruction about how to plot the data on the map, especially with respect to low and high tide.
  • Instructor should consider following up lesson with the discussion of ways society can take steps to protect coastal communities from extreme weather effects, and how to adjust land planning to minimize impacts.
  • Extension activity: have students research how coastal communities are adopting to increases in extreme weather events.
  • Extension with this activity that emphasizes climate connections to hurricanes that uses real data: http://www.windows2universe.org/teacher_resources/hurricane_climate/teach_hurricane_climate.html

About the Science

  • Concepts that are presented are valid, however the activity is very cautious in linking hurricane activity to global warming. While the link is still presented as tenuous, science suggests that global climate change will increase the intensity of hurricane activity.
  • The IPCC 4th report Summary for Policymakers indicates the link between hurricane activity and climate change and can be used as a background material.
  • Links to a number of good background materials and supporting educational materials are given. It is unclear if the increase of 15 feet in the storm surge is a realistic number. No reference are given for this. It might be worthwhile using different scenarios.

About the Pedagogy

  • Activity is well organized, with a teacher's guide, assessment questions, answer key, and background information.
  • Use of a fictional city may be helpful in decreasing student fears about hurricanes in their hometown.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Well-designed activity with a clear structure.
  • Students might need more guidance by teacher of how to plot the sea level data on the contour map.
Entered the Collection: March 2017 Last Reviewed: September 2014

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