Teaching Earth Science with Children’s Literature: Tornadoes!


Introduction and Summary
The book Tornadoes was written by Gail Gibbons and provides information to students about their formation, how they are classified from one another, historical and safety information if one were to occur where they live.

“The word Tornado comes from the Spanish word tronada meaning ‘thunderstorm’.  It is raining hard, the winds are strong.  The sky is dark.  Suddenly a twisting column of moist air reaches down from a cloud and touches the ground.  It makes a loud, roaring sound.  It is a tornado!”

Curriculum Connections
This book can assist teachers and students on identification of cumulonimbus clouds and learning about severe weather situations.  It goes on to explain how tornadoes are formed and then goes into the classification of these storms utilizing Fujita Tornado Scale system.  It shows what the projected aftermath would be based on each storm time and provides an estimated range of wind speeds per classification.  This book also provides a lot of vocabulary terms relevant to fourth grade science.  Terms like temperature, condensation, updrafts and downdrafts are defined to name a few.  The book also provides safety tips to follow if a person was ever in a situation where a tornado was taking place.  (VA SOL 4.6 a, b, and c.)

Additional Resources

Book: Tornadoes
Author: Gail Gibbons
Publisher: Holiday House Books
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 32
Grade Range: 2nd through 5th
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2216-6

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