Hurricane Lesson Plan
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Age Group: these lesson plans appropriate for grades 6 to 10.

Duration: 1 to 2 days.

Tracking a Hurricane

Sample Lesson Plan

Purpose:                                                              To have students apply knowledge of what satellite imagery tells and allows them to create a descriptive hypothesis of the ground phenomenon during a hurricane.

Materials Needed:                                     Computers for students to use, in groups or alone and some subject area knowledge.
 A MPEG or QuickTime movie player
 The NCSA Video Annotation Tool


Above is an example of using the Video Annotation Tool.

Hurricane Movie as MPEG 605K
Hurricane Movie as QuickTime 616 K


This is a satellite image of Hurricane Bob between 6:00 Standard Time August 17th, 1991 to 6:00 Standard Time August 20th, 1991. Each frame of the movie designates one hour that has elapsed. As a descriptive device this can be a great clip to use with students, because this exercise would require the students to render their own story of what is happening in the hurricane footage. They would need to know basic information such as what colors indicate highest storm activity or whatever you would want to ask them. Information and other images of hurricanes are available at these sites.

Hurricane Homepage- interesting information on famous Hurricanes

Hurricane Imagery - lots of hurricane images

Storm Chaser Homepage - images, ordering of stock footage

 Questions and Activities:

After students had obtained the rudimentary knowledge necessary they would then be able to use the annotation tool to answer exploratory and descriptive questions such as:

 When exactly (Day/Hour) is the hurricane the worst over coastal Florida?

 To answer this students would have to use the frame advance feature of the movie player too find when the storm on the Florida coast was the worst.

 How about the Carolinas?
 During what time frame could it have been deadly to have been 50 miles off the eastern coast of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean?
 When were Louisiana and Alabama hit by the storm the worst?


 Students can also answer these kinds of questions:

 What is happening at frame 46?

 What time is it in Florida from frame 32-37?
 Using the whole video tell the story over time of what it would  have been like for a family in a house during that time frame.

Using the annotation tool the students make explicit their understanding of the digitized footage and then they can reflect upon their thinking, ask questions of others, and develop more expert notions of the process before them.  The annotation tool  serves as a way of making students USE the movie to construct their knowledge not just  hope that they absorb complex understand from a lecture. We learn best by doing, not by listening.


This sort of tool lends itself easily to assessment because it demands of the students explicit written material demonstrating their internal understanding. Teacher find that these written  annotations are excellent ways to assign grades based on concept mastery.

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