Extra Artifact #1 for Ed Tech 501: Create a lesson plan that uses technology to engage students, and ultimately have students take responsibility for their own learning.

Subject: Earth Science

Grades: 11-12

Length of unit: 3 weeks

Topic: Severe Weather in Massachusetts/ New England

Objective: Students will understand the types of severe weather that can occur in Massachusetts, including the following:


Your main research websites to learn about the Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Hurricanes  should be:

 NOAA Jet Stream School http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/index.htm

 WW 2010 Weather World Project


University of Illinois Severe & Hazardous Weather http://severewx.atmos.uiuc.edu/index.10.html

To research historical Hurricanes use the National Hurricane Center & type in year and region to find official NWS Hurricane report http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastall.shtml#tcr

For Historical Tornadoes http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/

Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks addressed

1. Matter and Energy in the Earth System

Central Concepts: The entire Earth system and its various cycles are driven by energy. Earth has both internal and external sources of energy. Two fundamental energy concepts included in the Earth system are gravity and electromagnetism.

1.6 Describe the various conditions associated with frontal boundaries and cyclonic storms (e.g., thunderstorms, winter storms [nor’easters], hurricanes, tornadoes) and their impact on human affairs, including storm preparations.

Student to do List

1. Research Thunderstorms.  Use the following websites to help you understand Thunderstorms.




Your research on thunderstorms should take about 2 class days.

You should be able to describe, define or answer the following...

Describe how T-storms form, stages of T-storm

What are the ingredients for a thunderstorm?

How do the ingredients come together to form a thunderstorm?

What are the stages of a thunderstorm?    

When and where do most thunderstorms occur?                                                                  

 Describe types of lightning types, development of lightning, lightning safety. Describe thunder.

What is lightning?

How is lightning formed?

What are the most common types of lightning?

What is thunder?

Why does lightning happen before thunder?

Hazards (dangers) associated w/ Tstorms & safety

What are the hazards associated w/ T-storms?  Be able to describe the hazards.

What should you do to stay safe in Thunderstorm (both indoors & outdoors)

Anything else that you find interesting about Thunderstorms.

Vocabulary: condensation, convection,  instability, updraft, cumulus stage, mature stage, dissipating stage, updraft, down draft, cumulonimbus cloud, anvil, gustfront,

charge, static discharge,  intracloud lightning, intercloud lightning, ground to cloud lightning, Thundersnow, other types of lightning including: Fork, St Elmo’s fire, heat, sheet, bead, ball, ribbon, bolt from the blue or arc, etc.,  

speed of light, speed of sound, gustfront, Hail, wind damage (straight line wind damage, derecho), downbursts (micro & macro), lightning,  flashfloods, tornadoes


Honors level: describe the different types of Thunderstorms .                                                             Vocabulary: Ordinary Cell (aka Single Cell), Multi cell cluster, Multi cell squall line, Supercell


2. Create a “recipe for a thunderstorm”, post your recipe to our “cooking up a Thunderstorm” page.

Your recipe should include ingredient list, cooking instructions, and any tips on the final product.  Your instructions &/or tips should include safety tips..

3. Comment on classmates’ recipes.  I will assign each student 4 students to which you must make comments.  If there are any others that you feel are very good or could use some extra help, feel free to make additional constructive comments.  Your comments should be in the format of a cooking website’s comments, such as, I tried this recipe, but I wasn’t prepared for the hail so next time, I would be sure to go indoors or get in a car,  or I would be sure add cold air to help lift the air to make a large thunderstorm.  Remember, your comments are visible to the entire class, and should be constructive.  

4. After posting your recipe for a Thunderstorm, continue your research on severe weather:  Blizzards, Nor’Easters, Tornadoes, Hurricanes.  Your research should take 4-5 class periods at the most.

You should be able to answer the following questions by topic.  





link to You Tube videos on the Blizzard of 2013



What makes a snowstorm a blizzard?

What can you do to prepare for a blizzard?

What are some of the hazards (danger) associated w/ blizzards?

Where does the name blizzard originate?

What other parts of the country experience blizzards?

What are some famous blizzards that have hit Massachusetts? When did it occur? What happened in terms of hazards (dangers) & destruction?

Anything else that you find interesting about snowstorms & blizzards.





When do they typically occur?

When are they the strongest?

What is a Nor’easter?

Why is it called a Nor’easter?

What are some of the hazards (dangers) associated w/ Nor’easters?

What should you do to prepare for a Nor’easter?

What are some famous Nor’easters? When did it occur?  What happened in terms of hazards & destruction?

Anything else that you find interesting about Nor’easters.





historic Massachusetts tornadoes  Worcester 1953 http://www.erh.noaa.gov/box/papers/WorcesterTornado53_files/WorcesterTornado53.html

Springfield 06/01/2011 http://www.erh.noaa.gov/box/sigevents/jun01_2011_summary.php

Follow the steps of tornado formation & the anatomy of a tornado.    

Discuss how to prepare for a tornado in terms of safety, how to assess damage and scale of tornado.   Know frequency of weak, strong  and  severe tornadoes.        

Describe some historic tornadoes including : the Tri-state tornado, the Great Outbreak, the Great  Worcester tornado in 1953, Dixie Outbreak 2011, Joplin, MS 2011, Massachusetts 2011                                                      

Vocabulary: Supercell, wind shear, mesocyclone, wall cloud, waterspouts, dust devils, Twister, cyclone, hail, mammatus clouds, stovepipe, multiple vortex, footprint, debris path

Tornado Alley, Fujita scale, Enhanced Fujita Scale, Tornado watch, Tornado Warning, Doppler radar, hook echo, Tornado Alley, weak, strong, violent tornadoes




Historical Hurricane Reports from NWS http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastall.shtml#tcr

Analyze how a hurricane is formed and moves across the (tropical) oceans of the world.

Determine how Tropical storm is named

Be able to plot a hurricane’s path.

Explain lifecycle of Hurricane (Disturbance, Tropical Depression, Tropical Storm, Hurricane (category), Extra Tropical

Describe how/why Hurricanes need warm water

Describe how Hurricanes regulate earth’s temperature

Describe how to prepare for a hurricane & clean up after a hurricane.

Interpret official NOAA data on  hurricane

Discuss some of the hazards (dangers) that can occur during a Hurricane (storm surge, inland flooding, tornadoes, etc.)

Describe Destruction caused by Hurricanes in terms of casualties, property damage, business losses, etc.



Hurricane, tropical depression, tropical storm, storm surge, outflow (rain bands), eye, eye wall, Safir-Simpson scale, quadrants, FEMA, red cross, evacuation, typhoon, cyclone, clockwise, counter clockwise, landfall, Hurricane Watch, Hurricane Warning

5. Create a poster on type of storm (cannot be thunderstorm or the type you are doing in your documentary)

You may use hand drawn pictures or web pictures.  If using web images, please include in your references. Reference should be on back of poster.

Take a picture of your poster, and upload to our Severe Weather Poster Page

Your poster will have 4 quadrants as follows.

Get to know   (fill in w/ type of storm)    severe weather Poster

How does storm Form?

What are the dangers associated w/ storm? describe

Other information

(such as scales used to measure severity, historical information.

Interesting information that doesn’t fit into other categories).

Safety, what should you do?

6. Participate in our “Class Museum Walk” to view each other’s posters.  Write online reviews of the the show.

7. Choose groups of 3-4 people to create a documentary.  Choose one particular type of storm to  create a documentary or newscast about.  Choose one historical event (that affected Massachusetts or New England) of this type to include in your production.   See your teacher for approval on your topic and historical storm.

Your documentary should include factual information about how these storms form, when they are most likely to occur, the hazards associated w/ the storm type, and a safety checklist or plan.

Your historical storm information MUST use National Weather Service reports, as well as least one other form of media.

You should discuss type of storm, and the specifics on the historical storm of choice.  When the storm occurred, how it developed, advanced warning of the storm, hazards of the storm, and destruction  from the storm.

Include in the documentary, how has the science of  meteorology changed since the storm occurred & analyze how the outcome might be different today.

Your documentary will have a list of references in APA style at the end.

Your documentary may take the form of a video that you create, a power point that you add narration to, or some other form of electronic medium.

Final Project is due no later than the second friday of the unit.  Post your documentary to our page entitled Historic Storms of Massachusetts.

8. Watch and Comment on the other groups documentaries directly on Documentary discussion page.

9. Submit to your teacher your group’s evaluation on each other’s work.

10. Traditional Assessment

Timeline: Use this timeline to self evaluate your work everyday.  Rate yourself on a scale of 0-3.  0 off task, 1 somewhat on task, but mostly off task, 2 Mostly on task, 3 On task entire class.  Give brief explanation of what you did each day.  BE HONEST!  This must be completed for each day & passed in at end of assignment.

Today I rated myself as a___ because...




Daily Rating 0-3

Why you chose this? What did you do today?

Week 1


Introduce Assignment.

Begin Thunderstorm Research.


Continue Thunderstorm research. Begin Recipe Card


Recipe cards, continue severe weather research when done w/ recipe card.  Meet w/ teacher on progress.


Recipe for Thunderstorm Due. Continue severe weather research when done w/ recipe card


Research on severe Weather

Week 2


Research on severe Weather


Recipe reviews are due.  Meet w/ teacher to let instructor know topic of poster & topic for documentary.


Finish Research.  Begin Poster


Poster Due


“Silent Museum walk” on Posters to take notes, and write on line reviews.  Begin documentary work, continue any more research for specifics of storms.

Week 3


Continue Documentary


Continue Documentary


Continue Documentary


Documentaries due.  Class will watch the documentaries.


Traditional Assessment

Rubric for Recipe Card


0 Not included

1 Some included

2 All included


Stages of T storm

How to mix/what happens

Results (hazards) of cooking the storm

Safety Tips

Rubric for Poster


0 Not included

1 Some included

2 All included

How does storm Form?

Hazards of storm

other info: rating scales,history


Rubric for Documentary


0 Not included

1 Some included

2 All included

How does storm Form?

Hazards of storm

Storm safety

Historical Storm; when it occurred, damage resulting, other information

Forecasting of Historical event

Group Evaluation for Documentary

Your Name__________________________________________________________________

Group Member Names________________________________________________________

For each group member and yourself assess the following.

Score as either

0 Did not do this

1 Did some of this, but could have done more

2 Did all of this thoroughly

Completed Research & was able to fully participate in group discussions by asking and answering questions.

Worked w/ group to develop a plan for our documentary, and assign jobs to each member

Completed tasks as assigned, helped others as needed, helped to pull entire project together.

Your Name

Group Member Name

Group Member Name

Group Member Name

Continue w/ your self evaluation.  Give yourself a 0,1,2

Did you make your comments on the recipe cards?

Did you participate in the museum walk,and write on line reviews on the posters?

Did you evaluate the other documentaries w/ your group?