Gusting wind! Pelting rain! Rising streams and rivers! Swirling weather maps!
Hurricanes create some interesting—if often unsafe—weather conditions.
- Y—Young (PreK-3rd)
- M—Middle (4th-6th)
- O—Older (7th-12th)
- T—Teacher Resources
Weather and Atmospheric Science
Help your children learn about hurricanes to amp up lessons on weather — or study hurricanes to introduce older kids and teens to the basic physics and chemistry of atmospheric science.
Get started by watching some introductory videos (always preview for suitability):
- Hurricanes for Kids
- National Geographic on the science of hurricanes
- ABC News with more science of hurricanes
Try some hands-on activities to help kids understand hurricane formation as a result of the interplay of warm air, cold air, and the spinning earth. There's a great idea for a DIY demonstration in TheHomeSchoolScientist hurricane lesson, complete with videos to show what your at-home demonstration should look like.
Studying hurricanes also provides opportunities to learn what to do in emergencies. Emergency Preparedness is a vital unit study that can be inspired by hurricanes — although you can also customize your emergency prep for fires, floods, earthquakes, or the natural disaster risks where you live.
Even when we understand and prepare for their potential danger, hurricanes impress us with their power. We've curated 20+ free hurricane resources, activities and lesson plans to help you harness the energy of your kids' interest in hurricanes.
Excellent teaching resources from FEMA for Kids on hurricane preparedness.
Hurricane Tracking Charts
Printable color and black/white hurricane tracking charts from the NOAA and the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane Preparedness Week
NOAA has a collection hurricane education and preparation resources to help you determine your risk and develop action plans for your family.
Hurricanes Educational Resources
Track Hurricanes and Tropical Storms with Google Earth
Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips. Google Earth uses data from the National Hurricane Center and Japan Meterological Agency to populate this interactive map, where you can track the past, current, and projected path of active tropical storms. The map is updated every 30 minutes, so it should not be used for real-time tracking.
Interactive Hurricane Tracker
This interactive map from AP will allow you to track hurricanes in real-time as well as look at the paths of hurricanes from the past.
Hurricanes in History
An extensive list of notable hurricanes from 1900 to 2008 from NOAA that provides an overview of each hurricane.
Forces of Nature: Hurricanes (Interactive Site)
This interactive educational website from National Geographic has diagrams, videos, maps, and infographics that explain how hurricanes work. It also has a digital “Create a Hurricane” activity, an interactive map, and more. From National Geographic.
Earth's Biggest Storms: Tropical Cyclones (Interactive Site)
This educational page utilizes interactive maps, charts, graphs, and more from ArcGIS to tell an in-depth story about hurricanes, how they function, and their impact around the world.
NASA Hurricane Lesson Plans
A large collection of K-12 lesson plans on Hurricanes from NASA, covering various topics like engineering for hurricanes, hurricane dynamics, hurricane modeling, climate and hurricanes, and much more.
National Hurricane Center
From the NOAA, a wide variety of information and tracking resources.
Hurricanes: The Greatest Storms on Earth
An in-depth article from NASA that covers how hurricanes form and function.
WatchKnowLearn has a collection of educational videos that dive into hurricane topics such as how a hurricane is born, how hurricanes are affected by climate change, how hurricanes are categorized, and more.
What Are Hurricanes?
This article from NASA Knows! dives into all of your hurricane Frequently Asked Questions like how hurricanes are categorized, how they form, how they are named, how they are studied at NASA, and more. Designed for grades 5-8.
All About Hurricanes
Weather Whiz Kids has an extensive hurricanes page that answers all of your FAQs, looks at historical hurricanes, offers safety tips, and has lessons, activities, and science experiments for grades 3-8.
Hurricane Lesson Plans
Mensa for Kids offers a collection of lesson plans for Elementary students that introduces students to hurricanes, explains common hurricane terms, has them analyze the effects of hurricanes, track hurricanes, name them, and more.
Hurricanes Lesson for Kids
Study.com has a video lesson plan on hurricanes and weather for elementary school students that includes a quiz and worksheet.
NASA Educational Resources - Hurricanes
Students learn the causes of hurricanes and how they are named and categorized. Designed for grades 5-8, students are encouraged to practice tracking hurricanes across the Atlantic Ocean.
Hurricane Katrina Resources
Hurricane Katrina Overview and History
Hurricane Katrina, to this day, is one of the greatest natural and man-made disasters in US history, both in terms of loss of life and cost of damage. After levees failed in New Orleans, it left much of the city under water, nearly 2,000 dead, and over a million displaced along the Gulf Coast. You can read more on Hurricane Katrina and find articles on more specific topics on History.
The Federal Response to Katrina: Lessons Learned
The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina was widely criticized for both its slow response and disjointed coordination among various agencies. As a result, the disaster was heavily investigated, and a series of reforms were put in place in place by Congress. You can read more about the investigation into the Federal Response to Katrina and lessons learned in the full-text of this report from the United States Department of Homeland Security and Counterterrorism on the National Archives website.
Stories About Hurricane Katrina
StoryCorps, a nonprofit oral history organization, features a collection of audio-recorded stories, interviews, and conversations with Hurricane Katrina survivors.
Hurricane Katrina Frontline Documentaries
On its website, PBS has three free Frontline documentaries covering various aspects of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, including the Federal response, survivors, and law enforcement misconduct: “The Storm,” “The Old Man and the Storm,” and “Law & Disorder.”
Lessons to Accompany “The Storm” by Frontline
These lesson plans are designed to accompany the Frontline Documentary “The Storm,” listed above. The lessons investigate the Federal response to Hurricane Katrina and are accompanied by several activities and worksheets. For grades 9-12.
Hurricane Katrina Lessons
This is a comprehensive study unit on Hurricane Katrina from Carleton College that provides an in-depth overview of the disaster, takes a deep dive into various aspects of the storm and the response, and provides tons of resources for additional investigation.
Hurricane Harvey Resources
Teaching Hurricane Harvey with The New York Times
Hurricane Harvey, one of the most destructive storms in US History, was unique in terms of its formation and path, stalling over the Gulf of Mexico and dumping almost 50 inches of rain over the city of Houston, TX. These New York Times lesson plans cover various aspects of the storm, include interactive resources, and compares the response and the storm itself to Hurricane Katrina.