Hurricane Isaac

Learning Objectives

Students will read a recent science news article and discuss the content.
Depending the on the article, students may be asked to draw connections to current events or other classroom exercises.

Standards Addressed

Depending on the article, one of these standards may be most appropriate:

Subject Area - 1: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

     Standard Area - 1.3: Reading, Analyzing, and Interpreting Literature - Fiction and Non-Fiction

          Grade Level - 1.3.6: GRADE 6

               Standard - 1.3.6.A: Read, understand, and respond to works from various genres of literature

                    Assessment Anchor - R6.A.2: Understand nonfiction appropriate to grade level.

Preparation Time Needed

<30 minutes, enough time to read the article and associated questions, answer the questions, and possibly come up with more that are relevant to recent class exercises. 

Activity Description

(Part of the PAESTA In The News - Current Events in Earth and Space Science Series. This series compiles current resources and background materials for recent scientific events in the news. Questions are provided with each topic, written across Bloom's Taxonomic Scale, and can be used for classroom discussion and/or as a writing prompt at the beginning/middle/end of an instructional unit.)

On the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Isaac made landfall in the northern Gulf Coast of the United States.  Forty percent of Louisiana was without power for an extended period of time, and the heavy rains put pressure on canal locks while at the same time providing some much-needed drought relief.

Articles to Share with Students

General Information

Questions for Classroom Discussion

  • What is a hurricane?  Why is it considered a natural disaster?
  • How do scientists study hurricanes?  Who else is involved in studying and reporting on hurricanes besides scientists?
  • Describe the track and category levels of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac.  How many U.S. states and countries were impacted by Isaac?
  • Why is studying hurricanes important?
  • What do you think will be the short-term impacts of Isaac on the environment?  What do you think will be the long-term impacts of Isaac on the environment?
  • Do you think another hurricane will impact New Orleans?  How many have made landfall in this region in the past? 
  • Should people be able to rebuild their homes and businesses that were destroyed by a hurricane?  Why/why not?

Compiled September 2, 2012, by L.A. Guertin. Teachers are encouraged to search for more recent articles and related discoveries.

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