Lesson 7

Weather Safety

Lesson Goal: 

To teach participants the different weather patterns and safe ways to deal with them.


Lesson Objectives:

  • Describe different weather types.
  • Describe safety measures in hazardous conditions.
  • Describe the appropriate dress for each weather condition.


Content Standards Addressed: 

Common Core State Standards

National Standards ​

Weather safety includes several areas and can be taught in correlation with the teaching of the seasons. Topics that can be covered in regard to weather safety include:

  • Lightning and thunderstorms.
  • Floods.
  • Snow and blizzards.
  • Tornadoes.
  • Hurricanes.
  • Earthquakes.

A way to explain what weather is to the children would be to say that it is the sun, air and water all acting together.

Lightning is the bright white streak across the sky during a thunderstorm. Lightning happens when electricity travels between negatively- and positively-charged parts of a cloud during a thunderstorm. People should move indoors to prevent being struck by lightning. The taller the object, the more likely it is to be struck. It is never safe to be near water during a thunderstorm, because lightning is attracted to water.

Floods are a violent and sudden rush of water after a heavy rain. During floods, manholes and sewers may be covered, and people can fall through. Debris is also a danger in a flood, because it may not be seen and can knock people over. Many times there is an undertow or fast-moving current that cannot be seen on top of the water, but it can wrap around your legs and pull you under the water very quickly. In the event of a flood, it is best to stay on high ground.​

Tornadoes may be described to young children as a very bad windstorm that can carry things into the next town. They look like a very large funnel swirling in the air. Sometimes they carry cars over tall buildings. If children hear that a tornado is coming, the best thing for them to do is to run for cover. The best place for children to go is in a basement, cellar or lowest level of a building.

hurricane is another weather condition that can be quite dangerous. A hurricane is a very bad rainstorm that starts in the ocean and moves toward the shore. Hurricanes can cause large waves that destroy buildings, cars and boats. The best thing to do during a hurricane is get out of town and as far from the shore as possible.

An earthquake happens when the earth's crust moves. Earthquakes do not last very long, but can cause great devastation to the surrounding areas. If an earthquake does occur, the best thing to do is take cover. Find cover under a sturdy table or bench, and hold on tight until the earthquake passes. It is also important to be aware of the aftershocks, which can also cause damage.

Snow is fun, but it is important that kids know what it turns into a blizzard it can be very dangerous. Blizzards can be described as a fiercely blowing wind accompanied by blinding snow. People and animals should not be outside during a blizzard.

In all hazardous weather conditions, listening for the latest news on a cordless radio is important for safety purposes. 



Dressing Safely for the Weather

Reproducible: Dress for the Weather Activity Sheet

Make copies of the reproducible and distribute to the children. Students will first color the page and then cut out the male and female figures and outfits. Provide weather scenarios and ask the children to dress the figures in the appropriate clothing.


Weather Calendar

1. Post a large calendar with squares for each day.

2. Color and cut out weather icons, like suns, clouds, raindrops, snowflakes, etc.

3. Each day, have a child glue or Velcro an appropriate icon on the calendar, according to the day's weather.


Guest Speaker

Ask a local meteorologist to speak with the children. You could also arrange a tour of a local TV station to see weather maps and how they're used.


Draw the Weather

Ask the children to draw a picture about the different types of weather patterns.




Leader's Fast Facts:

  • Waterspouts are weak tornadoes that form over water.
  • Antarctica is the only continent that hurricanes do not affect.
  • Alaska and California are the states where most earthquakes occur. California has the most damaging earthquakes in the United States.


Additional Resources:
What's The Weather Today? By Allen Fowler. Children's Press, 1991.
Tornado Alert. By Franklyn M. Branley. HarperCollins Publishing, 1988.
How the Earth Works: 60 Fun Activities for Exploring Volcanoes, Fossils, Earthquakes, and More. By Michelle O'Brien Palmer. Chicago Review Press, 2002.
The Magic School Bus Kicks Up a Storm. By Joanna Cole. Scholastic Productions, 2000.
The Best Book of Weather. By Simon Adams. Kingfisher Publishing, 2001.
Snow is Falling. By Franklyn M. Branley. HarperCollins Publishing, 1986.
The ReadyKids Web pages provide resources for kids on natural disasters and other emergencies.