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Extreme Weather Conditions Unit: Hurricanes & Tornadoes

Bulldozer is absolutely obsessed with extreme weather, especially hurricanes and tornadoes.  It's the visual effect that appeals to him most.  Our Extreme Weather Unit: Hurricans and Tornadoes is designed specifically for him and others who enjoy the intense study.  There are several activity ideas and fabulous free printables for all to enjoy!
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Here's what's on our shelves!


Digging Through the Rubble Spelling Sensory Bin
Diggning through the rubble spelling sensory bin.

This is one of my most favorite sensory bins of all time.  All three kiddos love it too!

Contents include:
The kiddos dig through the "rubble" looking for letters to create their spelling words.  It's harder than it seems, but all the kiddos have been successful with it so far.
Hurricane and tornado spelling words.
Source:  I created the spelling list printable. For your free copy, click HERE.

Tornado Types
Type of tornadoes 3 part cards.
I'm super excited about these cards.  The kiddos use them as nomenclature cards, learning about the different types of tornadoes. These cards do not include double tornadoes etc.

Source:  I created this printable. For your free copy, click HERE.  Information for this activity came from the book: Inside Tornadoes.


Tornado Addition
Tornado addition activity.
This is our classic addition tray, with the added fun of mini tornadoes made out of white pipe cleaners to count with.  It always amazes me how just one little added twist of fun makes all the difference.

Source: I created this printable as part of my Hurricane & Tornado Math Printable Pack.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Hurricane Subtraction
Hurricane subtrction cards and activity.

Get ready!  Bad weather is on it's way!  The kiddos will practice subtraction using cotton ball clouds and blue glass beads as counters.

Source: I created this printable as part of my Hurricane & Tornado Math Printable Pack.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.

Purchasing Items for an Emergency Kit
Purchasing items for an emergency kit
Each week we learn about extreme weather conditions, we also review the safety and emergency protocols for each weather event.

This activity is helping the kiddos remember exactly what needs to be in their emergency kits. Obviously there will be other items too, but this is a good start for them.  It's a great way to practice their coin counting.

Source: I created this printable as part of my Hurricane & Tornado Math Printable Pack.  For your free copy, click on the link at the bottom of this post.


Scale of Tornado Intensity
Scale of tornado intensity matching activity and printable.
 This activity has been very popular on the shelves.  The kiddos match up Intensity Scale ratings with pictures and descriptions.

Source: I created this printable. For your free copy, click HERE.  Information for this activity came from the book Inside Tornadoes.

Hurricane Paths
Creating Hurricane Paths
 We don't have official Montessori Knobless Cylinders, but Bulldozer does have a large collection of his own in his room.  They're not perfect, but they definitely work.  In this activity the kiddos create the paths of the hurricanes, as shown on the cards, using the cylinders.  Bulldozer loves to do this more than anyone.
Hurricane paths.
Source: I came up with the idea for this activity.  Hurricane Path Cards were found on the Internet.

Culture & Geography

Hurricane Katrina in Pictures
Hurricane Katrina in pictures.
As we introduced the unit we talked in depth about Hurricane Katrina, sequencing picture cards to tell the story.  The kiddos now look at the pictures, putting them in any order they'd like to tell the story of the hurricane.

Source: I gathered the pictures together for this activity using Wikipedia Commons Files.

Top 10 Tornado States
Top 10 tornado states learning activity.
The kiddos will use markers to mark the top 10 Tornado States on the map.  The map is colored using Montessori colors. I have colored the chart using corresponding Montessori colors so states are a bit easier to find.

Source:  The free printable map for this activity can be found at Free Printable Maps.  I created the Top 10 Tornado State Chart. For your free copy, click HERE.

Information for this activity came from the book: Inside Tornadoes.  This map reflects the total amount of tornadoes ever in each state, and is not to be confused with Top Killer Tornado State Rankings or Top Yearly Tornado State Rankings, also provided in the book.

Visual Arts

Torn Paper Tornadoes
Torn Paper Tornado Art
The kiddos will tear up old magazine pages and glue them on the white paper in the shape of a tornado. I love how every one looks so different!

Source:  I saw this adorable activity at First Graders At Last.

Practical Life & Sensorial

Hurricane Creations
Hurricane creations using whipped cream.
I thought it might be fun for the kiddos to create space views of a hurricane using laminated blue paper for water, green paper for land, and whipped topping to create the clouds of the hurricane.  Once they've created their hurricane using the whipped topping, they can use fingers to help it move, become bigger or smaller.

This proved to be a great fine motor activity!  Shaking and spraying the whipped topping was challenging, but so worth it.

Source: I came up with the idea for this activity.

Replacing Batteries in a Flashlight
Changing batteries in a flashlight.
The kiddos will practice putting batteries in a flashlight correctly. They will turn it on to check their work.

Locking the Doors & Windows
Locking and latching doors puzzle.
Originally I had wanted to have a hammer and nails activity on the shelves. It would be fun to practice boarding up windows before a hurricane comes. However, I couldn't find a piece of wood the size I needed, so I reverted back to this activity instead.  There were definitely no complaints.

The kiddos will practicing locking doors as they are evacuating their homes before a hurricane comes using the Melissa & Doug Latches Board.

United States of America Puzzle
Wooden Puzzle Map of the USA
Our unit focused primarily on extreme weather activity in the United States this week.  The kiddos have loved reviewing all of their states with this puzzle.

Tornado in a Jar
Have you ever made a tornado in a jar?  All you need is a jar, a few drops of dish detergent and water.  It's provided so much entertainment, and again is great motor work!

Source:  This activity came from

I hope you enjoy our tornado and hurricane activities as much as we have!

For those who would like the Hurricane & Tornado Math Printable Pack, click on the link below:

Hurricane & Tornado Math Printable Pack by Renae at Every Star is Different

If you are interested in our other extreme weather units, be sure to visit the posts below.
Avalanches, Blizzards and Ice Storms

Earthquake and volcano activities with free printables.

If you are interested in more weather activiites in general, be sure to visit the page below!
Weather activities and free printables.


  1. Another super cool unit! We are not going to be doing tornadoes anytime soon. Hopefully, I will remember my pin when we do! These are great!!

    1. I'm so glad you like it. I don't think we would have done this unit if it wasn't for my son and his obsessions. He LOVES this stuff! I must say, I've learned a lot. It's pretty fascinating.

  2. Very interesting unit! Your kids certainly learned a lot about tornadoes and you were successful in taking this in so many different directions and linking the activities together. Thank you for sharing on my STEM Tuesday!

    1. Thank you Natalie! My Bulldozer loves tornadoes, so it was quite a challenge to find a way to teach him new things.

  3. Wow what great activities. Thanks so much for sharing with the Monday #pinitparty. I have pinned.

  4. With the recent tornado's you picked a perfect time to teach your kids about a fascinating and serious weather condition.

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!