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Hurricane Katrina

Found in: science, social studies, preK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Hurricane Katrina (2005) was the costliest natural disaster and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. Property damage cost an estimated $108 billion. At least 1833 lives were lost during the storm and flooding. These lessons and activities will help students understand the power of hurricanes and especially Katrina. The images and video provide the human perspective.

Lesson Plans:

  • Hurricanes as Heat Engines Students in grades 3-12 examine sea surface temperature data to explore how hurricanes take heat energy from the ocean surface.
  • Severe Weather: Hurricanes! students in grades 5-12 work in teams to review the course of Hurricane Andrew (1992) in order to prepare for tracking, analyzing, and predicting the course of a new hurricane.
  • Hurricane Katrina: A Problem-Based Learning Module Students in grades 6-12 analyze factors in Hurricane Katrina to determine if global warming is causing an increase in hurricane frequency and intensity.
  • Hurricane Katrina: You Be the Reporter Students in grades 9-12 research Hurricane Katrina; work in small groups to write news stories, feature stories, and editorials; and produce a podcast, video-based program, or newspaper/magazine feature.

Online Activities:

  • Create-A-Cane! K-12 students adjust winds, latitude, moisture, sea temperature.
  • Aim A Hurricane K-12 students position high and low air pressure to direct a hurricane.
  • Hurricane Strike! In this module, grade 7-12 students make decisions as they prepare for a hurricane. Along the way, they can print out worksheets with questions. There are two multimedia versions, a text version, and one in Spanish. Requires free registration.


Interactives & Maps

Images & Video:


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