Book Category: Nonfiction
Author & Illustrator: Gail Gibbons
Copyright: (2009) New York, NY
Publisher: Holiday House
Summary: This is a nonfiction book about hurricanes. This book contains information about what a hurricane is, how and where one can form, and what types of clouds form during a hurricane. The book also discusses the 5 hurricane categories and the characteristics for each category, such as the wind speeds and sizes of the storm surges. This book provides additional hurricane facts and what one might do in order to be prepared in case a hurricane occurs.
Suggested Grade Level: 6
Lexile Level: 900L
Accelerated Reader: 6.3
Suggested Delivery: Independent Read
Common Core State Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.7: Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
5 Key Words to Describe the Book: Informational, Colorful, Visually Attractive, Realistic, & Helpful
Electronic Resources:
  1. This National Geographic website provides facts, pictures, and videos on hurricanes as well as information on how to be prepared for a hurricane if one were to occur:
  1. This Wiz Kids website gives kids the opportunity to learn more about weather, hurricanes, and other types of storms and have fun while doing so:
  1. This is a website that provides numerous visuals that can help build the students’ schema for the text and provide information on how hurricanes form and the components that a hurricane contains:
Key Vocabulary:
  • Hurricane: a dangerous, spinning storm with violent winds that forms over tropical waters
  • Eyewall: the area in a hurricane closest to the eye of the storm where the strongest winds are found
  • Cumulonimbus Cloud: a cloud associated with a thunderstorm that forms water vapor carried by powerful upward air currents
  • Evaporation (water turns into moist air) vs. Condensation (the moist, warm air cools and returns to rain)
  • Meteorologist: a scientist who studies weather
  • Storm Watch (a notice that tells people in a certain area that a hurricane might hit within 36 hours) vs. Hurricane Warning (a notice that tells people in a certain area that a hurricane is likely to hit within 24 hours)
Teaching Suggestions:
  1. Before, During, After-
  • Before: Students will look at different pictures of real hurricanes that have happened in the past and they will formulate any questions that they might have about hurricanes. They should write these questions down and refer back to them as they read the book so that their questions can soon be answered.
  • During: Students should answer the questions that they formed before reading the book. They will fill out a graphic organizer that will help them comprehend the book, answer their questions, and learn new facts and vocabulary. An example of this graphic organizer can be found here:

  • After: The class as a whole will make up a list of things to do to prepare for an emergency procedure in case a hurricane should occur near them. The students can contribute to this list of procedures by adding important steps that they think would be necessary if a hurricane were to occur. They can write these steps on a large piece of paper and hang the paper somewhere in the classroom. They can also write these steps on smaller pieces of paper and take them home.
  1. Writing Activity- Students will research a specific hurricane that has occurred in the United States in the past 20 years. They will write a one-page report stating the name of the hurricane, where it occurred, what category it was, how much damaged it caused, and how the people who lived in that area recovered or are still recovering from it.

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