Take 5! Activities
- Show a photo or play a clip of a video of a tornado sighting (without sound) as the backdrop while you read the poem aloud. Photos, diagrams, and videos of tornadoes can be found at the National Geographic site online (Online Resources).
- Read the poem aloud again, and invite students to chime in when the title of the poem appears within the poem (Tornado!).
- This is a teachable moment for talking about emergency preparedness—in school, at home, and in the community.
- Use this poem to talk about environmental changes such as tornadoes, floods, and droughts. What is the impact on the community? (Everyone is displaced, some temporarily and some permanently.) Look for the Tornado Teaching Box (Online Resources) with several resources related to how tornadoes affect people.
- For the pet perspective on a scary storm, look for “Dog in a Storm” by Stephanie Calmenson (Online Resources). Or for more weather poems, find A Crack in the Clouds by Constance Levy (Resources) and Seed Sower, Hat Thrower: Poems about Weather by Laura Purdie Salas (Resources). Seymour Simon’s nonfiction picture book Tornadoes (Resources) offers more factual details and photos, too.
Gerber, C. 2014. “Tornado!” in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science, eds. S. Vardell and J. Wong, 166. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books.
Levy, C. 1998. A crack in the clouds. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books.
Salas, L. P. 2008. Seed sower, hat thrower: Poems about weather. Minneapolis, MN: Capstone.
Simon, S. 2001. Tornadoes. New York: HarperCollins.
Carole Gerber author website
“Dog in a Storm” by Stephanie Calmenson
National Geographic: Tornadoes, Explained
Tornadoes Teaching Box (University Corporation for Atmospheric Research)