May 26th, 2011 by

Lessons from Natural Disasters

Current events, geography, weather phenomenons, community outreach, compassion, writing, and spelling… We worked it all in today as we surrounded our lessons around the devastating tornado that ripped through Missouri last night, killing 90 and destroying a town. Weather websites had the recent natural disaster in photos. The American Red Cross issued this statement on their Disaster Alert Page – “Jasper County Animal Control is now on site at the Joplin, MO Shelter to help accommodate the pets of those who are in need of shelter due to the storms that stuck the Joplin area tonight.”

In addition to our donation to the Red Cross, we decided on a unique way to give back during this tragedy. I always feel helpless during times like this, wishing I could do something to help, not knowing what. The statement about the Animal Shelter inspired an idea for me. The kids and I put together an animal relief kit, with blankets, dog and cat food, pet shampoo, toys, and various helpful items and shipped them off this afternoon to the Joplin Humane Society to help with any homeless animals they may be sheltering after this storm.

My daughter wrote the card herself, giving her the daily penmanship, grammar, and spelling practice she needed. (And she drew pictures for the animals, too – bonus art!) In addition, we studied where Missouri was in comparison to Michigan.

We visited some kids weather websites, including this great one: Weather Wiz Kids. We made a tornado in a jar for science and read a variety of books about tornadoes and weather at the library later in the afternoon.

Making the tornado was super easy with stuff we had on hand and the kids enjoyed it.

All you need:
clear canning jar
liquid soap
vinegar
water

Fill the jar about three-quarters full of water. Add a teaspoon of the liquid soap and a teaspoon of vinegar into the jar. Tighten the lid and swirl the jar in a circular motion. The liquid will form a small tornado.



To see other weather related lessons we’ve done this year, check out my post about our Weather Wheel, which has great links included.

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