Your email*

Elementary [1st-5th] Lesson Plan

Tornado Safety

Created on July 16, 2015 by KatieMorris

This project helps students review tornado safety information and use that information in the creation of a mixed media artwork.

0 Keeps, 0 Likes, 0 Comments

2 sessions; 40 minutes per session

1.The students will learn about tornadoes and tornado safety tips.
2.The students will cut geometric shapes from construction paper.
3.The students will tear organic shapes from construction paper.
4.The students will create a mixed media artwork depicting a house, a tornado, and a tornado safety tip.

1. 9x12 inch gray construction paper
2. 6x9 inch black construction paper
3. Newspaper- I cut each page into quarters
4. Primary colored tempera paint
5. Paintbrushes
6. Pencils
7. Erasers
8. Crayons
9. Color Sticks or colored pencils
10. Scissors
11. Glue

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

Day 1
1. Assess prior knowledge/review tornado safety procedures for school and home
• Stay alert about dangerous weather.
• Have a plan for what to do in a tornado.
• Go to a basement or interior room.
• Stay away from windows.
• If you can’t get inside, find a ditch, lie down, and cover your head.
• If you are in a car, get out and seek shelter.
2. View and discuss 2 artworks featuring tornadoes: John Steuart Curry’s Tornado Over Kansas and Alexis Rockman’s Blue Tornado.
3. Explain the assignment to the students and demonstrate the process.
-Talk about geometric shapes that are sometimes used to draw houses.
-Demonstrate how squares and rectangles can be painted to make the base of houses and newspaper can be cut into triangles and glued on the paper to form a house. Newspaper can also be used to cut doors and windows.
4. Students create houses on their paper with tempera paint and newspaper.
-Remind them not to make the houses too big or the tornadoes in the next class will cover them.

Day 2
5. Review information from Day 1.
-Look at images of tornadoes, focusing on shape
6. Demonstrate tearing a tornado shape
-Tear a piece of 6x9 inch black construction paper into a tornado shape by orienting the paper vertically and using thumbs and pointer fingers to control the tear.
-If the students cannot tear the tornado in one piece, multiple pieces can be put together to form a tornado.
7. Glue tornado to background, trying not to totally cover the house.
8. Use a white writing utensil to write a safety tip (in the students' own words) on top of their tornado.
9. Use any remaining time to add details to the background with crayons or color stick/colored pencil.

Extension activity
10. Tear a large tornado shape from butcher paper and label with "Tornadoes Are"
11. Students think of words that can describe a tornado and write them on the large paper
12. Large paper tornado can be displayed in hallway with artwork.

1. Did the student use geometric shapes to form a house?
2. Did the student tear paper into an organic shape for a tornado?
3. Did the student write a

This lesson worked really well to reinforce tornado safety in the spring and review some basic art concepts like types of shapes and color mixing.


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[K-4] Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories
[K-4] Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner
[K-4] Students describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[K-4] Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas

Visual Arts Standard 3:
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

[K-4] Students explore and understand prospective content for works of art
[5-8] Students use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks

Visual Arts Standard 4:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures

[K-4] Students demonstrate how history, culture, and the visual arts can influence each other in making and studying works of art
[5-8] Students know and compare the characteristics of artworks in various eras and cultures

Visual Arts Standard 5:
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

[K-4] Students understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art
[5-8] Students describe and compare a variety of individual responses to their own artworks and to artworks from various eras and cultures

Visual Arts Standard 6:
Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

[K-4] Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Shape, Texture

Collage, Colored Pencil, Crayon, Painting

English/Language Arts, Science