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A2Z Homeschool - THE A-to-Z of Homeschooling
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Tornadoes – Weather Unit Study for Kids

tor·na·do
Pronunciation Key   (Tor*na”do)
n. pl. tor·na·does or tor·na·dos
1. A rotating column of air ranging in width from a few yards to more than a mile and whirling at destructively high speeds, usually accompanied by a funnel-shaped downward extension of a cumulonimbus cloud.
2. A violent thunderstorm in western Africa or nearby Atlantic waters.
3. A whirlwind or hurricane.
tornado cartoon image

Tornado News

Register on the Safe and Well List
If you have been affected by a disaster, you can use this page to post “safe and well messages” that your loved ones can view. Registering yourself on the Safe and Well Web site is completely voluntary and you can update your entry at any time. Those searching on this site for your information will need to enter your name, along with your address or phone number.

Twister: the Tornado Story
They came in a swarm: A raging storm of tornadoes ran across Tornado Alley on Sunday, May 4, 2003.

Tornado News
Google news on a search of “tornado.”

Science of Tornadoes for Kids

Kidstorm – Facts About Tornadoes
We don’t know all the reasons a tornado forms, but scientists have a general idea of the weather ingredients that need to come together.


Ready for Tornadoes
Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Tornadoes must always be taken seriously. Tornadoes can be very dangerous — sometimes even deadly.

Tornado Project Online
There are many sites with tornado data, so we are giving the subject a little different twist, with tornado myths, tornado oddities, personal experiences, tornado chasing, tornado safety, and tornadoes in the past as well as more recent tornadoes.

Tornado Weather 
Why do some thunderstorms produce violent tornadoes while most do not? The answer is related to the wind.

Be Ready

Billy and Maria Learn About Tornado Safety Part I
This is Part I of a three part series about Tornado Safety for grades K-4 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. GetPart 2 and Part 3 here. More weather lessons like this.

Ready, Set, Prepare
Activity book to help children prepare for a disaster.

Measuring Tornadoes

Fujita Tornado Damage Scale
Explains the severity scale. Illustrated with photo for each level.


Tornado Models for Kids

Make a tornado 
Two working models of tornadoes you can build. One requires dry ice, so adult should be present.

Tornado in a Bottle
Simple demonstration for small children.

Tornado Model by Sullivan and Alexa
Our first attempt at making a tornado machine used an updraft fan only with a pan of steaming water to make the tornado visible. We weren’t able to make a vortex this way so we revised our model to use two fans, one on the side and one for an updraft.

How to Draw a Tornado for Kids

How To Draw A Realistic Tornado Storm
This simple tutorial is an easy step by step guide on how to draw a tornado. Video stops so you can catch up with your own drawing.

Learn How to Draw a Tornado
Start with a tall, up-side-down triangle. Draw a curved line from the bottom to the middle of the top. Create the dust cloud in the middle, and then the swirl lines to show motion.

Photos of Tornadoes

Chase Day
An image site for tornado chasers, weather photographers, sky lovers and dreamers.

Photo Gallery: Tornadoes
Screen savers of superb tornado photographs from National Geographic.


Kids Tornado Stories

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
When she was halfway across the room there came a great shriek from the wind, and the house shook so hard that she lost her footing and sat down suddenly upon the floor. Then a strange thing happened. The house whirled around two or three times and rose slowly through the air. Dorothy felt as if she were going up in a balloon. by L. Frank Baum.

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