- Science and Technology - Understanding Matter and Energy: Light And Sound Health and
- Physical Education – Healthy Living
- Severe Thunderstorms and Emergency Survival Kits
- 60 minutes
Instructional Expectations and/or Opportunities
The Grade Four learners will:
- Describe how different objects and materials interact with light and sound energy (air)
- Identify a variety of natural light sources and artificial light sources
- Distinguish between sources of light that give off both light and heat and those that give off light but little or no heat
- Apply their understanding of good safety practices by developing safety guidelines for a variety of places and situations outside the classroom
- Recognize the importance of having a family emergency survival kit
- Identify the items that can be found in an emergency survival kit
a) Learners – Required Prior Learning
- Students need to have completed the Emergencies and Personal Safety lesson that is part of this unit
- Students must know how to answer written questions using proper sentence form
- Students should be able to explain/define what light and sound are
b) Learning Environment
- The lesson component will be completed by the teacher at the front of the classroom
- Students will need to gather around a table for part of the lesson
- The activity component will be completed individually at the tables/desks the students normal use
- Copies of Light, Sound and Severe Thunderstorms Question Sheet (one per student)
- Copies of Thunderstorm Information Sheet (one per student)
- Blackboard/Whiteboard/Flipchart and appropriate writing utensil
- Chart drawn on blackboard/whiteboard/flipchart with two columns: Natural Light Sources and Artificial Light Sources
- Chart drawn on blackboard/whiteboard/flipchart with two columns: Sources of Light That Give Off Light and Heat and Sources of Light That Give Off Little or No Heat
- Working LED light, glow stick, compact fluorescent light bulb, incandescent light bulb, lamp base to place bulbs, a candle and match, a picture of the sun, a picture of a firefly, a picture of lightning
- Table near electrical outlet
- Complete family emergency survival kit and pet emergency survival kit (dog or cat) – the contents of these kits are available at www.ontario.ca/beprepared
- Optional - Copies of Emergency Management Ontario’s Activity Booklet for Children available by phone at 1-888-795-7635 or through Contact Us on the EMO website, www.ontario.ca/emo (one for each student)
Brainstorming Activity: Think of as many words as you can that have “light” in them
b) Establishing the Learning
Identification of natural and artificial light sources
Identification of sources of light that produce light and heat
Identification of lightning as a natural source of light that produces both light and heat
Definition of a thunderstorm
Explanation of Environment Canada’s 30-30 rule
Recognition of the difference between a Severe Thunderstorm Watch and a Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Identification of safety procedures to be followed in during a thunderstorm
Recognition of the need for families to have an emergency survival kit
Identification of the items that belong in an emergency survival kit
The teacher should write down all the words students come up with that are real words and underline “light”.
The teacher should explain that today students will be talking about light.
Ask students to define what light is (learned in a previous lesson).
Explain to students that there are both natural and artificial light sources. Natural light sources are those that occur naturally while artificial light sources have been created by humans. The teacher should bring the students over to a table where they have laid out: a working LED light, glow stick, compact fluorescent light bulb, incandescent light bulb, lamp base to place bulbs, a candle and match, a picture of the sun, a picture of a firefly and a picture of lightning.
Ask the students to identify each object and then decide if it a natural or artificial source of light. Write the correct answers in the prepared Natural Light Sources and Artificial Light Sources chart.
Ask the students to then look at the objects on the table again. Explain that some sources of light produce heat and some produce very little to no heat. Turn on the light bulb and activate the glow stick. Select a student and ask them to touch the glow stick and bring their hand close to the light bulb. Ask the student whether either of those objects produced both light and heat. The student should select the light bulb. The teacher should then ask whether there was any heat from the light produced by the glow stick. The student should say no. The teacher should then go through each remaining object and ask the students whether it will produce both light and heat or light and little to no heat. Record this information on the prepared Sources of Light That Give Off Light and Heat and Sources of Light That Give Off Little or No Heat chart.
The teacher should ask the students to identify the natural objects that produce both light and heat. The teacher should explain that lightning and severe thunderstorms will be the topic for the remainder of the lesson.
The teacher should have the students return to their normal seating arrangements and hand out the Thunderstorm Information Sheet.
Select a student to read the first section called, “What Is A Thunderstorm?” and ensure that students understand lightning is seen before the thunder is heard because light travels faster in air than sound does. This means you may see lightning flashes but have to wait before the thunder is heard.
The teacher should explain that Environment Canada recommends using the 30-30 rule when it comes to lightning safety. To do this, count the seconds between seeing the lightning and hearing the thunder and if this time is 30 seconds or less, then the lightning could hurt you. You should go somewhere safe right away (indoors in best). After you see the last lightning flash from the thunderstorm, wait 30 minutes before leaving your safe place. Always stay in the safe place until you are sure it is safe. The teacher should make sure that students understand that lightning is very dangerous.
Select a student to read the first section called, “How Will I Know If There Is Going To Be A Severe Thunderstorm?” and make sure students understand the difference between a watch and a warning.
Select a student to read the first section called, “How Can I Stay Safe in a Severe Thunderstorm?” and make sure students understand each of the safety steps.
Remind the students of the lesson they recently completed called Emergencies and Personal Safety. Ask them if they remember talking about the kinds of things that can be disrupted in a natural emergency like a severe thunderstorm, tornado or flood. Ask them for examples of the sorts of things that can be damaged or interrupted during or after a natural emergency. Expected answers:
- power, gas, water, telephone services interrupted
- stores and banks closed
- roads, bridges damaged
-large fires from ruptured gas lines
Explain that if the damage from a natural emergency was severe, students and their families may have to remain in their homes for several days. Ask students how many of them could stay in their homes for three days safe and comfortably without power, water, telephone service or gas service. The answer should be few to none. Without an emergency survival kit, it would be very difficult as it is unlikely that they have all of the items that belong in an emergency survival kit in the quantities required right now.
The teacher should bring out the sample emergency survival kit and explain that Emergency Management Ontario, a branch of the Provincial Government wants everyone to have an emergency survival kit prepared and stored in a bag, container or backpack in their home for use in an emergency.
Explain that an emergency survival kit contains all of the things that your family would need to stay safe and comfortable for at least three days in the event of an emergency. The emergency survival kit is kept in a bag, container or backpack so all of the items needed are in one place and so that if you had to evacuate (leave your home quickly due to the emergency) you would have all of the materials you need to stay safe and comfortable.
The teacher should have students come up and select items out of the bag and explain why they would be necessary.
Consolidation of Learning
The teacher should ask the following quick check questions before students begin the assignment. The teacher should erase the charts on the blackboard/whiteboard/flipchart and collect the thunderstorm information sheets.
- What are some examples of natural and artificial light sources?
- Give an example of an artificial light source that produces heat?
- Why do we hear thunder after we see lightning?
The teacher should hand out the Light, Sound and Severe Thunderstorms Question Sheet and tell the students that this is an independent assignment. Make sure students know to answer the questions in proper sentence form.
Optional - When students finish the assignment, they should be handed a copy of Emergency Management Ontario’s Activity Booklet for Children to complete.
The teacher should circulate while students are completing their assignment in order to ensure they understand the content covered/task and are proceeding at a reasonable rate. The teacher should make note of students experiencing difficulty, including those she/he must assist.
Expectations should be evaluated using the attached rubric.
Additional Related Activities
- Have a local meteorologist visit the classroom to talk about lightning and severe thunderstorms
- Invite the local Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC) to visit the class to talk about emergency survival kits and how to stay safe in a severe thunderstorm
- Organize a School Thunderstorm Safety Campaign in the spring to teach other students about how to stay safe during severe summer weather
What is a Thunderstorm?
Thunderstorms happen when warm moist air meets up with cold dry air. As the warm air rises up and over the cold air, a thunderstorm can form. Thunderstorms are most common in the spring and summer, but they can occur at any time of year.
Most thunderstorms are not severe, but all thunderstorms produce lightning which can be very dangerous. Lightning is seen before the thunder is heard because light travels faster than sound. This means you may see lightning flashes but have to wait before the thunder is heard. When you see the lightning and the thunder is heard right away, the lightning is nearby.
Thunderstorms are also dangerous because they can produce heavy rain, hail, strong winds and in some cases, tornadoes.
How Will I Know If There Is Going To Be A Severe Thunderstorm?
Thunderstorms that are very dangerous are called severe thunderstorms. These are storms with heavy rainfall, large hail, damaging winds and sometimes tornadoes. Environment Canada lets people know when severe thunderstorms have or will develop by putting out a Severe Thunderstorm Watch, or a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. The Severe Thunderstorm Watch or Warning is then broadcast by local radio stations and local television news/weather stations. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch and a Severe Thunderstorm Warning are different.
Severe Thunderstorm Watch – A severe thunderstorm may develop.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning – A severe thunderstorms has or will develop.
If a Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been put out for where you live, it means you should prepare for a severe thunderstorm (bring in lawn furniture, change outdoor plans, bring pets indoors, etc.). You should also make sure to listen for severe weather updates in case the Watch is updated to a Warning.
If a Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been put out for where you live, it means you should be prepared and a severe thunderstorm could happen at any time.
How Can I Stay Safe In A Severe Thunderstorm?
There are things you can do to make sure that you stay safe in a severe thunderstorm. Here are some things to remember:
- Prepare an emergency survival kit and prepare a family emergency plan.
- Learn about whether severe thunderstorms can happen in your community. Ask your parents/guardians to call your local Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC) and ask if your community is likely to get severe thunderstorms. If so, they should also find out if they have any information about how to prepare for a severe thunderstorm.
- Use the 30-30 rule. Environment Canada recommends using the 30-30 rule when it comes to lightning safety. Count the seconds between seeing the lightning and hearing the thunder and if this time is 30 seconds or less, then the lightning could hurt you. You should go somewhere safe right away (indoors in best). After you see the last lightning flash from the thunderstorm, wait 30 minutes before leaving your safe place. Always stay in the safe place until you are sure it is safe. Lightning is very dangerous.
- Know what to do if you are stuck outside in a thunderstorm. If you cannot go indoors during a thunderstorm, go to a low, open space such as a field away from trees. Crouch down, place your hands on your knees and lower your head. Make yourself the smallest target for lightning as possible. Practise the “crouch” position at home, before a thunderstorm so you know what to do.
- Stay away from tall things like trees, light standards, fences and power lines. Lightning likes these objects. Never stand under a tree in a field because lightning will want to go to the tallest object in a field.
- Stay away from metal things like umbrellas, golf clubs and fishing rods. Lightning likes metal poles and rods and will want to go to them.
- If you are swimming or on a boat, get to land right away and go indoors. Stay away from lakes, rivers, ponds and stay off the beach.
- Stay away from running water inside a house. Lightning can come into a house through the pipes and plumbing. This means no showers or baths during a thunderstorm. Don’t worry you can get squeaky clean after the thunderstorm has passed.
- Turn off appliances like the television and stay off the phone. Lightning can come into the house through electrical and phone lines.
Light, Sound and Severe Thunderstorms
Please answer the following questions using proper sentence form.
- Name three natural light sources.
- Give an example of a source of light that gives off both heat and light and a source of light that gives off light but little or no heat.
- Why do we hear the thunder after we see the lightning?
- Explain Environment Canada’s 30-30 rule.
- Explain the difference between a Severe Thunderstorm Watch and a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.
- Explain three things you should do if you are caught in a severe thunderstorm.