Storm Dodger Game
Play a game that helps your child understand that storms follow paths, and a storm's speed and direction can be tracked to help people make plans.
- Target Age: 8-11
- Learning Goals: Pre-Algebra; Math & Weather: Tracking Storms
- Related Episode: Episode 702: The Emperor Has Snow Clothes
Goal: To recognize that storms follow paths, and their speed and direction can be tracked to help people make plans.
Note: This game is designed to be played in pairs. Your child can play along with you, a sibling or friend.
Time: 30 minutes to an hour
Space: Desk or table
- "Storm Dodger" game board (pdf)
- "Storm Dodger" game rules (pdf)
- Storm Strip pattern (pdf)
- paper clip
- paper fastener
- 1 die
- 2 different-color buttons (game pieces)
- permanent marker
- clear plastic or acetate (clear plastic report covers work well)
- Assemble the game board ahead of time, or invite your child to help. To assemble:
- Print out the Storm Strip pattern. Use a permanent marker to trace a Storm Strip onto clear plastic (only one is strip needed for the game).
- Print out the game board on tagboard.
- To attach the Storm Strip to the game board, push the paper fastener through the dot on both. (Cut slits first to make this easier.)
- Optional: Preview the episode or clip, and if using them with your child, cue up the videos via the links above.
- Review what your child knows about storms. Ask:Think about a time when you heard that there was a storm watch or warning for our area. What kind of information were we given on the news or weather channel? (Numbers, pictures, reports, video, maps, etc.) What kind of information could you find out by going outside and using your senses, like listening, looking, or even smelling? Explain that storms often move from one location to another, which we can see on live satellite video and learn about from weather announcers and storm maps.
- Talk about storm tracking. Ask:Why do people need to be able to track storms and estimate times of arrival? (To make plans, take precautions, etc.)
- Optional: Use the episode or clip to further explore this idea.
- Go over the game rules with your child and game partner.
- Discuss the Storm Strip: The strip is the path the storm will follow, and the path changes according to which of the six numbered mountains it points to. The paper clip is the storm's current location, which advances during the game.
- Play the game! Spice things up by interrupting play with "Breaking News." For example:
- "Breaking News! Your storm has changed course and is headed for Slippery Slope (or toward the mountain of your choice)."
- "Breaking News! Your storm has speeded up and is now at position 7 on your Storm Strip."
- "Breaking News! Your storm is stalled (stopped) for the next turn."
Take it Further
Share this activity's Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) connections and invite your child's comments:
Meteorologists—scientists who study the weather—use satellite information, wind measurements, and barometric pressure readings to track storms so they can help people prepare for them. Engineers who work on oil platforms in the sea depend on storm track predictions. If a strong storm heads their way, they'll evacuate, using ships or helicopters to get to shore.
Talk About It
Ask:What did you learn today that you didn't know before?