The Hurricane Module, How will hurricane risks and impacts change over the next 100 years? consists of five activities to be implemented over approximately five 45-minute class periods. Students engage in real-world case studies and use the embedded Hurricane Explorer model to explore how location and magnitude of pressure systems, season of the year, and sea surface temperature influence hurricane movement and strength. Students also learn about the hazards that hurricanes bring and the impacts that hurricanes can have on people living and working in the areas along their path. Finally, students investigate the role that rising global temperatures will have on future hurricanes. By the end of the module, students will be able to explain the factors that make hurricanes more extreme and consider future hurricane risks and impacts if the climate continues to change. 

Sequence overview:


Activity 1: Hurricane Risk

In this introductory activity, students explore the regions of the United States and the Carribean that are at risk of being impacted by an Atlantic hurricane. They examine case studies and hurricane prediction maps and consider the locations where hurricanes are likely to strike and who is most at risk when they make landfall. 

Activity 2: Hurricane Tracks

Students experiment with the Hurricane Explorer model, which allows them to adjust environmental factors related to hurricane movement such as the location and magnitude of high and low pressure systems. After students develop an understanding of how high and low pressure drive the motion of hurricanes, they use their knowledge to investigate the tracts of real-world hurricanes.

Activity 3: Hurricane Strength

In this activity, students use the Hurricane Explorer to investigate the factors that influence hurricane strength. Students explore seasonal effects on hurricane formation, growth, and movement. They also begin to draw parallels between rising trends in sea surface temperature and the frequency of high intensity hurricanes.  

Activity 4: Hurricane Hazards and Impacts

Students connect hurricane hazards such as strong winds, heavy rains, and storm surge to the impacts that these hazards have on those people living and working along the path of hurricanes. They use the Hurricane Explorer to consider the impact of these hazards as well as mitigation methods to reduce the impact. 

Activity 5: Future Risk

The future of hurricane risk is complex and is being actively researched by scientists. In this final activity, students investigate how climate change correlates to projected changes in hurricane frequency, intensity, risk, and impact. Students model hurricane occurrence in a future that includes higher sea surface temperatures, higher sea levels, and more extensive human development in coastal communities. 

By the end of this activity, students should be better able to answer the guiding question: How will hurricane risks and impacts change over the next 100 years? 


Accessing the Module

  1. Go to learn.concord.org/geo-hurricane for the interactive Teacher Edition of the Hurricane module and other teacher resources. You will need to have a teacher account to access the teacher materials. Registration is free.

  1. Set up a class on the Concord Consortium Learn portal (learn.concord.org/geo-hurricane). Assign the Hurricane Module.

  1. Have your students register for student accounts on the Learn portal. Students will join your class with the “class word” you selected. 

  1. Use the embedded teaching tips and discussion tips in the Teacher Edition to help facilitate your students’ investigations in the Hurricane Module.


Formative Assessment

Teachers can use the real-time Class Dashboard to track students’ progress through the module and give students feedback on their responses. The module contains multiple choice, drawing, and free response items. Correct responses, rationales, and exemplar answers are available in the Teacher Edition of the module at learn.concord.org/geo-hurricane.

Summative Assessment

The Hurricane Module includes pre- and post-assessments. Use these to assess your students’ understanding of the scientific factors that drive hurricanes as well as the risks, hazards and impacts that hurricanes bring to people and their communities. The Class Dashboard can also be used to track student’s progress through the assessments.

The assessments contain multiple choice and free response items. Correct responses and exemplar answers are available in the Teacher Edition of the assessments at learn.concord.org/geo-hurricane.


  Funded by the National Science Foundation

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1812362. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.