Adventures as Annie: Twister on Tuesday

This was one of the best adventures yet! In April, Magic Tree House Adventures went back in time to the 1870’s and witnessed one of mother nature’s most incredible and dangerous phenomenons- a tornado! Kansas is known for it’s tornadoes (thank you Wizard of Oz), and we are currently in prime tornado season, so I thought selecting Twister on Tuesday would be an ideal segue into learning about weather and safety. We had a very special guest from our city’s local news station, 6News Lawrence. Meteorologist Rick Katsfey came to teach the kids about tornadoes and severe weather safety,

Meteorologist Special Guest

To kick-off the program, I invited meterologist Rick Katsfey from 6News Lawrence to talk about sever weather, tornadoes, and weather safety. The kids always enjoy when we have a special guest. It was particularly fun for them to see someone who they regularly see on tv in their library.

Where Are We? Who Are They?

“Where are we? Who are they?” is a Magic Tree House Adventures staple where I flash different pictures related to the book we are discussing and ask the kids if they can tell me what’s going on in those pictures. I follow up their guesses with facts about what each picture is actually about. I heavily relied on the nonfiction companion to Twisters on Tuesday, the Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #8: Twisters and Other Terrible Storms. In the past, these lessons are more about people and a particular time period. For this session, we talked about the earth’s atmosphere, wind, what makes a storm, the anatomy of a tornado, as well as tornado safety.

Tornado Safety Collage

Since Kansas sees a good share of tornadoes, I really wanted to emphasize tornado and severe weather safety during this program. For one of the activities, the kids made Tornado Safety Collages by tearing a piece of place construction paper into a triangle to make a tornado. They then assembled a house using various shapes I pre-cut from construction paper and glued both the tornado and the house onto a piece of white card stock. I also printed out and pre-cut sets of safety tips which they glued onto their collage.

Here are a couple collages made by a Magic Tree House Adventures members:

Tornado in a Jar

This project is so easy! And the kids loved it! I completely forgot to take a picture of this project, so I borrowed this great image above from Ellie Moon. I did make a Vine, though.

Pretty neat, huh? All you have to do to make a tornado in a jar is this..

1. Add water in a clean jar.

2. Add a tiny drop of dish soap. Teeny tiny drop!

3. Seal jar lid.

4. Shake.

5. Tornado!

At the program, I also had food dye and different glitter colors available so the kids could customize their tornadoes.

While some of the kids finished assembling their Tornado in a Jar projects, my coworker read the picture book Aunt Minnie and the Twister by Mary Skillings Prigger, illustrated by Betsy Lewin. This craft took a little longer because I only had five kids conducting this project at once to avoid a huge mess.

Magic Tree House Adventures Journal

As always, at the end the kids recieved their very own Magic Tree House Adventures Journal (just like Jack has)! Here’s a peek inside the latest edition of take-home journals so the fun and learning can continue at home.

All facts from this journal come from the Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Twisters and Other Terrible Storms, the Magic Tree House website, and Kids Zone.

The kids also took home this Sever Weather Tracker magnet curtosy of 6News Lawrence. Along with the Magic Tree House Journal and magnet, the kids had a large selection of books to choose from to check out after the program was completed. I make sure to have at least one table full of books that are available to them.

All in all, this was one of the better programs. It ran smoothly and the kids were extremely interested in the topic. I’m really looking forward to the next session, because in May we’re leaving the world as we know it and going to the moon! Our featured Magic Tree House title will be Midnight on the Moon!

image sources: tornado, tornado in a jar


8 Responses to “Adventures as Annie: Twister on Tuesday”

  1. Susan says:

    This is awesome. Would you please send me a copy of your journal. I am teaching Magic Tree House Camp in July and this would make a great resource. Thanks so much.

  2. Ann Judd says:

    Hey! It’s me! I’d love a copy of the journal Thanks!!!
    Ann Love


    I would love to have a copy of that journal. We are currently reading this book in my 3rd grade classroom!! My email is Jennifer.prescott@sandites.org.

    Thank you so much :)

  4. Lisbeth says:

    The journal looks great! I would love a copy…if you don’t mind sharing!

    jankuhnsissonl@lake.k12.fl.us Thanks!

  5. Terra says:

    I love this journal! would you send a copy for me to use with my class? Thank you! tervac123@yahoo.com

  6. Ms. Wright says:

    What wonderful ideas. Please send me a copy of the journal. Thank you so much in advance.

  7. Mrs. Green says:

    What a wonderful unit! Could you please send me a copy of the journal as well? Thank you! alicia.greengennaro@lawrence.k12.ma.us

  8. Jeanna W says:

    Hi! I was also hoping for a copy of the journal please. I am doing the tornado in the jar for sure!

Leave A Comment