(16 pages) Five interesting activities are included that require students to use U.S. tornado frequency data. First, students will color code states they predict to be HIGH TORNADO HAZARD areas. They then compare their prediction with a second map that, when color coded, reveals the actual tornado threat to different regions of the U.S.. Next, students are asked to assemble and study a tornado data table. Different categories of data are presented, and students must make a thoughtful decision as to which data might be more important or strategic. They are challenged to complete a third map on which they color code each state based its tornado threat.
In the second part of this tornado study, two simple activities are included that require students to use tornado frequency data for Oklahoma. First, students will color code each Oklahoma county in order to assess the highest TORNADO HAZARD areas within the state. In Map #1, students color code according to the total number of tornadoes from 1950-2011. In Map #2, students color code according to # tornadoes per 1000 sq. mi.. They then compare their two maps, and note any differences. Students must make a thoughtful decision as to which method of "crunching the numbers" yields a map that might be more accurate or strategic. These are simple, but interesting tasks! (Tornado Alley, Oklahoma tornado data)