Lesson 2: The Storm


Activity 1: Word Match

Materials: Tornado by Betsy Byars, Doron Ben-Ami, dictionary, glue, scissors
The words on the "Word Match" page are the vocabulary words for the first four chapters of the book. Encourage your child to read each word in context where it occurs. (Page numbers are provided below.) Next, ask her to guess what the word means. Explain to her that the sentence in which a word appears can offer clues as to what the word means.
Let your child cut out the words and put them in alphabetical order. If your child is not used to using a dictionary, explain to her that all the words in a dictionary are listed in alphabetical order. It might be helpful before beginning to allow her to number the vocabulary words in the order in which they will be found in the dictionary. She can then circle the first letter in each word. Help your child look up the definitions in the dictionary and match each word with its definition. Next, on a separate sheet of paper, she can glue each word next to its definition.
  • cellar (p. 2)
  • trembling (p. 9)
  • bargain (p. 12)
  • encouragement (p. 13)
  • command (p. 19)
Student Activity Page
Reading and Questions
Ask your child to read Chapter 1 in the book and then ask her the following questions.

Discuss the fact that the weather can be dangerous and harmful to people and even animals. Explain that in the event of a tornado, the safest place to be is a cellar or basement.
  1. Can you summarize (tell me what happens in) Chapter 1?
    Answers will vary but may include the following: a twister comes onto the farm and the family must hide in a storm cellar, Pete begins to tell a story.
  2. What is the problem in Chapter 1?
    There was a tornado.
  3. How would you feel if you saw a tornado? What would you do?
    Answers will vary.
  4. Can you name all the people in the cellar? Who is not in the cellar?
    Pete, the narrator, the narrator's 2 brothers, his mother (Beth) and grandmother. The narrator's father (Lincoln) is out in the cornfield.
  5. How would you describe the cellar?
    It is dim and cool and smells like potatoes and pickles.
  6. Why do you think Pete decides to tell a story while they are all in the cellar?
    Answers will vary.