Create a Tornado

Type of Lesson: Hands-on Activity

Time Needed: 20 minutes

Standards Addressed

MEGOSE EAW2 Describe weather conditions and climates.
MEGOSE EAW6 Describe patterns of changing weather and how they are measured.
MEGOSE EAW10 Explain and predict general weather patterns and storms.

Quick Summary of Lesson

Students will create a tornado in a bottle. This lesson would be a great intro to looking more deeply at tornadoes.


1) 2 empty 2-liter soda bottles, rinsed out and with labels removed
2) Black Marker
3) Rubber washer that is the same size as the bottle opening
4) Electrical tape
5) Water


1. Label each bottle with your black marker. Label one bottle "A" and the other "B".
2. Tape the washer to the mouth of bottle A. Do not cover the washer hole with tape.
3. Fill bottle A 3/4 full of water. Place bottle B upside down on top of bottle A. Tape the mouths of both bottles together.
4. Turn the bottles over such that bottle A is on top. Quickly swirl the bottles just like you would spin a hula hoop. Swirl them several times. Then place the bottles on a table. The water will start swirling down from bottle A to bottle B just like a tornado.

Notes to the Teacher

If at once this activity doesn't work, do have the students try step 4 again!

Need More Information? Try Using Windows to the Universe

Please use these links for further ideas or more information:
Tornado Alley
Tornado Chasers
Energy Density in Tornadoes
Tornado Forecasts
Tornado Formation
Tornado Lookouts
Tornado Myths
Tornado Safety
Tornado Sizes
Tornado Statistics
Tornado Warnings and Watches
More on weather
Last modified prior to September, 2000 by the Windows Team

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