Article
Gary Hanna

The Evil Swirling Darkness

The gripping true story of one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history

By Lauren Tarshis
From the October 2015 Issue

Learning Objective: to analyze how an author and a poet tell a story

Lexiles: 1000L
Other Key Skills: interpreting text, inference, text evidence, mood, compare and contrast, text features, figurative language
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Activities (8)
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Answer Key (1)
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Answer Key (1)
Step-by-Step Lesson Plan

Close Reading, Critical Thinking, Skill Building

1. PREPARING TO READ

2. READING AND DISCUSSING 

3. READING THE POEM

4. SKILLS FOCUS

Differentiated Writing Prompts
For Struggling Readers

In a well-organized paragraph, explain why the 2011 Joplin tornado was so destructive.

For Advanced Readers

Why is it important to continue studying tornadoes? What would be the value of having a better understanding of them? Answer both questions in a short essay. Use the article and poem to support your answer. You may also draw on a third text of your choice.

Literature Connection: Other curricular survival stories

 Blizzard 
by  Jim Murphy

 Hatchet 
by  Gary Paulsen

 “The Open Boat” 
by  Stephen Crane

Text-to-Speech