A Flash of Lightning: Lesson Plan

Watch the video to learn about the ways lightning storms form and can be predicted in North Carolina, the sixth-ranked state in lightning fatalities over the past 15 years.

UNC-TV Media

Alignment to NC Essential Standards

  • 7.E.1.3 — Explain the relationship between the movement of air masses, high and low pressure systems, and frontal boundaries to storms (including thunderstorms, hurricanes and tornadoes) and other weather conditions that may result.



Watch the Seasonal Science video How do Hurricanes Form? Then, discuss with students the most significant storm they remember experiencing. Ask them if they’ve ever been warned about a storm that was not as severe as was predicted.


Have students watch, and share notes on, the Severe Storms video from PBS LearningMedia.


Additional Links:


Discussion Questions:

  1. List the three conditions that lead to the development of severe storms.
  2. Define “unstable air.”
  3. Why is ice required in order for lightning to form? (From the video)
  4. When multiple thunderstorms form near each other in an area over warm ocean water, a _________________ can occur.