1940 Armistice Day Storm
Wisconsinites experience many interesting weather events from season to season. Some of these events have gone down in history due to the phenomenal weather they produced, as well as the havoc they wreaked. The Armistice Day Storm of November 11, 1940 was one of those phenomenal events. This lesson will explore the path of the storm, and the destruction it brought along the way, particularly to the upper Mississippi River area and western Wisconsin. It will delve into the science behind the storm, explaining just how the Earth’s atmosphere could create such a monster. It will explore just how often storms of this magnitude occur, and if they can then be used as evidence of a changing climate.
Students will learn about the storm by hearing and reading firsthand accounts of people who experienced it. These personal experience narratives will bring to life the ways in which the storm affected individuals and distinct cultural groups, particularly hunters. As they develop an increased understanding of the cultural, technological and historical contexts by which to examine the storm, they’ll gain insight into why the storm affected the region and its people the way that it did.
The primary narrative in this lesson comes from former Wisconsin DNR game warden, Harold Hettrick, as he experienced the storm as a boy in Trempeleau, WI. As students listen to Hettrick’s story, they’ll not only learn details about the event and his personal experience, but also about what makes a good story. Hettrick is a skilled teller, using techniques such as repetition, emphasis, and imagery. Students will understand how and why he uses each, and through this, develop their own abilities to use such storytelling and communication skills.
Why were duck hunters one of the cultural groups hardest hit by the storm?
What are the qualities of narrative that a good storyteller might use?
How does the context in which a story is told affect the particular version the storyteller tells?
How do we make weather forecasts?
What are the key ways in which to calculate a region's climate?
How can climate data be depicted?
What is the science behind a personal experience story told or collected by the students?
- To understand how a specific cultural group, Upper Mississippi duck hunters, was affected by the Armistice Day storm of 1940.
- To identify cultural groups within students’ home community that are affected by severe weather.
- To build an appreciation for the art of storytelling.
- To recognize the qualities of a well-crafted story.
- To increase proficiency in oral communication skills.
- To understand weather variables and processes (specifically atmospheric pressure, temperature, wind direction/speed, and precipitation) and how they were used to predict, and later explain, the Armistice Day Storm of 1940.
- To comprehend information presented on various types of weather maps and graphs.
- To understand the difference between weather and climate.
- To understand and compute temperature mean, median, quartiles, climate variation, and create box plots and histograms that demonstrate this understanding.
- Folklore Analysis and Lessons
- Language Arts Analysis and Lessons
- Weather/Climate Analysis and Lessons
- Interdisciplinary Lessons
Standards and Benchmarks
|Grade 4||Grade 8||Grade 12|
|Language Arts:||A.4.1; A.4.2; A.4.3, A.4.4
|A.8.1; A.8.3; A.8.4;
B.8.1; E.8.1 F.8.1
|Social Studies:||A.4.1; A.4.2; A.4.5 B.4.1; B.4.3; B.4.8
||A.8.1; A.8.3; A.8.8
B.8.1; B.8.4 E.8.3
|Science:||A.4.1, A.4.2, A.4.3, A.4.5
B.4.2, B.4.2, B.4.3
C.4.1, C.4.2, C.4.3, C.4.4, C.4.5, C.4.6, C.4.7, C.4.8
D.4.1, D.4.3, D.4.4, D.4.5, D.4.7 E.4.5, E.4.6 G.4.1 H.4.3
|A.8.2, A.8.4, A.8.5, A.8.6, A.8.7
B.8.1, B.8.2, B.8.3, B.8.5, B.8.6
C.8.1, C.8.2, C.8.3, C.8.4, C.8.5, C.8.6, C.8.7, C.8.8, C.8.9, C.8.11 D.8.5, D.8.6 E.8.1, E.8.3 G.8.3 H.8.3
|A.12.3, A.12.4, A.12.7
C.12.1, C.12.3, C.12.4, C.12.5, C.12.7 D.12.11
|Mathematics:||A.4.1, A.4.2, A.4.3, A.4.4, A.4.5
E.4.1, E.4.2, E.4.3
|A.8.1, A.8.2, A.8.3, A.8.4, A.8.6
E.8.1, E.8.2, E.8.3, E.8.4
|A.12.1, A.12.2, A.12.4, A.12.5