A Venn Diagram is a graphic organizer that you can use to compare and contrast two (or more) items.  When you compare, you are looking for how things are the same.  When you contrast, you are looking for how things are different.

     Overlapping circles are used in a Venn Diagram. Each circle represents one item. The area in the middle is what the two items have in common. 

    Read the articles below.  After reading them, we will pull information out to place on a Venn Diagram.  As you read each article, think about the characteristics of tornadoes and hurricanes.  Think about how they are the same (compare) and different (contrast). Pay special attention to the highlighted sentences and phrases.



ornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Tornadoes must always be taken seriously. Tornadoes can be very dangerous -- sometimes even deadly.

Tornadoes form over land.  They come from powerful thunderstorms.  They look like funnel-shaped clouds. Their strong rotating winds can reach 300 miles per hour. They cause damage when they touch down on the ground. They can damage an area one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk, but states in "Tornado Alley" have the highest risk. Tornadoes can form any time of the year, but the season runs from March to August.

The ability to predict tornadoes is limited. Usually a community will have at least a few minutes warning. The most important thing to do is TAKE SHELTER when a tornado is nearby.



urricanes are severe tropical storms that form over water.  They form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes gather heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters. Hurricanes can be tracked and predicted.

Hurricanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction around an "eye." Hurricanes have winds from 74 to over 155 miles per hour. When they come onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds and heavy waves can damage buildings, trees and cars. The heavy waves are called a storm surge. Storm surges are very dangerous and a major reason why you MUST stay away from the ocean during a hurricane warning or hurricane.  Sometimes tornadoes can form as a result of the thunderstorms in a hurricane.  

     Did you notice the blue highlighted areas in both articles?  These are how hurricanes and tornadoes are similar.  These things are listed in the overlapping area of a Venn Diagram.

   Did you notice the pink highlights in the first article?  These items are qualities found in a tornado.  The green highlights are those found in a hurricane.  

     Now, we are going to place these lists on the Venn Diagram. 



     The articles used above were adapted from the FEMA website.  For more information about hurricanes and tornadoes, visit the following website:

FEMA for Kids

©2001 Anna Lombardo
Oswego City School District

Copyright © 2001-2011  Oswego City School District
 Elementary Test Prep Center