Nonstop Lightning! Lesson Plan

Academic Standards


Reading Objective:

Children will discover the place that scientists found gets the most lightning on Earth.


Science Focus:



ELA Skills:

key details, writing, vocabulary


Page 4 Skill:

use visuals



lightning, thunder, satellite



RI.2.1, RI.2.4, RI.2.10, L.2.1, W.2.8, SL.2.3


Guided Reading Level:



Lexile Level: 


Provide students with some background on extreme weather.


Build background knowledge (10 min.)

Watch our video “Wild Weather.” After children have finished watching the video, discuss the following questions:

  • What kind of weather can cause floods? (hurricanes)
  • What happens during a drought? (There is no rain for a long time.)
  • What is a blizzard? (a really big snowstorm)


Preview vocabulary (3 min.)

Next, play the online vocabulary slideshow. This issue’s featured words are lightning, thunder, and satellite

Set a purpose for reading (5 min.)

  • Pass out the issue, and discuss the cover. What would it be like to live in a place where there is lightning all the time?
  • Next, read the As You Read prompt on page 2: “Think about how scientists found the place with the most lightning.” Encourage children to think about this prompt as they read.

Read together (20 min.)

Pass out the Read and Think printable. Use it to check comprehension as you read the issue together, pausing to ask the questions. 

Assessment: Reading Checkpoint (15 min.)

Pass out the Reading Checkpoint to review key concepts from the issue and assess students’ proficiency on key nonfiction reading skills.

  • Use the online game show to gauge comprehension and reinforce the issue’s content. Students can play by themselves or in teams. For each question they answer correctly, they win a point.

You can use our printable worksheets to focus on important ELA skills. Here’s how.


ELA Focus: Vocabulary (15 min.)

  • Use the Word Work printable to deepen students’ understanding of the words lightning, thunder, and satellite..

Editor’s Pick: My Fast 5 W's and H! (15 min.)

  • The skill sheet The Lightning Round asks students to answer the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the article with a twist—they should do it as fast as they can! If you like, let kids work in pairs and use a stopwatch. They can take turns finding the information and writing it down.

ELA Focus: Be a Reporter! (15 min.)

  • The Wacky Weather Reporter skill sheet is perfect for dramatization. Have kids fill in the blanks, using the issue for reference. Then volunteers can take turns being TV meteorologists and reading the weather report. Back to you, Teach!

 Here are two past issues you can use to extend your lesson on wild weather:

  • The Day It Rained Fish!, March 2019. This issue tells about waterspouts that can cause fish and other animals to “rain” from the sky!
  • The Volcano That Stopped Summer, April 2020. This issue tells about “the year without a summer”—when a volcano in Indonesia caused an extreme cold snap right here in our country!

You can find a higher-Lexile-level and a lower-Lexile-level version of the article online here:

  • Higher Lexile level: 570L
  • Lower Lexile level: 510L