ALEX Lesson Plan


Preparing for Natural Disasters

You may save this lesson plan to your hard drive as an html file by selecting "File", then "Save As" from your browser's pull down menu. The file name extension must be .html.

  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Jill Brookes
System: Calhoun County
School: Saks Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 16881


Preparing for Natural Disasters


This social studies lesson provides information and safety tips for different natural disasters. It integrates technology, writing, and art activities. The included slideshow may be presented to the whole group, or students may navigate it independently or in small groups.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
TC2 (3-5)
2. Use various technology applications, including word processing and multimedia software.
  • Using navigational features commonly found in technology applications
  • Identifying digital file types
  • TC2 (3-5)
    8. Collect information from a variety of digital sources.
    Examples: online libraries, multimedia dictionaries
  • Using technology tools to organize information
  • Demonstrating efficient Internet search strategies
  • Example: keyword search
  • Evaluating electronic resources for reliability based on publication date, bias, accuracy, and source credibility
  • ELA2015 (3)
    23. Write informative or explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. [W.3.2]
    a. Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension. [W.3.2a]
    b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details. [W.3.2b]
    c. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information. [W.3.2c]
    d. Provide a concluding statement or section. [W.3.2d]
    ELA2015 (3)
    25. With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 22-24 above.) [W.3.4]
    ELA2015 (3)
    34. Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace. [SL.3.4]
    ELA2015 (3)
    38. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. [L.3.2]
    a. Capitalize appropriate words in titles. [L.3.2a]
    b. Use commas in addresses. [L.3.2b]
    c. Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue. [L.3.2c]
    d. Form and use possessives. [L.3.2d]
    e. Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness). [L.3.2e]
    f. Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words. [L.3.2f]
    g. Write legibily in cursive. (Alabama)
    h. Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings. [L.3.2g]
    SS2010 (3) Geographic and Historical Studies: People, Places, and Regions
    9. Identify ways to prepare for natural disasters.
    Examples: constructing houses on stilts in flood-prone areas, buying earthquake and flood insurance, providing hurricane or tornado shelters, establishing emergency evacuation routes

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will design a disaster supply kit and create a disaster preparedness plan for their families.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    61 to 90 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Art supplies, large sheets of paper

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Computers with Internet access, LCD projector (optional - for whole-group slideshow presentation), Macromedia Flash Player 6 (free download), word processing software, presentation software


    1.)Introduce a class discussion of natural disasters by discussing tornadoes with students. Instruct students to describe their feelings about tornadoes and share personal experiences. Guide students to create a semantic map dealing with tornadoes and how they affect people.

    2.)Inform students that tornadoes are one of many natural events that affect humans. Guide the class to generate a list of other natural disasters. Inform them that today's lesson will focus on natural disasters, how they affect people, and how people can best prepare for them.

    3.)Guide students to explore natural disasters through the attached slideshow presentation. If the lesson is presented to the whole group, discuss each disaster and the links that accompany it. If students explore the presentation independently or in small groups, provide support and assistance as needed.

    4.)Review and discuss each natural disaster. Instruct students to describe orally the effects of each disaster on humans. Ask them to identify ways that humans can protect themselves before, during, and after natural disasters. Instruct the class to list specific tools and materials that can help people survive natural disasters.

    5.)Display the last slide of the presentation. Inform students that they will need to complete both of the assignments listed. Discuss the instructions for each.
    Family Disaster Plan:
    Instruct students to choose one natural disaster that they will use in creating a family disaster plan.
    Guide students to brainstorm necessary steps that they would need to take to survive the disasters. Using group input, model-write an example on the board. Guide students through the writing process to complete their paragraphs.
    Use the link below as a guide.
    Disaster Survival Kit:
    Distribute large pieces of paper and instruct students to design and illustrate a disaster survival kit. Remind students to include the tools, materials, and supplies that would be most beneficial to them during a natural disaster.
    Instruct students to list the reasons why they chose to include each item in their kits.
    For each assignment, allow students to review the presentation and websites as needed.
    (The Writing Process)
    This site reviews the writing process and shows grade level writing samples.

    6.)Allow students to share their paragraphs and kits with the rest of the class. Discuss the elements of disaster preparedness included in each presentation.

    **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

    Assessment Strategies

    The teacher will assess students' paragraphs and survival kits for accuracy, creativity, and content using the attached rubrics.





    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.