ALEX Lesson Plan


Masters of Disaster (High School)

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Paige Craig
System: Madison County
School: Buckhorn High School
Author:Davina Mann
System: Madison County
School: Owens Cross Roads School
Author:Keith George
System: Alabama Department of Education
School: Alabama Department of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 32647


Masters of Disaster (High School)


Students will research natural disasters and their impact on people.  They will work in teams to design a disaster preparedness guide to share with the community to reduce the impact of a natural disaster utilizing various creativity apps on the iPad.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC (9-12) Earth and Space Elective
3. Explain how weather patterns affect climate.
  • Explaining characteristics of various weather systems, including high and low pressure areas or fronts
  • Interpreting weather maps and symbols to predict changing weather conditions
  • Identifying technologies used to obtain meteorological data
  • SC (9-12) Geology Elective
    14. Explain the interaction of the continuous processes of waves, tides, and winds with the coastal environment.
  • Identifying the impact of periodic weather phenomena on coastal regions
  • Examples: hurricanes destroying sand dunes, El Niño or La Niña redefining shorelines
  • Identifying the positive and negative impact of humans on coastal regions
  • Examples:
    positive—shoreline protection,
    negative—buildings replacing protective dunes and barriers
    TC2 (9-12) Computer Applications
    6. Utilize advanced features of multimedia software, including image, video, and audio editing.
    TC2 (9-12) Computer Applications
    12. Use digital tools to publish curriculum-related content.
    Examples: Web page authoring software, coding software, wikis, blogs, podcasts
    SC2015 (9-12) Earth and Space Science
    15. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to verify that weather (e.g., temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, dew point, adiabatic cooling, condensation, precipitation, winds, ocean currents, barometric pressure, wind velocity) is influenced by energy transfer within and among the atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere.
    a. Analyze patterns in weather data to predict various systems, including fronts and severe storms.
    b. Use maps and other visualizations to analyze large data sets that illustrate the frequency, magnitude, and resulting damage from severe weather events in order to predict the likelihood and severity of future events.

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will:

    • collaborate with others to complete a project
    • use critical thinking skills to solve real world problems
    • communicate effectively with others
    •  be able to explain how weather patterns affect climate

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

    Essential Question:  How can we plan and prepare to minimize the impact on people in the unfortunate event of a natural disaster? 

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    Greater than 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Masters of Disaster Project Rubric (attached)

    Masters of Disaster Project Requirements Handout for Students (attached)

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Internet Access

    iPad2 or higher, at least one per student group

    iMovie App

    iMovie App Tutorial:

    Inspiration Maps Lite App

    Inspiration Maps Lite App YouTube Video Tutorial:

    Google Forms Tutorial: 


    Teacher should be familiar with a recent disaster that occurred either near enough, or was newsworthy enough, to use as a point of reference for the students (Remember when. . .)

    Students and teacher should be familiar with the process of taking video with the iPad.

    Students and teacher should be familiar with iPad apps iMovie and Inspiration Maps Lite, as well as Google Forms.


    1.  The teacher will introduce the unit by showing a short video clip related to a type of disaster. An example video is the video "Extreme Weather: Tornadoes 101". If other types of disasters are more common or have occurred more recently, consider one of the following:

    2.  Follow the video with a teacher-led discussion that explores the experiences of the students related to disasters.

    • What disasters have occurred in the lives of the students?
    • What were the results and effects of the disaster?
    • Were there any injuries?

    3.  Wrap up the discussion with the introduction of the essential question: How can we plan and prepare to minimize the impact on people in the unfortunate event of a natural disaster?

    4.  Challenge students to create a product (ex: Public Service Announcement) to be shared with the entire community that will educate residents on what to do in advance of a disaster to minimize the effects.  Inform them that they will need to create a product that can be shared easily and one that will work on a variety of devices.

    5.  Introduce (or reintroduce) the iMovie app.  Remind students of the process of recording video using the iPad.  For a brief, but step-by-step tutorial of iMovie, go to

    6. Allow students to select a type of disaster that they wish to educate others about.  Provide them with the Masters of Disaster Product Rubric as well as the requirements outlined below.

    7.  Students will utilize print and electronic sources to gather and evaluate the latest information regarding the possible effects on their community in the event of a disaster of the type selected.  Students will outline these possibilities and research the best preventative measures and identify all possible preparations that could be made to reduce the negative effects.  Students will use Inspiration Maps Lite, a concept mapping tool, to create an organizer to plan the topics to be included in their final product.  A tutorial video for Inspiration Maps Lite can be found here.

    8. Students will identify, contact and interview an expert in a field related to their chosen topic.  The interview could be related to background information or could be included as part of the preparedness efforts.  The research gathered will be converted into a script that could be included in iMovie, or used in the text content that accompanies the iMovie video.

    9.  Students will use the iPad to create, gather and organize all video, photo, text, and audio elements of the project.

    10.  Students will use the iMovie app and the resources gathered to create a project that includes the following:

    • The end product will be a minimum of four minutes and a maximum of six minutes in length.
    • The product will include text captions.
    • The content of the product must be up-to-date, accurate, and informative.
    • The purpose of the product is to inform the community of the possibility of the disaster, the negative effects of the disaster, and the preparation efforts that could be completed in advance to minimize these negative effects.
    • The sources of information contained in the product must be cited and available as a print resource to accompany the product.

    11.  Students will share the product with one other team for peer review, and evaluate the feedback provided to make improvements and/or changes.

    12.  Students will produce a final copy of the product in iMovie format and share it with the teacher for electronic distribution to the community.

    13.  Students will create a short survey using Google Forms that will be provided electronically to community members to complete.  This survey should include no more than five questions designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the product just as might occur in the workplace. (A tutorial on creating Google Forms can be found here.)

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    Assessment Strategies

    Students will be assessed throughout the project on their ability to work well together and to effectively solve the presented problem.  

    The product will be reviewed by a peer group during the creation process with each group having the opportunity to make additions, deletions and/or corrections.

    The final product will be evaluated by the teacher using the Masters of Disaster Product Rubric (attached).

    After presentation to the community, the community members will be asked to complete a short survey on the effectiveness of the product.


    Students that display mastery of any aspect of the project will be encouraged to extend the project by incorporating additional resources or providing the end product in additional formats (create a podcast based on the product, create additional print materials, etc.).


    Teams will be determined by the teacher taking into account the strengths and weaknesses of each student.

    Tutorials are available for the iMovie App, Inspiration Maps Lite App and Google Forms.

    Project timeline may be extended.

    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.