ALEX Lesson Plan


Be Prepared! You're the Teacher--How Will You Teach Others to be Prepared for an Emergency?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Charissa Smith
System: Alabama Department of Education
School: Alabama Department of Education
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33925


Be Prepared! You're the Teacher--How Will You Teach Others to be Prepared for an Emergency?


Students will create a commercial, song, poster or skit to inform others about what to do to prepare for a natural disaster.  Students will complete an online activity about disaster preparedness.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 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

Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, Geography
Course Title: Geographical and Historical Studies: People, Places, and Regions
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Investigate and explain ways to prepare for natural disasters.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • flood-prone areas
  • earthquake insurance
  • flood insurance
  • hurricane shelters
  • tornado shelters
  • emergency
  • evacuation routes
Students know:
  • Appropriate ways to prepare for natural disasters in order to minimize negative effects.
  • Vocabulary: flood prone areas, earthquake insurance, flood insurance, hurricane shelters, tornado shelters
Students are able to:
  • Establish an emergency plan.
Students understand that:
  • There are appropriate ways to prepare for natural disasters in order to minimize negative effects.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.3.9- Participate in a classroom discussion about different types of natural disasters and ways to prepare for them.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

I can explain how to prepare for an emergency.  

I can create a video or visual to demonstrate to others how to prepare for disasters.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Pencils, Crayons, and Paper

Chart Paper or Dry-Erase Board/Chalkboard

Technology Resources Needed:

Internet-Enabled Device 

Device with Camera and Video-Recording Capabilities

Interactive Whiteboard (optional)


The teacher should be aware of the background of students and know if they have experienced an emergency in their lives and be careful not to make these students more anxious.



The teacher can play this video clip of a smoke detector.  The teacher can then ask the students if they know what that sound means (get out there's a fire!).  The class can have an open discussion of what to do if there is a fire at home or at school.  The teacher can make an anchor chart either on an Interactive Whiteboard, chart paper, or dry erase board of the steps to take in a fire.


The teacher can tell students that we don't want a fire to happen, but we should be ready and know what to do.  What is an emergency?  Call on several students to share.  What are some emergencies we might have in our area?  Remind students that emergencies can not be planned for, but we can be prepared when they happen.

The best thing for an emergency is to be prepared ahead of time and remain calm.  One way to be prepared is to have an emergency kit.  Another way to be prepared is to have a safe place to go in bad weather.    

Turn and talk to your partner:  What do you think is the most important thing to have in an emergency kit?

The teacher can call on students to share what they think is most important to have in an emergency kit and list them on the board or Interactive White Board.

Allow students time to make a list of ways to prepare for an emergency that will force you out of your homes such as a flood, tornado, or fire or a list of things to have packed in an emergency kit.  Give students 2-3 minutes to brainstorm and write their ideas down.

Lead the students in an open discussion and make a class list of how to be prepared for an emergency. 

This list might include some of the following:

  • Phone numbers of family members written down (cell phones might not work)
  • A safe place to meet
  • What to do if you can't find your Mom or Dad
  • Prepare and know where an emergency kit is in your house
  • Make an emergency kit for in the car
  • Bring your favorite stuffed animal to comfort you
  • Go to a storm shelter or safe place

The teacher will tell students that they are going to be teachers today and teach others about what to do in an emergency.  They can choose how they want to present their information.  The choices include a commercial, a skit, a song, or a poster.

Divide the students into pairs or groups of 3 or 4.  Students can work in table groups or divide each table into pairs (assuming tables are groups of 4 or 6).  

After students have written their ideas down, instruct them to choose one of the presentation options (commercial, skit, song, or poster).  Give each group a requirement list to use as they work.

Allow students time to create their presentation.  When all groups are finished, allow students to present to the class.

Students may also visit the FEMA website for ideas on what to include.


As students finish, allow them to visit the Disaster Master Game or Build a Kit Game.

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Assessment Strategies

The teacher can use observation as the students work in groups to complete their project.

The teacher may also use the requirement list for students to assess their completed project.


If a student has completed the activity, they can be allowed to make a newspaper ad for an emergency kit. They will decide what needs to be in the kit and how much to charge for it.


Students who are struggling may be allowed to work in smaller groups with a peer tutor. 

Students may be given fewer requirements so that they are successful at the assignment.

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.