Natural DisastersQuestions to considerCurriculum – Framing Questions
Essential Question

  • How is the world changing?

Unit Questions
  • How do natural disasters impact on the environment?
  • How do natural disasters impact on humans?
  • How can we prepare for disasters?
  • How can communities benefit from natural disasters?
  • What strategies do communities have to cope with natural disasters?
  • Can we prevent natural disasters?
  • How can people survive natural disasters?
  • What causes natural disasters?
Content Questions
  • What are natural disasters?
  • Where do natural disasters occur?
  • Why do natural disasters occur?
  • How do scientists forecast natural disasters?
  • What happens when there is a natural disaster?
  • What do people do when a natural disaster occurs?
  • Do all communities react the same way to natural disasters?
  • How can we prevent the major effects of natural disasters?
  • What types of natural disasters occur in Australia?
  • What can I do to survive a natural disaster?
  • What natural disasters have occurred in Australia?
EMA Website with videos and activities
Tuning In Activities
View the movie

Investigating Activities
  • Use a Blooms Grid employed for students to select learning tasks. Refer to Blooms grid document as an example.
Blooms Grid of possible activities



  1. Make a list of natural disasters
  2. Describe a natural disaster.
  3. Make an A_Z of natural disaster words
  4. Make a glossary of twenty words.
  5. Make a word search.
1, Make a college for this theme.
  1. Make a flow chart of events causing a natural disaster.
  2. Mark on a world map sites of natural disasters.
  3. Read a related newspaper article and comment.
  4. Draw and label all the parts of a volcano.
  1. Construct a model to demonstrate how a volcano works.
  2. Make a diorama to illustrate a natural disaster.
  3. Illustrate some interesting information that you have read related to this topic.
  4. Write a fact book about this theme.
  5. Make a chart of the Beaufort scale and illustrate.
  1. Role play an interview of a survivor of a natural disaster.
  2. Research a particular natural disaster and present your findings to the grade.
  3. Present a chart of information.
  4. Write a poem.
  5. Role play a television report about a natural disaster.
  1. Write a newspaper report about a natural disaster.
  2. Investigate Cyclone Tracey and present your information in an interesting way.
  3. Investigate how disasters can be beneficial and present this information.
  4. Use Publisher to construct a newspaper front page after a natural disaster.
  1. Prepare a Power Point presentation about this theme.
  2. Use Kidpix to present an animation to show some information.
  3. Make a Hyper link presentation of information.
  4. Create a model and include an explanation.
  5. Make a paper mache model and include relevant information about a natural disaster.

  • Use strategies such as Tony Ryan’s Thinkers Keys to develop a grid to enable students to select learning tasks.

  • Students work in pairs to construct a model of a volcano using bicarbonate soda and vinegar. They describe the chemical reaction prior to using the mixture in their volcano and design a method to add the two substances to maximise the effect.
  • Construct a model of a natural disaster.
  • Interpret the simulation of a cyclone by using swirling water in connected bottles.
  • Map the location of world volcanic activity and relate it to earthquake zones.
  • Describe simply the use of scientific instruments and technologies, such as satellites, seismographs and weather balloons, in predicting weather patterns and natural events, such as earthquakes, cyclones, volcanic activity, tsunamis or severe storms.
  • Show the formation and activity of a volcano or cyclone by drawing, selecting and editing graphics to create images.
  • Report on the role of the Bureau of Meteorology in predicting and monitoring natural disasters.
  • Collect media articles relating to natural disasters and sort them according to the type of phenomena causing them.
  • Make a timeline of natural disasters in Australia.Conduct a school evacuation.
  • Write a newspaper article about a natural disaster.
  • Use the Digital Learning Resource CAW0029: Comic Creations to make a cartoon strip show showing how people respond to emergencies.

  • Develop a Rubrics assessment grid. Refer to the Disaster on Earth rubric document for an example.

Rubric Ideas

TOPIC: Disasters on Earth





Excellent and sophisticated work quality. Above the expected level.
Accomplished level of work. At the expected level.
Quality of work shows developing skills. Below expected level
Beginning level of work quality. No evidence.
Displays extensive knowledge about topic and uses it to evaluate or analyse information.
Displays broad knowledge of topic and is able to create based on topic knowledge.
Displays basic knowledge about topic.
Shows no knowledge of topic.
All work presented clearly and attractively. Use of a variety of formats including digital presentation, which may include voice recording or video clips.
Care taken with presentation. Format easy for audience to understand.
Little care taken in presentation. Text difficult to read. Very few illustrations or diagrams.
Did not complete project.
Figure 1: Digital Learning Resource CAW0029: Comic Creations

Summing up Activities
    • Create a Kahootz Xpression to show a before and after scenes of a natural disaster. These could include Tsunami, Volcanic eruption, Earthquake, floods, drought and Bushfire. Students select an appropriate world to develop their first scene. The sue swatching and adding objects to suit the scene required. The make changes to the scene by using swatching, adding and resizing objects. They could use Keypoint Object Animation to show how objects move as a result of the Natural Disaster.
Figure 2: Sample Kahootz 3D Xpression
    • Display and present models and other learning artefacts.
Internet resources Bureau of Meteorology website is informative for atmospheric effects is a comprehensive website for this unit. The Monash University Science site is a useful site

Survivor Interactives
Survival Scenarios
Ranking Activity
Maps for Kids
Build your own Island
Where the Wild Things Are
Draw Island
Exploring and What Makes up a Community
Survival Checklist