Overview

Forces of Nature, an interdisciplinary lesson, focuses on natural disasters that are happening all over the world. After researching and mapping natural disasters, students create a survey about natural disasters for friends or family members. The information gathered from the survey and student research is used to create a digital presentation that answers the driving question "Where in the world is the safest place to live?"

Student Pages

Online Student Activity

Introduction

Forces of Nature, an interdisciplinary lesson, focuses on natural disasters that are happening all over the world. After researching and mapping natural disasters, students create a survey about natural disasters for friends or family members. The information gathered from the survey and student research is used to create a digital presentation that answers the driving question "Where in the world is the safest place to live?"

Student Outcomes

After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

Content Area and Grade Levels

Grade level: 4th & 5th Content Areas: Geography, Language Arts

Technology Usage

Resources

Online

Off-line

Materials

Preparation

Tasks

  1. Instruct students to brainstorm with a partner about natural disasters. Pairs will name at least five natural disasters and explain their destructive nature. As pairs share responses, record on a large chart. Elicit what they want to learn during this discussion and record these questions as well.
  2. Pose the driving question: "Given all the natural hazards, where in the world is the safest place to live?"
  3. Have students create a journal to record research.
  4. Pass out rubric to each group and explain expected tasks. Utilizing student input, create a legend for the class map. For example: blue-hurricanes, red-volcanoes, yellow-tornadoes, green-earthquakes. Post near class map and direct students to record in journals. Students use these symbols when creating their group map of natural disasters.
  5. After grouping students, instruct them to create a questionnaire asking for specific information about individual experiences with natural disasters.
  6. Students create and email the questionnaire to friends and relatives. Include in the questionnaire a request asking recipients to forward the questionnaire to others.
  7. As questionnaires are returned, students record in journals the information, and plot the locations and events on their individual maps.
  8. Students research to learn more about the destructive forces of nature and their locations. Information is recorded in journals.
  9. Students create a PowerPoint™ presentation that answers the question, "Where in world is the safest place to live?" Group answers include justifications based on research.
  10. Students present slide shows and group maps to class.
  11. Compile all group information and plot on classroom map.
  12. Encourage students to revise their opinions to the driving question based on new information.

Presentation

Each group presents one map that illustrates the results of their questionnaires as well as recent natural disasters in addition to a PowerPoint™ that answers the driving question.

Assessment

Create a rubric, either independently or with student input.

Downloading and Printing Files

These pages can be downloaded to your computer as files. Files can then be opened and printed. You can choose from two file formats:

Microsoft document format opens the files in Microsoft Word. You can make changes in the pages before printing them.

Acrobat Reader or Portable Document Format (pdf) opens the files in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Pages cannot be edited in this format. However, .pdf files are less likely to be distorted. Pages that contain graphics or large images look better in .pdf and print very nicely. For your convenience, Acrobat Reader can be accessed from this page.

Microsoft Word (.doc)

Forces of Nature -includes all materials and student pages.

Acrobat Reader (.pdf)

Forces of Nature -includes all materials and student pages.

About Acrobat Reader

Files in the .pdf format can be read using Acrobat Reader. Acrobat Reader is a free software. You can download and install it by clicking on the link below.

Standards