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Povertys Contribution to Disaster Risk

Teacher: Melissa Pattison
Grade: 8th
Subject: Social Studies
AZ Science Standard, Grade 8, Strand 3: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives, Concept 1:
Changes in Environments, PO 1: Analyze the risk factors associated with natural, human
induced, and/or biological hazards, including: waste disposal of industrial chemicals and
greenhouse gases.
Arizonas College and Career Ready Standards, Mathematics 8.F.B.5. Describe qualitatively the
functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph
Lesson Overview
In this lesson students will explore poverty as a contributing factor to disaster risk. They will do
so through analyzing real world data. Students will review what they know about natural hazards
and poverty through an initial discussion and hypothesize connections between the two. They
will watch a video and read an article that will aid them in identifying why countries living in
poverty are often more at risk for disasters. Students will gain an understanding that a country
who makes sustainable choices is at a lower risk of experiencing disasters from natural hazards.
Students will also learn that if the world as a whole makes sustainable choices and helps fight
poverty then the impact of natural hazards globally could decrease.
SWBAT identify poverty as a proportional relationship to disaster risk by analyzing world data
and creating graphs of their own.
SWBAT underline the link between poverty and vulnerability to disaster by researching past
hazards in developing countries.
Formative- Student actively participated in discussion and sharing of ideas in both the video and
Summative- Student has filled out answers on the graph worksheet with explanations that show
deep thinking.
Filler Assignment: At the end of the lesson, students will use Gap Minder to create a graph
relating information from the Environment- Disasters index versus Economy or Infrastructure.
Students will do a paragraph write-up explaining how their graph shows a connection between
natural hazard risks and poverty. They will describe three solutions to lessoning the effects of
these hazards in poor countries.

Prior Knowledge
The following two questions will be reviewed in a class discussion at the beginning of the lesson
since this part of the unit follows directly after the others:
What are natural hazards?
In day 1 of the unit students worked in collaborative groups to make informative posters about
natural hazards. They chose a type of hazard from a hat and researched the effects the hazard had
on people, a country, the causes of the hazard (how they occur), and where they occur. They
presented their findings to the class.
What is poverty?
In day 2 of the unit students identified factors of poverty, including what leads to it and the longterm and short-term effects by watching video clips from Edutopias Five-Minute Film Festival:
Teaching Kids about Global Poverty and researching poverty in a country of their choice.
Time: 45 Minutes

Our World in Data Worksheet (provided below)

Class computers for research and graph creation
Index Cards
Pencils and paper
Butcher paper and markers
White board and dry erase markers visible to entire class
5 minute Video: Climate Change, Natural Disasters and the Urban Poor (technology to
play it, i.e. smart board)
Class Set of Newspaper Article: A tale of two huge quakes, and why Haitis was worse
Developing Countries- poor countries that are often agriculture based who are not as
economically advanced as countries like China and the US, not industrialized
Gross Domestic Income- the sum of all income earned while producing goods and
services within a nation's borders
Multidimensional Poverty Index- identifies multiple deprivations at the household and
individual level in health, education and standard of livingreflects both the prevalence
of multidimensional deprivation, and its intensity (how many deprivations people
experience at the same time).
Essential Questions
What factors contribute to disaster risk?
Why are wealthier countries less effected by natural disasters?

Teacher Will
A. Pass out one index card to each
student. Give directions for
students to write down answers to:
1. What topics have we gone over
the past two days?
2. What is one thing you found
interesting about each topic
and why?
Cold call on students to give
their responses. This is how
prior knowledge will be
B. Ask students: How can these two
topics be related? Give wait time
before having students discuss
ideas with a partner, then come
back as a whole group to discuss
ideas. In the whole class
discussion take ideas from
volunteers and write ideas on the
C. Teacher will introduce YouTube
video: Climate Change, Natural
Disasters and the Urban Poor.
Script could be as follows: Now
we are going to watch a short five
minute video that addresses this
question. It is given from the
perspective of people who live in
poverty and who have been
effected by hazards. Take note of
how the ideas presented from the
video compare to what we just
discussed in class.
After video has finished, give
students wait time to reflect on
content from the video. Have
students, volunteers or chosen if
no one participates, come up and
add new ideas on the board to the
list from above.

Students Will
A. Write their responses on the index card.
The lesson topics of the prior days were
natural hazards and poverty. Suitable
answers would include a type of hazard, a
specific event in history a natural disaster
took place, the effects of poverty, or
which countries experience poverty.
Answers to the second question will vary
as interests are unique to each student.
One student may think that the specific
countries are interesting because they
never researched them or a student may
find a particular hazard interesting
because they experienced it for
Students will share ideas aloud as they are
called on. Cold calling assesses learning
of all students and holds them
individually accountable as they do not
have a say of who is chosen to respond.
B. Students will Think-Pair-Share by first
having a minute and then sharing ideas
with a partner. Some students may not see
a connection right away. In the class
discussions students can share their
partners ideas: I thought so-and-so had a
good idea s/he said that it costs money to
give relief to countries effected by
hazards and that money may have been
intended for something else like
C. Watch video and take mental or written
note of the ideas that are presented from
the video and not already written on the
board, write these ideas on the board
using specific examples from the video.
D. Students will popcorn read the article.
In small groups (3-4) students will
brainstorm on a piece of butcher paper
answers to the essential question.

Cooperative grouping fosters

collaboration, enhances achievement,
builds reasoning and critical thinking
skills, and increases learning

D. Pass out newspaper article: A tale

of two huge quakes, and why
Haitis was worse (one per
student). We just watched a video
and now we are going to do some
reading. While reading keep in
mind the essential question: Why
are wealthier countries less
effected by natural disasters?

Students simply have to write the

difference between the risk of hazards on
developed vs underdeveloped countries
using information from the article and the
video (the vocabulary should come
naturally). Answers will vary but may
include: Developed countries have better
access to the kinds of resources that
predict when hazards will occur (warning
systems), they have more means of
educating what to do when a hazard
strikes, have more crisis centers and tools
to cope and rebuild after the destruction,
as well as they have adequate financial

At the end of the reading pass out

butcher paper and markers.
Teacher should use flexible
grouping and choose the groups as
to allow students to engage with
others they may otherwise not
ever, helps build social skills, and
supports differentiated learning.
E. Pass out Our World in Data
worksheet and assign for
homework (see below). There are
only four questions so it should not
take very long if they were paying
attention in class.

Filler activity, if more time is evident.

F. Allow students to log on to the
computers and experiment with
Gap Minder. Incorporating
technology is a best practice
because it allows students to use
tools to expand their knowledge in
a hands-on, interactive way. We
are in a technology age after all.

If time permits, students will present their

posters to the class.
E. Complete worksheet at home and bring
back the following day. This assignment
allows for further reflection of the topic as
it presents hazards and poverty in terms of

On individual computers go to
Click on Gapminder World
Choose indicators as subcategories of
Economy and Environment.
Select specific countries to view
Press play to view the development over
Screen shot the map and paste it in to a
word document. In the document provide
a write up answering: How does this
graph demonstrate the relationship
between hazard risk and poverty?
Answers will vary depending on the graph
the student created.

Save this in to the class drop box.

Example student response:

My graph demonstrates that poor countries have

less improved sanitation. This can be problematic
when hazards strike because if there is no waste
management implemented sewage can end up in
the street. This can make people sick and poor
countries do not have the funds in health care to
provide adequate services to those that are sick.
Improving sanitation in poor countries is one way
to reduce the effects of natural hazards.

Bajak, F. (2010, February 27). A tale of two huge quakes, and why Haitis was worse.
The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 11, 2015, from
World Bank. (2011, June 2). Climate Change, Natural Disasters and the Urban Poor
[Video file]. Retrieved April 11, 2015, from
Roser, M. (2015). Natural Catastrophes. Retrieved April 11, 2015, from
Rosling. (2005, February 25). Gapminder. Retrieved April 11, 2015, from
Frequently Asked Questions - Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). (n.d.). Retrieved
April 11, 2015, from

Connection to Systems Thinking

In the beginning of this unit students analyzed the earths processes and the cycle of poverty, but
as two disconnected systems. This lesson requires students to use systems thinking in order to
connect the two ideas. They should recognize that one system is influenced by the other. There

are many working parts that contribute to making an area poor and therefore more vulnerable
to damage from natural hazards. In this portion of the lesson students look at how if the world
does not change its course to be more sustainability, poverty and effects of natural hazards will
only worsen.

Our World in Data Worksheet
Directions: Use the figures to answer the corresponding sentences. Use complete sentences.
Points will be marked down for answers that do not demonstrate reflection.
Figure 1.

1. What does the axis on the

graph stand for?

2. Which countries have higher

deaths due to natural causes?
Why is this?

Figure 2.

3. What has happened over

time? Why?

4. Will this trend continue?

Source: Roser, M. (2015). Natural Catastrophes. Retrieved April 11, 2015, from

Answer Key:
1. The y-axis is the Multidimensional Poverty Index and the x-axis is the amount of deaths
in millions due to environmental causes. The graph shows the correlation between these
two for various countries including China and Rwanda.
2. Countries that are higher on the multidimensional poverty index experience more deaths
due to environmental causes. As we discussed in class this is most likely because they do

not have the infrastructure to resist the damage from natural hazards. They also do not
have adequate aid or hospitalization.
3. The global death rate due to natural catastrophes has decreased over time. As we
discussed in class it could because countries are becoming more developed and we are
designing technologies to predict the impending hazard and move people safely away.
4. This trend will not continue if we do not do something to lift countries out of poverty.
Countries that are poor are still experiencing death from hazards because they do not
have the resources to protect themselves.

Example of what ideas could be presented on the board to relate hazard risk and poverty,
some of which are identified in the video and article:

Created from