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Natural Disasters

Natural occurrences and their effects

ES S3.6
Recognises that the Earth is the source of most
materials and resources, and describes phenomena
and processes, both natural and human, that form
and change the Earth over time.
researches information on the causes and effects of
catastrophic events such as earthquakes and cyclones

INV S3.7
Conducts their own investigations and makes
judgments based on the results of observing,
questioning, planning, predicting, testing, collecting,
recording and analysing data, and drawing
researches information on the causes and effects of
catastrophic events such as earthquakes and cyclones
DM S3.8
Develops and resolves a design task by planning,
implementing, managing and evaluating design
plans and constructs a model and evaluates a system
designed to overcome wind or water erosion
UT S3.9
Evaluates, selects and uses a range of equipment,
computer-based technology, materials and other
resources to meet the requirements and constraints
of investigating and designing tasks.
Teaching & Learning Activities


# View the You Tube Clip - (Earth quake live cam).

This will
enable the children to experience what an
Earthquake may feel like.
Follow with an in-depth discussion on how they
felt when they
viewed it.

Brainstorm natural disasters categorise

them (Air, Water, Land, Weather, Earth etc.
(BLM 1)

Discussion What makes a natural

phenomenon become a disaster. E.g. Its
effect on the environment and people. Is an
earthquake in an unpopulated area or
cyclone in the middle of the ocean a
disaster? What disasters have or could occur
in Australia? ( BLM 9)

Learning Sequence 1

How does a natural disaster occur?

As a class investigate and discuss each type

of natural disasters and how each of them
occur. This will include information, diagrams
and experiments.
As follows:

Explain to students that the Earth has an outer layer
or crust. This crust is formed from a number of
separate thick plates of solid rock that sit on another
layer of the Earth, the mantle. The mantle consists of
hot molten rock called magma. The continents were
created by the movements of the plates coming
together and splitting apart. They are still moving
today. When plates run into each other, the
underground collision can cause the
ground above to move. When this happens, its
called an earthquake.

# Measuring earthquakes
How can the strength of an earthquake be
determined? With students, brainstorm methods of
measuring earthquakes, for example scientific
methods using the Richter scale or a seismograph.
Have students complete BLM 2 to show that they
understand some of the different ways of measuring
Web Site:

Explain how Tsunamis occur refer to fact sheet on
the website. This will also provide
definitions of the terms involved.

Hurricanes, cyclones, willy-willies and typhoons are
all storms with incredibly strong and powerful winds.

#Have students design their own tropical storm

warning poster. You might like to suggest that it
includes advice on how to prepare for a storm and
what to do when one hits.

# Cyclone In a bottle This involves a handson

experiment. Refer to resources for method.
# Brainstorm all they know about volcanoes.
Develop a concept map.
# Molten rock, ash and gas can rise out of the gaps
onto the surface.
The molten rock is known as lava. Volcanoes are
usually mountains
formed from the lava that has risen to the surface
of the Earth.
Like earthquakes, volcanoes are usually found
along the edge of huge
plates which make up the Earths crust. To further
understanding of volcanoes, ask students to
complete BLM 3.

# There are different ways of classifying volcanoes,

for example by
shape: shield, cinder cone,composite and lava
cone; by eruption:
Pelean, Vulcanian, Strombolian, Hawaiian and
Icelandic; or by
activity: dormant, active and extinct. There are
about 500 active
volcanoes in the world today. Complete BLM 4
# Complete BLM 5 together. Marking on a world
map the locations
of volcanoes around the world.
# Construct a volcanoe as a class. See volcano
demonstration. As a
Follow up activity have each student write a
procedure explaining the
Full procedure involved in the construction of the

Avalanches and landslides

# With students, discuss avalanches and landslides.
Establish that they
consist of an enormous mass of snow, rock or mud
that crashes
down from a mountain or a hillside at an
incredibly fast speed.
They can engulf and destroy entire villages in a
matter of minutes.
As students learnt earlier in this unit, landslides
and avalanches can
be triggered off by an earthquake, but there are
other reasons.
Discuss what these might be. Can people cause

(e.g. landslides might occur because of quarrying,

building roads,
deforestation or heavy rain.)

N.B For each of these explanations refer to fact

sheets in
Effects Of Natural Disasters
# Each child will be asked to select one specific
disaster that has occurred in the world and
complete an Information report that includes
where, when and the effect it has had on the
community in which it occurred.

# Invite a member of the local SES in to talk about

their work
recently with the floods.

#Read about some well-known natural disasters

and their effects.
(E.g. Pompei, Mt St Helens, San Fransisco
Earthquake, Sydney
Bushfires, PNG Tsunami, Cyclone Tracey)

#Write a response after watching a News Bulletin

about the effects
of a natural disaster on people.
#Discussion: Should we send aid to disaster victims
in other countries?
o What is our countrys responsibility?
o What is the individuals responsibility?
o How is the money raised?
Look at existing posters and discuss techniques
used by the writer to persuade people to donate.
Help a community suffering from a Natural
Disaster groups of two or three design a poster
(real or fictitious) to advertise the need for
support for the community.