Modern-Day Natural Disasters

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11151

Has your parent said, "Your room looks like a tornado hit it!"? Watch a powerful video of a tornado, and read about other natural disasters, as you decide what can be done to prepare for these events!



learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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What would you do if this were in your backyard? Extreme up-close video of tornado near Wray, CO!

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What would you do in that moment? How would you plan long-term?

Natural disasters and their threat to people are not new, and these questions are the same questions humans have been asking for thousands of years.

Let's look at some of the dramatic natural disasters and figure out what, if anything, we can do about them.

"What a disaster!"

That's an exclamation we might make when a birthday party doesn't turn out the way we wanted, or when our favorite sports team loses badly. Certainly there are worse kinds of disasters than those.

  • How do we determine when something is truly a disaster?

Read the following two articles about natural disasters. As you read, consider the following questions:

  • What makes each of these situations a disaster?
  • What may be some of the complicating factors that worsen each disaster?
  • Would you consider one of these situations to be more serious than the other? Why or why not?

At least 89 dead from Joplin tornado that 'cut the city in half', by Kurt Voigt and Alan Scher Zagier, from the Southeast Missourian.

Race to reach Iran quake victims, from BBC News.

Reflect and share with a parent or teacher:

  • What makes each of these a disaster?
  • What natural disasters have you or your loved ones experienced in your lifetime?

Understanding the natural disasters of the past can help us plan for the future, and can help politicians and others answer the question, "What are the greatest threats, and what can we do about them?"

Continue on to the Got It? section to analyze some historical disasters.

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