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Natural Disasters – Year 5 and 6 unit

Subjects:

Art, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies  

Grades:

5, 6  

Title – Natural Disasters
By – Helen Whitechurch – Argot Library of Educational Resources
Subject – Science, Social Studies, Art, Language Arts
Grade Level – 5 and 6
Natural Disasters Unit Overview
KLAs: English, Human Society, Science and Information Skills
Timeframe: 10 weeks
Literary Text Types: Personal Response
Factual Text Types: Information Report; Procedural Recount; and Explanation
This unit focuses on the natural and community effects of natural disasters.

Natural Disasters
a unit for Years 5 and 6
  • Worksheets (Not available)
Unit Overview
KLAs: English, Human Society, Science and Information Skills Timeframe: 10 weeks
Literary Text Types: (This unit focuses on the hyper linked texts. Follow the link for details about these text types.)
Narrative; Literary Recount; Observation; Literary Description; Personal Response; Review
Factual Text Types:
Factual Description; Information Report; Procedure; Procedural Recount;
Factual Recount; Explanation; Exposition; Discussion

This unit focuses on the natural and community effects of natural disasters.
Students have three major and four minor tasks to complete:
Major Tasks

  • an independently constructed written narrative on the impact of a natural disaster on a community
  • an independently constructed written information report on one type of natural disaster
  • a jointly constructed poster to support aid to communities suffering from a natural disaster

Minor Tasks

    • a short oral information report on one type of natural disaster
      This is to gather the views of others in preparing the major written information report
    • an independent oral personal response to a news account of a natural disaster
    • a jointly construct written explanation of one type of natural disaster
    • an independently written procedural explanation about how to make a working model of a volcano

Talking and Listening activities focus on building the skills of group negotiation and place clear emphasis on oral presentation. As well they support and develop topic vocabulary and field knowledge.

Reading activities review and build on information skills, using both written and screen-based texts.

Written activities review narratives, information reports, procedural explanations and explanations, focusing on purpose, structure and some grammatical features.
Students also examine the visual and textural features of persuasion through the design and production of an appeal poster.

Resources
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Print material

  • Great Disasters (Wayland)
  • Natural Disasters J. Brian (Magic Bean In-Fact series)
  • Volcanoes Norman Barrett (Franklin Watts)
  • Volcanoes and Earthquakes Terry Jennings (Oxford University Press)
  • Weather (Collins Eyewitness Guide)
  • Wild Weather (Macmillan)
Videos

  • Volcanoes (Classroom Video)
  • Weather presented by Mike Bailey (Education AV video)

Knowledge and Understandings: Content Strand
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Science Stage 3: There are many physical phenomenon which change the environment
HSIE Stage 3: Interactions between people and environments
  • students jointly construct an explanation of a natural disaster
  • students identify features of environments that affect communities
Knowledge and Understandings: Learning Processes
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Science Stage 3: Evaluate social and environmental costs and benefits of technological activities
HSIE Stage 3: Identify ways people interact with environments to satisfy needs and wants
  • students investigate use of technology to protect against natural disasters
Skills
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Science Stage 3: Report on social and environmental costs and benefits of familiar technology
HSIE Stage 3: Initiative investigations, identify, gather, analyze, organize, synthesize and apply information and reflect to investigate social and environmental impacts of natural disasters
  • students design posters to support aid to communities suffering from a natural disaster
Values and Attitudes
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Science Stage 3: Be curious about and appreciate the natural environment
HSIE Stage 3: Recognize the interdependence of people and the environment
  • students construct an information report on one type of natural disaster
English Stage 3:
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Talking and Listening
  • 3.2 Interacts productively and with autonomy in pairs and groups of various sizes and composition, uses effective oral presentation skills and strategies and listens attentively
  • 3.3 Discusses ways in which spoken language differs from written language and how spoken language varies according to different contexts
  • students give a brief prepared personal response to a news account of a natural disaster
  • students present a short prepared information report on a type of natural disaster, giving factual, organized and relevant information
Reading
  • 3.5 Reads independently an extensive range of texts with increasing content demands and responses to themes and issues
  • 3.6 Uses efficiently an integrated range of skills and strategies when reading and interpreting written texts
  • 3.8 Identifies the text structure of a wider range of more complex text types and discusses how the characteristic grammatical features work to influence readers’ and viewers’ understanding of texts
  • students gather, interpret and record relevant information resources from a wide variety of print and screen-based sources using several strategies: – skimming, scanning, using indexes, glossaries, table of contents, headings, captions, key words, search tools
  • students recognize text types and comment on how various texts present information
  • students identify and explain the role of features such as chapters, sub-headings, paragraphs, captions, word chains and noun groups
Writing
  • 3.12 Produces texts in a fluent and legible style and uses computer technology to present these in a variety of ways
  • 3.13 Critically analyses own texts in terms of how well they have been written, how effectively they present the subject matter and how they influence the reader
  • 3.14 Critically evaluates how own texts have been structured to achieve their purpose and discusses ways of using related grammatical features and conventions of written language to shape readers’ and viewers’ understanding of texts
  • students sequence mixed explanations; highlight grammatical structures; and investigate and discuss how posters and screen-based texts differ from more traditional print texts
  • students independently construct a narrative the impact of a natural disaster on a community
  • students jointly construct an explanation of one type of natural disaster
  • students independently construct an information report on one type of natural disaster using appropriate paragraphing, topic sentences and graphical devices
  • students independently write a procedural explanation about how to make a working model of a volcano

Go to Learning Activities

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