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Use this lesson when a natural disaster is in the news


Language Arts, Science  


6, 7  

Title – Surviving Natural Disaster
By – Jan Gubiotti
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Science
Grade Level – 6-7

Essential Question:

  • Define a natural disaster and identify examples.
  • What essential items does a person need to survive?


  • Students will discuss the needs of those who are in a fight for survival
  • Students will read a true story of teen survival so that they may increase their understanding of the difficulties of living through such an ordeal

    Learning Standards:

  • Students will use literature for information and understanding
  • Students will use language for social interaction
  • Students will demonstrate their understanding in written form


  • Teens 911: Snowbound, a collection of true survival stories by Deborah Morris
  • The short story Snowbound .

    Anticipatory Set:

  • Activate prior knowledge: Ask the students if they have ever been involved in a natural disaster of any kind. Allow students to raise their hands to name the type of natural disaster experienced. Think of the necessities of life you had to do without.
  • Turn to the person next to you and in one minute explain what happened to you.
  • Ask students to name someone who had a compelling story to tell the class and share.


  • Introduce the short story, Snowbound a true story re-told by Deborah Morris.
  • Explain that this is a true story of three boys lost in a snowstorm.
  • Explain that one way to remember information in a story is to take notes. On their own paper, ask them to list the items the boys needed but did not have during the storm. They will share their facts after the story.
  • Begin by reading the story aloud and choose an appropriate spot to stop and have the students silent read on their own.
  • Those who finish early should take the 15 question quiz at the end of the story and write answers on their own papers. They may check the correct answers at the end of the quiz when finished.


  • Students should compare their lists of items the boys needed with a partner next to them.
  • Discuss whether these are items that all victims of any natural disaster require. Are there others?
  • Students will write a reading response in their notebooks explaining possible solutions for surviving a natural disaster.

    E-Mail Jan Gubiotti !

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