Complete teaching bundles for incredible prices

How To Teach Natural Phenomena With Natural Disaster Games

Enhance your teaching with natural disaster games! Spark student interest and critical thinking skills in an engaging way.
Enhance your teaching with natural disaster games! Spark student interest and critical thinking skills in an engaging way.

Tsunami, tornado, hurricane, avalanche, drought, flood … these are just some of the kinds of extreme weather and natural disasters students need to understand. Depending on where you are in the world, some of these may hit close to home, literally. Others affect multiple places on the globe frequently. 

Students need natural disasters vocabulary to understand and talk about these events. While these events can be devastating, they are also relevant and often intriguing to students. Because they are interesting and meaningful, natural phenomena can be an excellent way to engage students and develop reading, writing, and research skills. 

Natural phenomena in the news 

An easy place to start exploring natural phenomena is with the news. Every day there are stories of wildfires, volcanoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, or tsunamis. 

You might pick something happening close to home. This provides real-life connection for your students, but it could also be sensitive or scary for kids who have experienced danger or loss because of the event. If you want to link to your locale, you could consider a historical natural disaster to explore.

An event in another part of the world provides room to use maps to locate where the event is taking place and research to see what the area is like in addition to exploring the natural phenomena itself. 

Share news stories about natural phenomena in your literacy center, on an “in the news” bulletin board, in your online classroom space, or for homework. 

Get adventurous with natural disaster games

How about an escape room

Begin with a thrilling narrative. In this case, “Into the Storm: A Natural Disaster Escape Adventure.” As students delve deeper into the escape room, they’ll tackle thought-provoking questions, decode challenging puzzles, and unlock the secrets of natural disasters.

Students not only learn about natural disasters, they build critical thinking and cooperative skills while they are doing it. Oh, and they have a lot of fun too!

Because it’s so fun, the escape room is a great way to kick off a unit on natural disasters. Or save it as a treat to wrap things up. 

Enhance your teaching with natural disaster games! Spark student interest and critical thinking skills in an engaging way.

Use natural disasters vocabulary to create a glossary

Create your own glossary for natural disasters. This can be an ongoing project that you add to throughout the year as students encounter natural phenomena in their reading. Some ways to gather words: 

  • If you share natural phenomena in the news, have students underline words that seem specific to the natural disaster, whether or not they know the words. Work together to define the words using word parts, context, prior knowledge, and dictionaries as needed. 
  • Do a Gallery Walk to learn and engage with natural disasters vocabulary. Arrange picture cards around the classroom, allowing students to move, match, and engage with definitions. You can adapt this for small groups or independent learning — with built in assessment. When you are done, add words to your glossary. 
  • Create a word wall specifically for your exploration of natural disasters. 
  • Brainstorm a list of natural disasters, extreme weather, and related terms. Have each student choose three words to illustrate and define. 
  • As students research natural disasters, have them create a glossary for other people about the natural phenomenon they are studying. 

Enhance your teaching with natural disaster games! Spark student interest and critical thinking skills in an engaging way.

Use natural disasters as a tool to teach research skills

As we talked about earlier, kids are often really intrigued by natural disasters and extreme weather. That means it’s a great way to engage them in a project on the topic. 

If you are teaching research skills, you can use the topic of natural disasters to meet these goals for students: 

  • Understand that reports are used to describe
  • Use information texts to collect facts about natural disasters
  • Write a report to explain a natural disaster.

Teaching students how to choose a topic, collect facts, and put what they learn together in a report is easy with the Natural Disasters Research Project — it includes print and digital versions. 

You get 6 guide research activities, printable PDFs, digital options on Google Slides, and self-assessment tools, all ready to use. 

Enhance your teaching with natural disaster games! Spark student interest and critical thinking skills in an engaging way.

Make connections with natural disasters 

In the Natural Disasters in the News section, we talked about using natural disasters to dig into geography and placing disasters on the map. 

You can also make cross-curricular connections by:

  • Making a model that shows how a storm or other disaster develops 
  • Creating visual, musical, or performance art to depict a natural disaster and its results
  • Exploring art that depicts storms or other disasters 
  • Graphing data from extreme weather, such as the amount of rainfall or temperature over a specified period 
  • Talking to local officials about disaster preparedness plans

There are so many ways to teach natural disasters in the classroom — and use the topic to teach other key skills! 

And we’ve made it easy for you. Get the Natural Disasters Vocabulary, Activities and Posters Bundle for 4 done for you, ready to use resources (save when you buy the bundle): 

Get your bundle and you’re ready to engage students in research, vocabulary, critical thinking skills, and more!

Enhance your teaching with natural disaster games! Spark student interest and critical thinking skills in an engaging way.

Related Articles

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This