Natural Disasters

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  • Natural Disasters A Webquest for grades 3 -5

  • Introduction

    Imagine that you are part of a national emergency

    response team. Your job is to work together with

    your group members to develop a weather

    forecast which will prepare viewers and listeners

    for an impending natural disaster.

    Each group will present a different forecast by

    exploring a different disaster. The natural

    disasters to choose from include floods,

    hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, thunderstorms,

    winter storms, volcanoes, earthquakes, wildfires,

    and heat/drought.

  • Introduction

    When we study natural disasters, there are many

    aspects we must consider.

    In the following WebQuest, you will use the

    power of teamwork to learn all about natural

    disasters and emergency safety.

    Then you will come together at the end to share

    your forecasts and get a better understanding

    of all natural disasters.

  • FINDS - Focus
  • Task

    Your team has chosen a specific natural

    disaster. You will use the links provided,

    as well as any other resources you feel

    are necessary, to become experts on your

    disaster. You and your team will work

    together to create a 3-5 minute video

    weather forecast, using Photo Booth or if

    available digital video cameras, that will

    prepare your classmates for when the

    disaster occurs. By completing this

    WebQuest, you should achieve the

    following goals:

  • Goals

    1. develop an interest in the study of weather safety and natural disasters

    2. use the power of the Internet and online library database's for advanced exploration

    3. learn information about key aspects of natural disasters and emergency preparedness

    4. expand and share knowledge of natural disasters and production of video clips

    5. work with teammates to prepare others for a variety of potential natural disasters.

  • FINDS - Note

  • Fact Fragment Frenzy

    Fact Fragment Frenzy, included in an extended research skills unit

    which also employs the Hints about Print interactive, aids students in

    learning the importance of finding the words in sentences and

    paragraphs that contain the facts they need for compiling their

    research. They practice by pulling important words from a text over to

    a virtual notebook (shown at left).

    Click here for

  • Hints About Print

    Hints about Print, included in an extended

    research skills unit which also employs the

    Fact Fragment Frenzy interactive, aids

    students in evaluating print resources that

    contain the facts they need for compiling

    their research.

    Click here for tutorial
  • FINDS - Develop

  • Process

    Explore the websites for your groups specific disaster to determine the answers to all questions on the


    (click back button to return to slide 11)

    Be sure to properly cite ALL sources of information.

    Now, as a group, prepare a 3-5 minute weather forecast highlighting important information discovered during your WebQuest exploration and focusing specifically on safety.

  • FINDS -Investigate

  • Phase 3

    Phase 3 - Reaching Consensus

    You have all learned about different aspects of

    natural disasters through the Weather WebQuest.

    You must now complete the Task as a group. Each of

    you will bring a certain viewpoint to the answer: some

    of you will agree and others disagree. Use

    information, pictures, movies, facts, opinions, etc.

    from the web sites you explored to convince your

    teammates that your viewpoint is important and

    should be part of your team's response. Your

    WebQuest team should write out an answer

    (forecast) that everyone on the team can live with.

  • Process

    Use maps, other graphics, and/or audio to

    enhance your forecast.

    The forecast must be videotaped using

    classroom computers and applications.

    Photo Booth

  • Process


    1. Form groups of 2 -3 students each.

    2. natural disasters.

    3. Each group must then choose a different natural disaster to research.

    You may choose from the following floods hurricanes tornadoes tsunamis thunder/lightning storms winter storms volcanoes earthquakes wildfires heat/drought

  • Process

    The final days of the project will be spent viewing

    the videos from each group. While viewing the

    other groups videos, you will evaluate and

    provide feedback according to the VIDEO


    Finally, you will submit a short (1/2-page)

    reflection on your WebQuest experience using


  • Process Phase 1

    Phase 1 - Background Information

    These sites are important because they will

    provide basic information about natural disasters

    as a whole. Everyone should explore Destiny

    Quest before starting your specific Task.

    Find a book using Destiny

    Log into Destiny Quest

    use One Search to find

    background information
  • Process Phase 1

    Phase 1 - Background Information

    These sites are important because they will provide

    basic information about natural disasters as a whole.

    Everyone should explore these sites before starting

    your specific Task.

    Department of Homeland Security-Emergency!

    Weather Wiz Kids

    FEMA for Kids

    National Geographic/Natural Disasters
  • Process - Phase 2

    Phase 2 Roles

    These natural disaster categories were chosen because they each require swift and specific action from the National Emergency Response Team. Each of you has been assigned a particular disaster with links and instructions below. Here are the general instructions for all groups.

    INSTRUCTIONS: 1. All members from each WebQuest team will explore one of the natural disasters below. 2. Read through the files designated for your group. You can print out pages and underline the parts that you feel are important or cut and paste from the webpage into a word processor. 3. Remember to include the URL of the page you take information from so you can return to it and use it as a citation. 4. Focus what you've learned into one concise meteorological report to fulfill the Task.

  • Internet Links


    FEMA Floods Weather Wiz Kids-Rain/FloodsNational Geographic Floods


    FEMA Tsunamis TIME for Kids Tsunamis NOAA Tsunamis

    Hurricanes: FEMA Hurricanes Weather Channel Kids Hurricane Safety Weather Wiz Kids-Hurricanes


    NOAA Tornado Safety National Geographic Tornadoes FEMA Tornadoes

    Thunderstorms: NOAA Lightning Wiz Kids Thunderstorms National Geographic Lightning
  • Internet Links

    Winter Storms:

    Scholastic Winter Storms National Geographic Avalanche Weather Wiz Kids-Winter Storms

    Volcanoes: Scholastic Volcano National Geographic Volcano FEMA Volcano

    Wildfires: US Fire Administration for Kids FEMA Wildfires Wiz Kids-Wildfires

    Heat & Drought:

    Univ. of Nebraska Lincoln Drought NOAA Heat San Diego State Univ. Drought

    Earthquakes: USGS Earthquake Scholastic Earthquakes National Geographic Earthquakes

    Use these links to answer the questions on the Natural Disasters WebQuest Worksheet.
  • Evaluation

    Evaluation Rubric

  • Conclusion

    So, are there more similarities or differences between each group's forecast? Well, when you're only looking at one aspect, it's easy to miss the big picture--especially when trying to understand a topic as broad and complex as natural disasters and emergency safety. Now you all know a lot more about all types of natural disasters. Nice work. You should be proud of yourselves! How can you use what you've learned to see beyond the black and white of other topics and into the grayer areas? What other parts of the Natural Disasters WebQuest could still be explored? Remember, learning never stops.

  • Extentions

    Projects suggested by students:

    Environmental Disasters:


    Oil Spills



    click on

    image to




    Click here to return to slide 11
  • Graphic Organizer

    Create a graphic organizer about your topic.
  • Essay Interactive



    This interactive graphic organizer helps

    students develop an outline that includes an

    introductory statement, main ideas they want

    to discuss or describe, supporting details,

    and a conclusion that summarizes the main


    Complete the worksheet

    before using the Essay

  • FINDS - Score
  • Reflection

    WebQuest Reflection

    What elements did you like best? What parts did

    you like least? What would you want to do

    differently the next time you do a WebQuest?

    Overall, did you enjoy your WebQuest

    experience or did you dislike it?

    Copy above paragraph to your team notebook

    Write your refection in AppleWorks of MS Word

  • Credits

    Adapted from: Zunal Webquest

    For FINDS Model of research and Destiny Quest

    The Public URL for this WebQuest: