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Natural Hazards

Natural Hazards


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About This Lesson

In this unit, students investigate the phenomenon of natural hazards. Using the phenomenon of a tsunami, this unit examines the causes and effects of tsunamis, ways science can help us understand their origins and paths, and what we can do to protect our communities from damage. The subtitle of this unit is Where do natural hazards happen, and what can we do to prepare for them? Phenomena such as floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and lightning are all hazards that students have some knowledge of or experience with. By developing knowledge of tsunamis, students can apply their scientific knowledge to help protect their homes and towns against all forms of destructive natural phenomena. This unit allows students to observe the phenomenon of tsunamis in detail and then spend time working with classmates to analyze their shared experience, formulate new questions, and develop new strategies for answering them. Students explore concepts that include the following:

  • What happens to a community when a tsunami occurs?
  • What causes a tsunami to form and move?
  • How are tsunamis detected and warning signals sent?
  • How can we reduce damage from a tsunami wave?
  • How can we effectively prepare our communities for a natural hazard?

As students move through their day-to-day activities, they will also read Core Knowledge literacy selections. These include factual articles, history of the sciences, art and literature, spotting bad science in the media and advertisements, graphics comprehension, research-type articles, reliability of sources, and other areas of science literacy.


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