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Can you MASTER your DISASTER?. Click on the images to activate your schema!. Resources & Materials. Laptop with computer access Critical Reading Series: Disasters Krakatoa: The Doomsday Crack Heard Round the World The San Francisco Earthquake Pompeii: The City that Slept for 1,500 Years

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Can you MASTER


Click on the images to activate your schema!


Resources & Materials

  • Laptop with computer access
  • Critical Reading Series: Disasters
    • Krakatoa: The Doomsday Crack Heard Round the World
    • The San Francisco Earthquake
    • Pompeii: The City that Slept for 1,500 Years


Critical Reading Series: Calamities

  • Killer Tornado
  • In the Eye of the Storm
  • The World Series Earthquake
  • The Great Mississippi Flood of 1993


They have the power to shake the universe. They helped form the earth beneath our feet. They can bring both blessings and devastation. No human can control them. No man can fully comprehend their awesome majesty.

Natural disasters can happen at any time or place. They can bring sorrow, but they can also teach important lessons about who we are, what is important to us, and what joys life can hold for every human being.

Because natural disasters are such an essential, and often overlooked, part of our lives, it’s important to know how they function and how to prepare for them. As you complete this cyber lesson our hope is that you can Master Your Disaster!


Background Information

Natural disasters happen somewhere in the United States every single day. These disasters cause huge amounts of damage to property, the economy, and people’s lives. 

Experiencing a severe weather condition can be terrifying.  Many people will live through more than one and some may never experience any. But what would it be like to live through an earthquake, hurricane, or a tornado? 

Essential question:  What type of preparation is necessary to stay safe during severe weather?


Ladies and gentlemen…

Start your schema!

  • Write down 2 facts you already know about your assigned natural disaster.
  • Next, click on the picture for your assigned disaster and visit the Why Files page for some additional background information. Keep adding to that schema!
  • 3. Finally, complete your Schema Starter that identifies 3 facts that you know about your assigned disaster, 2 questions that you still have on this topic, and one thing that surprised you.
  • It’s now time to Master Your Disaster!


You and your friends are all preparing for terrible weather in five different locations.  (Talk about a bad day! ) Your task is to write a letter to a friend and tell him/her how you know that your weather condition is about to happen and how you plan to survive.  Include in your letter the tools that you chose for your survival kit. 

Use the number that you were given in your group to determine what state and severe weather you are going to investigate and experience.


*Team member 1 is in an earthquake in California.

        25 Sunny Drive

        Santa Rosa, CA 95401

*Team member 2 is in a hurricane in Louisiana.

        47 Windy Lane

        New Orleans, LA 70112

*Team member 3 is in a flood in South Dakota.

        12 Rainy Place

        St. Vermillion, SD 57069

*Team member 4 is in a tornado in Kansas.

        74 Spinning Road

        Greensburg, KS 67054

 *Team member 5 is a pen pal near a volcano in Ecuador.

38 Eruption Street

lo te 31

Quito, Ecuador SA


During Reading

As you read the selected texts, you should take notes and complete the Master of Disaster page.

Click on the graphic below and copy and paste the template into a Word File on your computer. Remember to fill this out as you read!


Read through each of the following resources that contain information on your disasters:

Web sitesNatural Disasters: Destructive Forces of Nature    This site gives general information and safety tips for tornadoes, volcanoes, tsunamis, lightning, earthquakes, drought, and hurricanes.

FEMA For Kids: The Disaster Area     This site is written specifically for kids.  It gives information and safety tips for  floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunami, thunderstorms, earthquakes, wildfires, and winter storms.

Nature's Wrath

This site also gives both information and safety tips.  The sections include earthquakes, hurricanes, severe weather, tornadoes, tsunamis, and volcanoes.


Now that you have some background information, read the accompanying non-fiction text that has been assigned to your role.

Hurricanes: In the Eye of the Storm

Tornadoes: Killer Tornado

Volcanoes: Krakatoa: The Doomsday Crack Heard Round the World

Earthquakes: The World Series Earthquake

Floods: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1993

As you read, please continue filling in the Master of Disaster sheet to help guide your reading and record important information that can be used in your letter and discussion.


After Reading

  • Now that you have completed your Master of Disaster notes, it is now time to write a letter to your three friends. 
  •         First, click on the graphic of a letter to give you an idea about how a friendly letter is written.     

Next, click on the graphic below and use the website ReadWriteThink to develop your letter.  Use the addresses given to you earlier as your return address and the real names of your classmates when writing your letter.

Make sure you follow this format:

Paragraph 1 : Explain the causes behind your natural disaster

Paragraph 2 : Explain how you are preparing for the disaster

Paragraph 3: Explain how you are feeling at this moment

(connect to the text)


Beyond Reading Activity

  • Disaster Quiz    Take this quiz to see if you truly mastered your disaster.  After each question is answered, it gives information to explain the answer.  It has sections that cover  hurricanes, volcanoes, floods, drought, tornadoes, and earthquakes.
  • DisasterGames

Play Water, Wind, Earth against the computer and see who comes out the winner!

  • Hurricanes

Prepare your yard for the worst during a hurricane.

  • Disaster Math

Are you a math whiz? Take this math challenge that incorporates natural disaster information.


Student Score Card

Reflection: Please share some additional comments about this experience. Explain what you think went well and what didn’t go well. Support what you say with specific examples.




Jamestown Critical Reading Series: Calamities

Jamestown Critical Reading Series: Disasters


The Why Files


Natural Disasters


Nature’s Wrath

Friendly Letter


Red Cross