The Ever Changing World

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SWBAT to identify and distinguish between various natural disasters, which can occur quickly or slowly.

Big Idea

The Earth is always changing due to natural disasters. Students learn how to identify these disasters and how they advise others about these disasters.

Setting the Stage

Next Generation Science Standards:

2-ESS1-1 addresses using "information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly." In grade 2, it is imperative that students learn about the Earth's atmosphere. Weather can effect Earth's atmosphere. It can cause events to occur slowly or quickly. These various natural disasters can destroy the area in which they occur. In this lesson, students learn which events happen quickly, how they look, and how they effect an area. Also, they acquire knowledge of how to protect themselves in during any of these events.

Science and Engineering Practice: 

SP 6 addresses constructing explanations and designing solutions. In K-2, "the students build prior experiences and progresses to the use of evidence and ideas in constructing evidence based accounts." In this lesson, students are equipped with the knowledge to determine which natural disasters occur very quickly. They also understand how to identify and prepare for these natural disasters through several sources.

SP 8 addresses obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K–2. Students communicate information with others in oral and written form to discuss scientific ideas.  In this lesson, students obtain information about various natural disasters. They play a game and write an article to equip others with knowledge about the various natural disasters that occur quickly. It is imperative that students communicate their scientific findings to others.  

Prior Knowledge:

Students have learned how the land can change slowly due to weathering and erosion. They know that weathering breaks the land down and erosion moves things along. Weathering and erosion occur through the force of wind, ice, and water. Deposition drops things off in other locations.

Junior Scientists:

In my class, students are called Junior Scientists. They wear lab jackets that they created early in the school year to year, during their experiments. I call them junior scientists to encourage them to major in Science and Math related careers. I want them to develop a love for Science and Math. Also, we sing "It is Science Time" before each lesson.



10 minutes

At their desks, students sing a song at the opening of each science lesson.  This song motivates and engages my Junior Scientists at the beginning of each science lesson. During science lessons, I call my them scientists to empower students and encourage them to become dreamers and doers.

“I can” statement

I call on a student to read our "I Can" statement for the day. While using an over-sized microphone, a scientist says, "I can identify various kinds of natural disasters that occur quickly or slowly." The "I Can" statement helps students take ownership of the lesson as they put standards into context. The other students praise the student that reads the "I Can" statement by clapping.  I encourage students to give each other praise to boost their self-esteem.



20 minutes

While students sit at their desks, I pose this question: What do you recall about erosion? How can erosion occur?  How can weathering effect the land? These questions are asked to stimulate students' thinking. I want them to remember that erosion and weathering can happen slowly due to wind, gravity, and glaciers. Then I inform them that today they are going to learn that events can also happen quickly. Then I ask: Can anyone name some natural disasters that can happen quickly? This question is posed so I can assess students' prior knowledge.


Students observe a PowerPoint about the various kinds of natural disasters that occur quickly and slowly. The PowerPoint helps my visual learners as they learn more in depth about  natural disasters. After the PowerPoint, the students are asked questions to check for their understanding, so I can assess their learning.

 Soaring Skyward-Game

This game is played by students to review the taught content about natural disasters. Students are placed into 4 groups. Then they are assigned an object that represents their group, a plane or a hot air balloon. There are 2 hot air balloons and planes that are different colors. The groups are permitted to select a question which is a boarding pass ticket. If they  get the question right, they get to move their hot air balloon or plane. Also, they are provided a point on the board. If they miss it, they do not receive a point and a point is taken away. The game is essential because it helps my visual learners. Also, the game captivates students attention which motivates them to be engaged in the taught content.



Writing in Science

25 minutes

While students are at their desks, they are provided with the Weather Gazette directions. I inform the students that they are going to write and draw about a natural disaster, an avalanche, drought, Earthquake, flood, hurricane, mudslide, tornado,or tsunami.  I read the directions to the students and I encourage them to follow along. It is important that students are provided the opportunity to write informative papers that depict their learning. Scientists share what they learn to others to help others gain valuable knowledge.

Students are provided 20 minutes to write and draw about their natural disaster.

Teacher note: You can have computers available for students to research additional information or you can collaborate with the technology teachers to aid students with research.

As students write, I walk around to assist students as needed. I monitor the students' sentence structure and I make sure that they use capital letters and punctuation as needed. Also, I am checking to ensure that students identify their main idea and add the appropriate details. The questions from the Weather Gazette should be interwoven into their paragraph.

Weather Watcher Gazette-Student Work


10 minutes

Students are permitted to share their writing assignment with their buddy. I say "Talk to your buddy" and students sing "Talk to your Buddy" song. It is imperative that students are engaged in accountable talk. Accountable talk permits the students to work or communicate skills which help to boost confidence and oral language development. Students can provide each other with feedback to make the needed corrections.

Here are some of the students sharing their composition with the class, Natural Disaster -video.

I take up the writing assignment so I can evaluate the students work. When I evaluate their work, I am checking for science content accuracy,  as well as sentence structure, spelling, punctuation. Also, I view the students art work.