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Natural Disasters

Student drawing 1
Student drawing 2
Student drawing 3
Student drawing 4

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School(s): Caroline Elementary,
Grade(s): Fourth Grade, Anna Chapman and Amy Biegel
Subject(s): Science, Reading, Writing, Art

Essential Question(s)

What are natural disasters and what causes them to occur?
What patterns are evident in the location of disasters?
How do natural disasters affect the land and people?
What, if anything, could be done to prevent damage?
Case Study At A Glance

Students researched a natural disaster event (earthquake, tsunami, flood, volcanic eruption) to understand impacts on people, communities, and landscapes. They examined patterns of occurrence and explored possible solutions to lessen human impact.  Projects included historical narrative from viewpoint of survivors, and artistic exploration of techniques to convey messages. Service learning involved gathering support to victims of recent South Carolina floods.
Standards Addressed/Long Term Learning Targets


  • Plate Tectonics and large Scale System Interactions (ESS2.B)
  • Natural Hazards (ESS3.B)
  • Designing Solutions to Engineering Problems (ETS1.B)


  • Narrative Writing (W.4.3A-E)
  • Informational Writing (W.4.2A, B, D)


  • Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text including what happened and why based on specific information in the text. (RI.4.3)
  • Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area. (RI.4.4)
  • Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided. (RI.4.6 )
  • Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably. (RI.4.9)
  • By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational text, including history/SS, science, and technical texts in the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. (RI.4.10)


  • Explore and Invent Art-Making Techniques and Approaches (VA:CR2.1.4A)
  • Revise Artwork and Progress on the basis of Insights Gained through Peer Discussion (VA:CR3.1.4A)
  • Analyze Components in Visual Imagery to Convey Messages (VA:RE.7.2.4A)



Anchor texts/Supplemental texts