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Lesson Plan: Natural Disaster Solutions


Subject:  Science

Grade: 4

Lesson Objective: To understand and describe how some fuel comes from natural resources and its effect on the environment

Next Gen Science Standard:  4-ESS3-2. Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.

Materials Needed:



  • What are some of the types of natural disasters that occur?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • There are many different natural disasters.  Some of the natural disasters that happen most often and that cause the most harm are earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and volcanoes.
  • Earthquakes happen when the tectonic plates that make up Earth’s crust move.  This makes the ground shake.
  • Earthquakes can cause a lot of damage.  They can make buildings fall down and destroy people’s property.
  • Tsunamis happen when there is an earthquake under the ocean.  The moving of the tectonic plates causes a large amount of water in the ocean to move.  This causes a huge wave. 
  • The wave can wash away anything that is in its way, including buildings and people.
  • Floods happen when there is a very large amount of rain and the rain is not able to be absorbed by the ground. 
  • Floods can also cause a lot of damage.  Water can ruin houses, plants and anything that is in its way.
  • Volcanoes are openings in Earth’s crust.  Magma, which is melted rock, comes up through that opening during an eruption.
  • Volcanoes erupting can cause a lot of damage.  Lava, the very hot, melted rock, covers and burns everything that it touches.
  • Now that you have heard about earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and volcanoes, I want you to think about the damage and problems that each one causes.
  • I am going to give each of you a worksheet.  You are going to write down two solutions to problems that occur because of those things.
  • For example, if we were talking about lightning, a solution could be designing a lightning rod to put on a house.  This would be so that houses are not struck by lightning, which would create a fire.
  • Does anyone have any questions?



  • Who would like to share your ideas?  Let us compare some of the ideas that you have shared.  (Allow the students to share.  Encourage the students to compare and discuss some of the solutions that are different.  Go through each natural disaster before moving on to the next.)

    Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

    Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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