Disaster Blaster

Third Grade Science


Hey! What's this unit all about?
Students study natural disasters that occur in different parts of the United States and the world. After researching past disasters and their effects on the human population, they take on the role of relief agencies, trying to provide assistance to those affected. Using the Seeing Reason tool, they will explore issues that relief agencies face as they attempt to respond to the needs of a given community and what factors influence their effectiveness. Ultimately, students are responsible for creating their own relief agency and coming up with plans for the agency to address the negative effects of a specific natural disaster on the surrounding community.

Essential Question: Why do we care?
Unit Questions: What contributes to the effectiveness of a relief agency? What effect do natural disasters have on the human population?
Content Questions: What is a natural disaster? What are some examples of relief agencies? How have relief agencies responded to natural disasters in the past?

Visual Ranking Project:

  • Idea/Overview: Students will use the visual ranking tool to rank different natural disasters based on the extent of their impact on a community.
  • How will the use of the tool fit into your Unit Plan and help your students meet the learning objectives and target higher-order thinking skills? Students will have to analyze different natural disasters and what encompasses each. It will help them to determine which disaster they want to choose as they create their Relief Agency.
  • Concerns you might have about using the tool or incorporating ranking:Will students have enough background knowledge about each natural disaster in order to be able to rank them?
  • Feedback you would like from others: What disasters could we include? How could we incorporate man-made disasters?

Seeing Reason Project:

  • Idea/Overview:Students will use the Seeing Reason tool to identify what influences a relief agency's ability to respond to a community that has been affected by a natural disaster.
  • How will the tool fit into our Unit Plan and help your students meet the learning objectives and target higher-order thinking skills?Students can use the tool to brainstorm ideas about how their own relief agency will be able to help the community affected by the natural disaster. It will help them think through how they will respond.
  • Does your unit involve a complex system or issue that warrants delving into identifying and analyzing cause-and-effect relationships?Yes.
  • Concerns you might have about using this tool:Is it too hard for the students to use?
  • Feedback you would like from others: Are we as awesome as we think we are? Check yes or no. What should go in the center of our Seeing Reason tool?