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Elementary Natural Hazards

Teaching Resources for Elementary School – Natural Hazards


Color photograph of lava fountain
Exploring hot spot volcanism and a mysterious lake at the summit of Kīlauea using models, USGS data, and Hawaiian moʻolelo

About: This lesson introduces hot spot volcanism, the mysterious appearance of a lake in the summit of Kilauea, basic graphing skills using USGS data, and a STEAM component tied to native Hawaiian culture. This lesson is intended for elementary school grades 4-5, is aligned to NGSS standards, and can be adapted for older grades.

Grades: 4 to 5

Topics: Volcanic hot spots, groundwater, data analysis, volcanic hazards, Hawaiian culture

Length: 4 lessons, 20-30 minutes each
Rim Fire in Yosemite National Park
Wildland Fire School

About: Wildland Fires are a natural part of ecosystems and are increasing in size and frequency due to climate change. This lesson introduces fire basics and explores how wildland fire affects different types of ecosystems. This lesson is intended for grades 6-12 and is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Grades: 6 to 12

Topics: Fire basics, fire impacts and ecology, fire management and climate change

Length: Varies (see lessons for more details)
Outline of deer swimming in Chesapeake Bay during sunset
Our Water, Our Lives: The Chesapeake Bay Watershed

About: This Teacher Guide includes background information, lesson plans, and examples of student answers for three lessons about the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Student Worksheet includes student activities and questions.

Grades: 5th to align with NGSS, but adaptable to 4th-6th grades 

Topics: Water quality, water availability 

Length: Three lessons; one lesson per week (teacher determines the correct pace for their students)