Natural Disasters

9, 10, 11, 12

The learners will become aware of human need brought about by natural disasters and will compare domestic experiences with parallel events on the other side of the world.

PrintTwo 50 minute class periods

The learner will:

  • identify recent national and international natural disasters.
  • identify the need for and the variety of human responses to natural disasters.
  • A collection of photos of natural disaster sites
  • recent article about a natural disaster
  • Listing of Contemporary National and International Natural Disasters
  • New Humanitarian article recalling 25 crises and how they shaped our world 


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Share a recent article about a natural disaster, such as a fire, hurricane, or devastating illness. Talk about how people can prepare for this disaster, and what others can do to help victims get their lives back. 

  2. Group the learners into groups of two and have one learner in each group research the Hurricane Katrina Disaster and the other the Great Hanshin-Awaji Disaster. Note: you may choose two more recent disasters, such as California Wildfires and Haiti Earthquakes. 

  3. Have each group create and complete a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting these two disasters. Label one circle Hurricane Katrina Disaster and Great Hanshin-Awaji Disaster.

    Meet as a whole group to compare these disasters in different parts of the world. 

  4. Based on their research and discussion have the learners share what role “honoring” and “preparedness” might play in responding to natural disasters.

  5. Conclude this lesson by having the learners share how corporations, non-profit organizations, and government, as well as individuals, have helped in caring and sharing ways in response to natural disasters of the types described here as well as others.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Identify and describe how civil society sector organizations help people nationally and internationally.
    2. Standard PCS 06. Philanthropy in History
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Describe how the common good was served in an historical event as a result of action by a civil society sector organization.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.4 Cite historical examples of citizen actions that affected the common good.