Grades: 3rd - 5th The topic of Natural Disasters is compelling. News reports from around the globe introduce children to weather patterns, biomes and catastrophic events. The Natural Disasters unit takes this sometimes frightening topic and examines the causes and effects and introduces students to the equipment, monitoring and support systems surrounding these phenomena. Topics in this unit include hurricanes, tidal waves, floods, droughts, avalanches, slides, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, wildfires, blizzards and tornados. This unit focuses on content with many scientific experiments designed to help students understand concepts such as air pressure, wave force, and weather patterns. In addition to a strong grounding in science concepts, students focus on problem solving by examining specific conditions and developing new methods for storm tracking, evacuation patterns, or relief efforts. Language Arts lessons focus on examining current and historical primary documents such as comparing stories from various media outlets and reading personal accounts of life during the Dust Bowl. This unit balances the scientific with the affective needs of gifted learners through a variety of active learning experiences.
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