Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Disasters - Where, When, Why
DescriptionThe student uses electronic technology to create and develop a database for U.S. disasters in the 20th Century and writes a paragraph.
ObjectivesThe student uses electronic technology (including but not limited to word-processing software, electronic encyclopedias) to create, revise, retrieve, and verify information.
Materials-1 computer with Internet access for every 2-3 students
-Transparency of headings for database (See Preparations)
-Word processing software program
-Florida Writes 4th Grade Rubric (See Associated File)
Preparations1. The teacher should have a working knowledge of how to create a database.
2. The teacher should become familiar with different types of disasters.
3. Write the following headings on a transparency or the board: Name of disaster, Type of disaster, Date of disaster, Location of the disaster, Cause(s) of the disaster, Result(s) of the disaster, and Economic costs of the disaster.
4. Download and prepare to share the Florida Writes 4th Grade Rubric with students (See Associated File) if the criteria has been consistently taught in class and used to assess written paragraphs.
Procedures1. Orally brainstorm with the students the definition of and the different types of disasters.
2. From the list generated in #1, categorize each and put it under the correct type.
3. Go over the following headings previously written on a transparency or the board: Name of disaster, Type of disaster, Date of the disaster, Location of the disaster, Cause(s) of the disaster, Result(s) of the disaster, and Economic costs of the disaster.
4. Teach the students how to set up and create a database.
5. Have students copy the headings onto the computer in a database format.
6. Allow students to select one of the above disasters and using the Internet, research the disaster completing all aspects of the database.
7. Circulate around the room assisting students in research, using the Internet, completing the database, and for correct content. Formatively assess students as they use the technology tools, providing assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty.
8. Once the students complete the database, they should begin writing an informative paragraph about the disaster. The paragraph should be typed on a word processing software program. Show students how to use the spelling and grammar check tools. Allow time to peer edit paragraphs and revise them for accuracy and editing. (Note: If paragraphs will be assessed using the Florida Writes 4th Grade Rubric--See Associated File--share the rubric with students prior to the writing of the informative paragraph.)
9. Collect the completed paragraphs from the students.
Assessments1. Formatively assess the students throughout the lesson. Students should be able to use the computer to retrieve information, place it correctly into the database sheet, create the paragraph and revise it. The content should be accurate based on the source(s) used by the students. (Note: If the criteria in the Florida Writes 4th Grade Rubric--See Associated File--has been consistently taught in your classroom, this rubric can be used to assess the informative paragraph.)
2. Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.
Extensions1. Students can do a visual display (i.e., bulletin board) of the disaster as long as all the headings are covered.
2. Students can make a disaster game as long as all the headings are covered.
3. Students can make a class database.
Web LinksThis is a listing by categories of disasters around the world.
Database of U.S. Disasters
Attached FilesThe Florida Writes fourth grade rubric. If the criteria in the rubric has been consistently taught in your classroom, this rubric can be used to assess the paragraph. Share with students prior to the writing of the paragraph. File Extension: pdf
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