WEEKS 7 AND 8
The definition of a natural disaster is “any catastrophic event that is caused by nature or the natural process of the earth.” There are many different categories of natural disasters such as:
- geophysical, which relates to earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and volcanic activity
- hydrological disasters, which are avalanches and floods
- climatological disasters, which are extreme temperatures, drought and wildfires.
- biological disasters, which covers, disease epidemics and animal plagues
Natural disasters can be a very scary, sensitive topic to teach primary children. However, it is very important that children are aware of how to prepare, respond and recover from natural disasters. Also, I think it is equally as important that children have an awareness of what people living in other countries have to deal with day to day.
During Louise’s workshop on Political and Economic considerations of natural disasters, we had the chance to look at some real-life examples. In groups, we were all given an image of a disaster and asked to consider it’s affects. As you can see in the picture below, we had A3 paper and had to lay it out in a specific format with N standing for Nature, E for Economic, S was for Society and finally W was Who decides. We then had to come up with questions for each section, I found this process quite helpful in making us consider natural disasters in a wider context. For example, it made us consider how disasters affect rich and poor people completely differently. For some people, their home may be all they have and quite often during disasters homes are destroyed. Therefore, some people are left with nothing. This then led us on to discuss who decides what help the area gets? We looked at the affects Hurricane Matthew had on Haiti and Florida and the differences between the ways their governments reacted. For example, Florida was able to do a press and announce on social media to warm everyone in the area, however, we have to consider that some countries don’t have the resources etc. to carry out announcements. This workshop required me to think critically, which links with the UWS Graduate Attributes, I had to consider all the areas that could possibly be affected by natural disasters. Considering the Brookfield, S (1995) Model of Reflection, after completing this topic on natural disasters, I now feel a lot more confident. Prior to this, the thought of teaching disasters would have given me so much anxiety. However, now I realise that it can actually be informative while still being enjoyable so that my future pupils will gain a lot from my lesson. Not only on knowledge, but also awareness and how important it is that we help other countries.
Moving on to Andrew’s science workshop, we started off by considering investigation skills. Investigation skills in science allow pupils to, find out from practical experience, express their ideas and then test their ideas and develop scientific literacy. Therefore, it is important that pupils are able to ask questions, observe, report and evaluate their science experiments. During this workshop, I realised the importance of science to children’s development and also how much it impacts their learning in other curricular areas. “Through science, children and young people can develop their interest in and understanding of the living, material and physical word.” (Curriculum for Excellence) Science skills help our pupils to be open to new ideas and linking and applying learning, thinking creatively and critically and also science helps them develop skills of reasoning to provide explanations and evaluations supported by evidence. All these skills are things that can be transferred to other areas of the curriculum to help children across other areas.
For our second week studying natural disasters, we completed a 15-minute micro-teaching lesson. My group were focusing on earthquakes, which we found quite challenging to simplify for children. The discussion about tectonic plates and the layers of the earth can sometimes come across very complex and intense. So, we decided that a video with animations would show earthquakes better than we could explain. (Link below) We also included a few possible activities we could complete in the class and explanations of the experiences and outcomes our lessons would cover. Personally, I actually really enjoyed this experience and found it very useful, I liked having the opportunity to link what we had previously learned with actually being teachers. I previously thought that natural disasters would be something quite difficult to teach, however, after this experience, I have realised that if their broken down its so much easier to understand as a teacher and for pupils. Two of the experiences and outcomes I would use for a lesson on natural disasters are:
“I can describe the physical processes of a natural disaster and discuss its impact on people and the landscape” SOC 2-07b
“I consider the impact that layout and presentation will have and can combine lettering, graphics and other features to engage my reader” LIT 2-24a
The first one would be suitable for all natural disasters lessons and the second would be suitable if the class were creating posters, fact files or leaflets on natural disasters.
Smith, A. and Quiroz Flores, A. (2010) Disaster Politics. Foreign Affairs. [Online] Available: Council of Foreign Affairs[Accessed: 31 Oct. 2019]
Education.gov.scot. (2019) Curriculum for Excellence: Sciences. [online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/sciences-eo.pdf[Accessed 31 Oct. 2019].
University of the West of Scotland (2018) UWS Graduate Attributes [Online] Available: https://www.uws.ac.uk/current-students/your-graduate-attributes/[Accessed: 31 Oct. 2019].
Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San-Francisco: Jossey-Bass