Lesson Plan: Hurricanes
Education Being a Preparation for Life
As a student of education and a follower of John Dewey, I agree that a curricular foundation should prepare students for life. School is a microcosm of what lies ahead in a civilized society, the macrocosm. Therefore, if we want our students to find value in the education that is provided to them, then we must make the learning utilitarian. Learning for the sake of learning without usefulness is inane. What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children (Dewey, The School and Society & The Child and the Curriculum, 2001).
Building Efficency: Teams for Success
John Dewey was a constructivist educator. He believed that we learned a thing by doing it (building it brick by brick). Today we call this philosophy of education, project-based learning or experiential learning.
You may ask, why is this kind of learning essential to growth or to the assimilation of people into society? Well, in order to accomplish great feats in the world, we all must come together in teams and share our talents. And how do we teach this? We teach this by identifying and nurturing the talents of each child in our classroom community. Then, we group these students into synergistic teams in order to energize the collective talents and accomplish important goals. After all, a community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm (Henrik Ibsen).
Learning should be something that can be transferred from the classroom to real world settings. Experience is not so much what happens to us as what we make of what happens to us (Aldous Huxley).
Forces of Nature
Every day, we are all faced with challenges. Some of those challenges include: disease, poverty, debt, war, crime, forces of nature and so much more. Many of us are ill prepared to face these overwhelming circumstances and as a result, succumb to the devastating plagues (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) they bring with them, so, it is incumbent upon educators to sculpt the curriculum into a more congruent and fluent model that mirrors the real world settings that impact human existence.
And, for this hub, I will be exposing you to curricula that pertains to "forces of nature," like Hurricane, Sandy, lessons to build personal resilience and applications for authentic environments.
Literacy is Important in a State of Emergency (ELA)
English Language Arts (Literacy Counts in an Emergency)
1. When a hurricane hits, there will be a need for communication: signs, letter writing campaigns, filing claims (written text) and calls(oral communication).
a) Energy Companies
c) Elective Officials
d) Insurance companies (adjusters)
e) Real Estate Professionals
h) Restoration Companies
2. Reading (Instruction Comprehension, Policy Objectives, Safety Measures)
a) Must learn about operational devices in your home
b) What does your policy say? Are you covered by all necessary policies?
c) Is your home safe or must you evacuate? Is it contaminated as a result of being damaged?
d) Where are the nearest shelters and/or warming areas?
e) Where can I take my pet?
f) Listing contents in the house that are damaged for insurance review
g) Mass transit and other services in use or not?
h) Weather maps, conditions and storm tracking
1. When TV is out, we must learn to hone important details through listening to a radio message.
Parade of Related Content Areas
MST Standards(Math, Science and Technology)
1. Tracking the storm
2. The science of storms: Storm formation
3. Velocity of wind gusts (science and math integration)
4. Evacuation plans: Have teams design plans that could ultimately save lives (ELA and MST Integration).
5. Technology: How storms are tracked: What technology is used?
1. Charts and graphs of all kinds
Have students infuse the arts through musical theory to compose a piece that plays out a storm unfolding. What would it sound like? Students gifted in this area can use this literacy to express themselves and set the tone for learning on a very interesting level, communicating their thoughts through melody.
Have students with gifts in this area choreograph a dance that depicts a storm in order to communicate important ideas. Bodily-kinesthetic communication.
1. Creation of a mural that depicts the storm's path and areas of damage
2. An artistic interpretation of this type of force of nature
1. The history of storms
2. Regions impacted by these kinds of storms-geography, typography (aerial views of storms and damage), latitude, longitude, map skills
3. The political machine: How do politicians seize these issues as opportunities? How do they help? Or don't they? What do they control? What policies are borne from these challenging storms?
4. How do storms impact the economy?
5. Service learning: Volunteerism in a crisis
1. Training for survival: Agility that could save your life
Career and Development
All kinds of professions are necessary during the occurrence of and aftermath of a disaster.
Real Estate Professionals
Energy Crews, Plumbers etc.
Insurance Industry Professionals
Doctors, Nurses, EMT
Newscasters, Weather and General Reporters, Newspaper Industry and Crews
Mass Transit Workers, Shipping Crews, Baymen, etc.
Restaurant Owners and Crews
Gasoline Operators, Distributors
Languages Other than English
1. Necessary translations into other languages to evacuate, file claims, and save lives
The branches of learning need to be relevant to the students we teach, and the learning needs to be authentic. It must be restored to the experience from which it has been abstracted. It needs to be psychologized; turned over, translated into immediate and individual experiencing within which it has its origin and significance (Dewey, 2001).
Dewey teaches us that students must not be strictly subjected to learning that is merely scientific in nature, coming out of a textbook, but rather, the learning should have practical application in the world they live in. The best way to achieve this practice is by administering an education that is constructivist based and student centered.