Natural Disaster Essay Rubric Writing

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See Also

Student Objectives

Session One

Session Two

Sessions Three and Four

Session Five

Session Six

Sessions Seven and Eight

Session Nine

Extensions

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will:

  • practice the necessary technology skills for assembling glogs.  These include recording, saving pictures, and uploading files.
  • learn the importance of acknowledging sources for information as well as digital images.
  • create a correctly formatted bibliography for information and images.
  • learn about several past disasters that have affected the world.
  • understand weather safety tips and survival tips.
  • communicate their findings by sharing their glogs with their classmates.

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Session One

  1. Ask the students what weather-related emergencies are typical for your area.  Ask how we prepare for these emergencies, what we do during these events, and what we do after a weather-related disaster.   Also, discuss how we know when a weather emergency is imminent.
  2. Explain that the students will be soon split into two literature circles to read Susan Pfeffer’s novels in which a single event happens in both novels changes the world’s environment.  This event causes many natural disasters throughout the world.  Ask students what natural disasters they have heard of before.  You can prompt them to think about what they have previously discussed in science classes before.
  3. Explain that to help them understand the tragedy about which they will read in the two companion novels, each student will research a natural disaster, assemble a glog, and share that glog with the class.
  4. Show the sample glog that you have created or use one from Glogster EDU.
  5. Go through the Natural Disaster Glog Rubric and grade the sample glog as a class.
  6. Project the Natural Disasters List and have each student select a different disaster.
  7. Give each student the printouts Natural Disaster Notetaking Sheet and the Natural Disaster Checklist.  Discuss what they will be looking for in the books and websites they will use in the next three sessions.
  8. Lead the students in a discussion on why they will need to cite their sources for this project.  Model for the students how to cite a book so that they are ready for Session Two.

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Session Two

  1. Have students check out books about their individual disasters.   Have the general disaster books available to all students during the next three sessions.
  2. Before students begin taking notes, remind them to cite their books.
  3. Monitor the students as they research, noting time on task.  Check for any inaccuracies on their Natural Disaster Notetaking Sheets.

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Sessions Three and Four

  1. Before students begin their research, remind them they will need at least five pictures for their glog.  Ask students why they will cite their pictures’ sources.  Prompt their answers by comparing citing a book or website to citing a picture.  Because Glogster uses URLs to bring in pictures, have students open a word processing file to save the URLs of pictures they want to use on their glogs.  Model for the students how to create this list.  Then model for the students how to correctly cite a web source.
  2. Have the students continue to research using the websites listed as well as their books they checked out in the last session.  Before students start taking notes, remind them to cite their websites.  Again, have available to them the general disaster books.
  3. Monitor the students as they research, noting time on task.  Check for any inaccuracies on their notetaking sheets.
  4. Check that students have sufficient information in sections so that they will have material for their scripts.

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Session Five

  1. Ask students what type of weather-related drills we perform in school.  Discuss how they learned to prepare for these drills.  Then ask how the school would know if we were going to have a weather-related emergency.
  2. Explain that the students are each going to write two minute or longer radio scripts that meet one of three purposes:
    • The student can choose to write a public announcement that prepares the area for a disaster that might sometime happen.  For this choice, explain the student will use the notes on preparing for the disaster.  For a sample, play a video from online, such as this Hurricane Survival Guide from MSN.com, without the projector on, so students just hear the script as if it were a radio broadcast.
    • The student can choose to write a weather warning for the particular disaster he/she has researched.  For this choice, the student will use the notes on the particular disaster.  Project the Sample Weather Warning from NOAA that is included in the printouts.  Explain to the students that this is what radio and television stations receive when a warning has been issued.  Model for the students using the provided script how this warning is turned into a live radio warning.  Also, discuss with the students the sense of urgency that the announcer’s voice has when reading a weather warning and that they may include their notes on what to do during a weather disaster.
    • The student can choose to write a newscast after the disaster has struck and explain what happened to the area.  For this choice the student will use the section on description and after the event survival tips.
  3. While students are working on their scripts, check the students have completed the Natural Disaster Notetaking Sheet.
  4. As students complete their rough drafts of their scripts, assign them to be partners.  Hand out stopwatches to each pair.  Instruct students to practice reading their scripts as they time each other, checking that each reaches the two minute minimum time length.  Recommend students make suggestions for improvement on each other’s scripts.  If time allows, switch partners for more practice.
  5. For homework, assign students who did not complete their scripts to finish and practice.

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Session Six

  1. Collect students’ final copies of their scripts.  Read these and make any suggestions before the next session.
  2. Model steps 1-12 of creating a glog using the printout Glog It.   Save step 13 for tomorrow when they have recorded their broadcast.
  3. After modeling the steps, have the students open their word processing files with their images so they have their pictures for their glogs.  Give each student his/her username and password.  When the student signs in for the first time, the student will be asked to type in his/her name.  Instruct the students to do so because then you will be able to see on your teacher dashboard the students by name and username.
  4. Allow students time to work on their glogs.  While students work, check on their accuracy of information.  Question students about which pictures they have selected and why these pictures represent their disaster.  Offer feedback on their layout and choices for their glogs as they work.
  5. Encourage students to work on their glogs from any computer (home or public library, for example) since this is an Internet-based program.

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Sessions Seven and Eight

  1. Demonstrate how to use Audacity (or other recording software) and where to save an audio file on your computer system.  Model for the students how to add this sound file to their glogs, which is step 13 on Creating a Glog.
  2. Divide the class into two groups.  Rather than having all students recording at once, give the microphones and headphones to every other student to minimize background noise on the recordings.  Those not recording can work on citing their sources using their file on images as well as their note taking sheet for books and websites.  Suggest to students that they can use Easybib.com for creating their Works Cited page.
  3. Allow students time to work on their glogs. Monitor their progress.  Check on the accuracy of their Works Cited pages.
  4. Remind students that during Session Nine all glogs will be shared, so encourage them to work outside of class.

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Session Nine

  1. Have each student share his/her glog with the class, allowing students to ask questions at the end of each presentation.  From the teacher’s dashboard in Glogster, each student’s glog can be easily accessed so that each student does not have to log-in before each presentation.
  2. After all have presented, allow time for the student reflection questions that are included in the assessment section.

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EXTENSIONS

  • Establish a class wiki and post links to the glogs to the wiki.  Publish your classroom wiki to the community, so the audience for your students is larger.
  • Give students the option of adding a video recording in place of a sound recording.
  • Read other books that feature natural disasters such as TheVolcano Disaster by Peg Kehret, Earthquake Terror by Peg Kehret, Trapped by Michael Northrup,  Night of the Howling Dogs by Graham Salisbury, Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes or The Killing Sea by Richard Lewis.
  • If computer resources are not available, students could make posters with paper and present these to the class.  As part of their presentations, the students could read their scripts to the class.

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STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

  • Review each student’s completed Natural Disaster Notetaking Sheet and recording script.
  • During the class periods, observe and note the students’ time on task as this is one of the categories on the rubric.
  • Using the Natural Disaster Glog Rubric, evaluate each student’s completed glog.
  • Allow class time for students to present their glogs to the class.  Question students about their choices of graphics and pictures for their disaster.  Allow classmates to pose questions to each presenter.
  • After all the glogs have been presented, ask students to reflect on the learning experience by having them complete one or more of the following prompts.  Explain that their answers can include information they learned from each other’s presentations.

o    Because of this project, I learned ____________ about natural disasters.

o    Because of this project, I learned ____________ about technology.

o    The most important ideas I learned from this project was____________.

o    I want to know more about _____________.

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