Activity Introduction


Quick summary: Students investigate and evaluate the various ways natural disasters are communicated to design a safety kit for their home to share with family and friends. 

Subjects: Design and Technology.

Year Level: 7 & 8.

Topics: Creative Thinking, Sustainability, Climate Change and STEM.

Teaching Time: 70 minutes.

21st-century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingDigital LiteracyEntrepreneurshipFlexibilityGlobal CitizenshipProblem FindingProblem SolvingTeam Work  

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 & 8 Design and Technologies:

  • Analyse how people in design and technologies occupations consider ethical and sustainability factors to design and produce products, services and environments (AC9TDE8K01)
  • Analyse needs or opportunities for designing, and investigate and select materials, components, tools, equipment and processes to create designed solutions (AC9TDE8P01).

Syllabus outcomes: T4.1.2.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 7 & 8 achievement standards: Students explain how social, ethical, technical and sustainability considerations influence the design of innovative and enterprising solutions to meet a range of present and future needs. They explain how the features of technologies influence the design and production decisions. Students explain a range of needs, opportunities or problems and define them in terms of functional requirements and constraints. They collect, authenticate and interpret data from a range of sources to assist in making informed judgements.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – Facilitate classroom discussion.

Resources required:

  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class.
  • Ipads or devices capable of connecting to the internet and viewing websites and watching videos
  • Materials – coloured card, blank white paper, scissors, tape, glue, coloured pencils, snap-lock bags
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.

Related Professional Development: We encourage you to undertake the free PD Course How to teach a unit on fire and flood resilience for tips on how to best deliver this lesson.

If you’re concerned about the challenging nature of these topics, consider the free PD Course How to approach trauma in the classroom for information on how best to support your students.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Fire&flood_Lessonframe_4Teacher Preparation

Handling Sensitive Topics:

While presenting the lesson, you may notice that students could develop heightened emotions as you uncover the physical and psychological effects of hazards and disasters. Resilience, rebuilding and hope are essential learnings from the lessons. Therefore, it is vital to create a psychologically safe place for students to discuss and debrief, shall they need to. The tasks can be activating for some students and could trigger old memories that some students may find challenging to revisit or process. You should direct students to a school counsellor if they require additional support and read through the Handling Sensitive Topics and Issues for more information. 

Delivery of Lessons:

The Years 7 to 8 Design and Technology lessons will encourage students to explore the essence of sustainable and resilient design and how to improve the resilience of communities that have or may be affected by natural disasters. Students will analyse curre

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Student Worksheet

Thought-starter: We can't respond if we don't understand the warning signs. 

1. Warning Systems

Watch: Introducing the Australian Warning System

Next to each symbol, write the hazard and what phase the hazard is in Advice, Watch and Act or Emergency Warning.

Fire symbol

hazard warning

Explain what the yellow, orange and red colours represent in the symbols.

Explain why a triangular shape is used?

2. Bureau of Meteorology Website Research 

Visit the Bureau of Meteorology Website (, and hover over your state or territory in the top right of the page. A menu will come down, select the weather warnings and work through the links to get information.

Write down one weather warning in your area or state and any necessary phone numbers in the table below.

Weather warning in your area or state
Other important phone numbers

3. Safety Preparation Kit


a. Choose one natural hazard event below. Read the information on the website or watch the clip. What are the pre

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