Activity Introduction


Quick summary: Students will investigate the impacts of natural disasters on individuals and communities by exploring a case study. Students will then create a news story about the cause and impact of the natural hazards that occurred in Lismore (NSW), Lockyer Valley (Qld), Kalbarri (WA), Mallacoota (Vic) or Cobargo (NSW).

Subjects: Geography.

Year Level: 7 & 8.

Topics: Climate change and Sustainability.

Teaching Time: 90 minutes.

21st-century skills: 

CommunicatingCreative ThinkingCritical ThinkingEmpathyProblem FindingTeam Work  

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 Geography:

  • Causes, impacts and responses to an atmospheric or hydrological hazard (ACHGK042).

Year 8 Geography:

  • Present findings, arguments and ideas in a range of communication forms selected to suit a particular audience and purpose; using geographical terminology and digital technologies as appropriate (ACHGS061).

Syllabus outcomes: GE4-2, GE4-8.

General capabilities: LiteracyCritical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Geography achievement standards:

Water in the world’ develops students’ understanding of the concept of environment, including the ideas that the environment is the product of a variety of processes, that it supports and enriches human and other life, that people value the environment in different ways and that the environment has its specific hazards.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Geography achievement standards:

By the end of Year 8, students explain geographical processes that influence the characteristics of places and explain how places are perceived and valued differently. They explain interconnections within environments and between people and places and explain how they change places and environments. They compare alternative strategies to a geographical challenge, taking into account environmental, economic and social factors.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate small group work and class discussion.

Resources required:

  • A device capable of creating audiovisual recordings, such as an iPad or camera
  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Minderoo_geography_frameTeacher 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 Template for more information. 

Resilient Communities Framework:

Building resilience is equally about how we approach our work as it is what we ultimately achieve as a result of the work. The Resilient Communities Framework is comprised of two mutually-reinforcing components — the principles and the

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Student Worksheet

1. After watching the video Lismore's worst flood - February 2022 (, write down some of the ways natural disasters impact individuals and communities:

2. Fill in the table below and discuss how natural hazards impact the land, an individual and the community

Land  Individual Community
Explanation of how floods impact the land: Floods are considered a hydrological hazard associated with water occurrence, movement, and distribution, tsunamis, storm surges, floods and flash floods, droughts that occur in the Hydrosphere. Consider the various spheres and how they are impacted by floods. Explanation of an individual: A single human being is distinct from a group. Explanation of a community: A group of people that are living in the same place (suburb or street).
How do floods impact the land (flora and fauna)? How do floods impact a person? How do floods impact a community?



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