Activity Introduction


Quick summary: In this lesson, students refer to climate data and an interview with weather experts, to examine how man-made climate change is increasing the severity and frequency of natural disasters.

Subjects: Geography.

Year Level: Year 8.

Topics: Sustainability and climate change. 

Teaching Time: 60 minutes.

21st-century skills: 

CommunicatingCommunity EngagementCritical ThinkingDigital LiteracyEmpathyEthical UnderstandingProblem FindingProblem SolvingTeam Work  

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 8 Geography:

  • Causes, impacts and responses to a geomorphological hazard (ACHGK053)

  • Evaluate sources for their reliability and usefulness and select, collect and record relevant geographical data and information, using ethical protocols, from appropriate primary and secondary sources (ACHGS056).

Syllabus outcomes: GE4-3, GE4-7.

General capabilities: Literacy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Geography achievement standards: 

A framework for developing students’ geographical knowledge, understanding and skills is provided through the inclusion of inquiry questions and specific inquiry skills, including the use and interpretation of maps, photographs and other representations of geographical data.

Time required: 80 minutes.

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

Resources required:

  • A device capable of conducting research (1 per pair)
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.

Related Professional Development: Add partnered courses, if they are part of the project. If not, erase this line. 

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


Teacher Worksheet


Teacher 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 t

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Student Worksheet

Thought-starter: Is man-made climate change increasing the severity and frequency of natural disasters?

1. Watch the video: Big Weather (and how to survive it) ( and write any information in their See, Think, Wonder tables.

What do you see? What do you think? What do you wonder?

2. During the video you would have noticed experts speaking about weather and climate. Read the quotes and discuss the relevance and importance of climate and hazards. 

Graham Hawke - Bureau of Meteorology: “Catastrophic power of severe weather should never be underestimated.”
Andrew Crisp - Emergency management Victoria Commissioner: “There are things we can’t control, we can’t control the weather. It is summer, it’s hot, there’s going to be fires. That is our history.”
Steve Warrington - Vic CFA Chief Officer: “Where is that lightning bolt going to strike to start the fire?”
Darren Klemm - WA Fire and Emergency Comm

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