Activity Introduction

Minderoo Geography frame

Quick summary: In this lesson, students will discuss and analyse the causes of hydrological and geomorphic hazards. Students will watch videos, and read about how young people were affected by hazards to create a warning report. 

Subjects: Geography.

Year Level: 7 & 8.

Topics: Sustainability and climate change. 

Teaching Time: 65 minutes.

21st-century skills: 

Critical ThinkingCultural UnderstandingEmpathyProblem Finding  

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 Geography:

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

Year 8 Geography:

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

Syllabus outcomes: GE4-2.

General capabilities: Literacy.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 7 and 8 Geography achievement standards: 

This unit examines the processes that shape landforms, the values and meanings placed on landforms and landscapes by diverse cultures, hazards associated with landscapes, and management of landscapes. ‘Landforms and landscapes’ develops students’ understanding of the concept of environment and enables them to explore the significance of landscapes to people. These distinctive aspects of landforms and landscapes are investigated using studies drawn from Australia.

Topic: Natural Hazards and Natural Disasters.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: Resilient Australia: Building Resilience To Natural Disasters.

Time required: 65 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: High – the lesson requires teachers to facilitate small group work and classroom discussions. 

Resources required:

  • A device capable of presenting a video 
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student
  • Video or voice recording device. 

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 t

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Student Worksheet

Thought-starter: We cannot stop natural disasters but we can arm ourselves with knowledge: so many lives wouldn't have to be lost if there was enough disaster preparedness — Petra Nemcova.

1.  If you are learning about fires, watch the video: The Science of Bushfires explained (


If you are learning about floods, watch the video: What causes floods? (

2. In your groups answer and discuss the following questions:

  • How do floods occur, and when do they become dangerous? 
  • How do bushfires occur, and how do they become dangerous? 

3. What are the different types of natural hazards? 

Think – On your own, brainstorm and write down as many types of natural hazards as you can think of. Use the space below and place them under the headings: Geological, Hydrological, Biological and Meteorological.
Pair – Compare your list with your partner. Do you have the same examples on your lists? Do you

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