Activity Introduction


Quick summary: Students explore why many people live in hazard-prone areas and choose to rebuild in the wake of a natural hazard. Students will reflect on why they live where they live and investigate data to identify the resilience of their own local area in the face of a natural hazard.

Subjects: Geography.

Year Level: 7 & 8.

Topics: Sustainability and Climate change. 

Teaching Time: 90 minutes.

21st-century skills: 

CommunicatingCommunity EngagementCritical ThinkingEthical UnderstandingProblem FindingTeam Work  

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 7 Geography:

  • Causes, impacts and responses to an atmospheric or hydrological hazard (ACHGK042)
  • Factors that influence the decisions people make about where to live and their perceptions of the liveability of places (ACHGK043).

Year 8 Geography:

  • Causes, impacts and responses to a geomorphological hazard (ACHGK053)
  • Spiritual, aesthetic and cultural value of landscapes and landforms for people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACHGK049).

Syllabus outcomes: GE4-2, GE4-3, GE4-4, GE4-5.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Geography achievement standards: 

Students describe geographical processes that influence the characteristics of places and how the characteristics of places are perceived and valued differently. They explain interconnections between people and places and environments and describe how these interconnections change places and environments.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Geography achievement standards: 

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.

Time required: 90 minutes.

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

Resources required:

  • 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

Learning Intentions: Students will…

  • … understand some of the reasons people live in disaster-prone areas
  • … identify the resilience of their own local area in the face of a natural disaster.

Success Criteria: Students can…

  • … list the reasons why they live in a place
  • … analyse data on the natural hazard risk of their local area.

Teacher content information:

With its variable climate and geography, Australia has a long history of disasters that are linked to natural hazards. Every year Australian communities experience fires and floods that wreak havoc on the environment and the inhabitants of those communities. The extent of damage caused by a natural hazard depends on the resilience of that community and its capacity to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from natural hazards. As climate change continues to impact, the likely increase in the frequency and severity of natural hazards means that communities need to be more resilient than

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Student Worksheet

Thought-starter: Why do people live in areas prone to natural hazards?

Step 1. Identify benefits or things you like about the area you live in.

Step 2. Consider some of the areas for improvement or things you wish were different about the area you live in.

Step 3. Watch this video and answer the questions that follow:
Video - Kingsley Dixon has built infrastructure to protect his home from bushfires (

  • In the video, Kingsley Dixon says he has lived through multiple bushfires. Why do you think he stays in the area instead of rebuilding in another location?

Step 4. Read this story: Why are communities in disaster-prone areas reluctant to relocate to safe havens? - Habitat for Humanity GB ( and answer the questions

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