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Natural Disaster Essay Rubric Writing

Product Description

Included in this product is everything you need to have your students complete a project on a natural disaster. I designed it to use with my 4th graders, but it can easily be used for grades higher than 4th or to challenge 3rd grade students. I had students research a natural disaster in pairs and their projects included a 5-paragraph essay, visual aid, and oral presentation.

*UPDATE* The student directions handout and project grading rubric are now editable. Open the Powerpoint version and click on the document of slides 2 and 7. A text box will appear that you can edit.

Included in this 10-page PDF-file is:
1. Title Page
2. Student directions and expectations for the project
3. List of natural disasters for project choices
4. Planning guide for 5-paragraph essay
5. Sample 5-paragraph essay on hurricanes
6. Grading rubric for essay
7. Grading rubric for presentation of project
8. Picture examples of students’ visual aids for completed projects
9. Common Core standards addressed
10. Credits and Information page

This project aligns with many common core standards. It also requires a lot of technical, nonfiction reading that the common core recommends.

4th Grade Common Core Standards Addressed:
Key Ideas and Details
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.8 E
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2e P
Production and Distribution of Writing
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

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Directions:Choose ONE of question from the 10 essential questions listed below.

You may NOT choose an assignment that is written in either of the other colors.

Everyone may choose an assignment written in black.

At least ONE assignment from the three choices (General Knowledge, Projects, and Essential Questions) must be chosen in your color.

  1. People often say it is the randomness of natural disasters that makes them devastating.Define randomness.Define devastating.Explain how natural disasters are random and are NOT random.Use examples form the list of natural disasters to show both ideas.

  1. Global warming is a topic that has recently been on the minds of our government officials.You are a member of the EPA and have been chosen to give a speech to the president and congress concerning global warming and the possible effects on natural disasters on our planet.Write the speech.Rubric

  1. Natural disasters are the biggest cause of death for millions of people.If we could harness natural disasters and they would no longer be a threat to life how would the earth and its inhabitants be affected.Write an essay explaining the outcome of the harnessing of natural disasters.

  1. Explain the new technology that allows scientists to track and know when and where natural disasters will occur.What could be done to make the notification and evacuation process better for natural disasters?Research natural disasters and the technology that is used to detect them.Write an essay explaining what you have learned.

  1. Man-made disasters often cause natural disasters.When and how has this occurred around the world?Why does it continue to occur?

  1. When warned about a natural disaster arriving at a certain location some residents do not heed the warning.Explain situations when this has happened.Why does it occur?

  1. Why, when people know some of the hazards of living in certain places do people choose to live there anyway?Pinpoint locations that are known to be on the path of a particular natural disaster and explain why people choose to live there.

  1. Research the scientists who have been involved in the science of natural disasters who have made an impact on their effect to humankind.Who are they and how are their contributions able to help the people of the world live with natural disasters?

  1. Natural disasters occur, once they occur, what ability have we as individuals, as governments, as institutions, etc. have to help each other, warn each other, and give support to those who suffer from the effects of the disaster.Write a public service announcement for a T.V. commercial or a website that will get this point across to people.

  1. We know a great deal more today about natural disasters than we did in the past.This has helped our notification process and less people are impacted by the wrath of the disastersthan in centuries before.Choose natural disasters from the past and show how we have learned from them.How has this learning helped civilization?

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