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Natural Hazards, Grade 2: STEM Road Map for Elementary School

edited by: Carla C. Johnson, Janet B. Walton, and Erin Peters-Burton

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What if you could challenge your second graders to help communities prepare for disasters ranging from floods and wildfires to earthquakes and hurricanes? With this volume in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series, you can!

Natural Hazards outlines a journey that will steer your students toward authentic problem solving while grounding them in integrated STEM disciplines. Like the other volumes in the series, this book is designed to meet the growing need to infuse real-world learning into K–12 classrooms.

This interdisciplinary module uses project- and problem-based learning to help young children explore cause and effect. Working in teams, your second graders will draw on science, English language arts, mathematics, social studies, and the engineering design process to do the following:

• Identify various natural hazards, their basic causes, and how they affect people, animals, and communities.
• Model natural hazards.
• Identify features of structures designed to withstand earthquakes and then construct models of those structures.
• Learn about predicting weather, including measuring, calculating, and evaluating numbers involved in probabilities.
• Create their own “Weather Tall Tales.”
• Identify ways that people and communities can prepare for natural hazards and then communicate about the hazards to a target audience.

The STEM Road Map Curriculum Series is anchored in the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the Framework for 21st Century Learning. In-depth and flexible, Natural Harzards can be used as a whole unit or in part to meet the needs of districts, schools, and teachers who are charting a course toward an integrated STEM approach.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

About the Editors and Authors


Part 1: The STEM Road Map: Background, Theory, and Practice

1 Overview of the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

Standards-Based Approach

Themes in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

The Need for an Integrated STEM Approach

Framework for STEM Integration in the Classroom

The Need for the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series


2 Strategies Used in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

Project- and Problem-Based Learning

Engineering Design Process

Learning Cycle

STEM Research Notebook

The Role of Assessment in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

Self-Regulated Learning Theory in the STEM Road Map Modules

Safety in STEM


Part 2: Natural Hazards: STEM Road Map Module

3 Natural Hazards Module Overview

Module Summary

Established Goals and Objectives

Challenge or Problem for Students to Solve: Natural Hazard Preparedness Challenge

Content Standards Addressed in This STEM Road Map Module

STEM Research Notebook

Module Launch

Prerequisite Skills for the Module

Potential STEM Misconceptions

SRL Process Components

Strategies for Differentiating Instruction Within This Module

Strategies for English Language Learners

Safety Considerations for the Activities in This Module

Desired Outcomes and Monitoring Success

Assessment Plan Overview and Map

Module Timeline



4 Natural Hazards Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan 1: Let’s Explore Natural Hazards

Lesson Plan 2: Natural Hazard Quest!

Lesson Plan 3: Our Natural Hazard Preparedness Plans

5 Transforming Learning With Natural Hazards and the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

Appendix A: STEM Research Notebook Templates

Appendix B: Assessment Rubrics

Appendix C: Content Standards Addressed in This Module

Download a sample chapter

Grade Levels



Climate Science Curriculum Earth & Space Science Environmental Science Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans STEM Teaching Strategies


Type NSTA Press BookPub Date 9/1/2019Pages 178ISBN 978-1-68140-486-8Stock # PB425X18

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

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