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Lesson Plan

Glogging About Natural Disasters

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Glogging About Natural Disasters

Grades 5 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Nine 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Kathy Wickline

Kathy Wickline

Tolono, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology






  • Computers with Internet capabilities, microphones, headphones, and the free software Audacity loaded onto the computers
  • Classroom with LCD projector and whiteboard/interactive whiteboard
  • Books about natural disasters
  • Stopwatches for timing

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  • Glogster EDU

    For a minimal charge, this website provides fifty accounts per educator to create glogs.  Additionally, it offers schools a yearly subscription levels so that students can be linked to more than one teacher.

  • Audacity

    This free software will allow students to record and then upload their recordings to their glogs.

  • MSN.com

    MSN has several videos that can serve as examples for the radio broadcasts.  Simply play the video without projection, so students hear the videos as if it were on radio.  Furthermore, you can search the website for just videos, making it very easy for the busy educator to find an example.

  • Easybib

    Students can use this website to cite their sources using MLA format.

  • NOAA

    Reports of past weather events all over the world in concise, easy to understand language.  This website also has the current weather warnings for the United States which can serve as a guide for the students’ recordings that they will create as part of their glogs.  The current weather warnings are listed at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/view/nationalwarnings.php.

  • U.S. Geological Survey

    This site fully covers all natural disasters that have happened in the world.

  • National Geographic: Natural Disasters and Weather

    This website has several articles on the various disasters and safety tips.  Additionally, the kids’ section of the site has short videos of storms.

  • National Geographic: Forces of Nature

    At this website, students can learn about tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, and volcanoes as well as create simulations of these natural disasters.

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  1. Before these sessions, students have learned note taking skills.  They can be taught note taking skills through the minilesson Research Building Blocks:  Notes, Quotes, and Fact Fragments as well as know the importance of citing sources through the standard lesson Research Building Blocks:  “Cite Those Sources.” Furthermore, if this is the students’ first project citing sources, then using Exploring, Plagiarism, Copyright, and Paraphrasing prior to this project would be beneficial.
  2. Before this lesson, work with your school librarian so that various titles on individual natural disasters as well as books that cover these topics in general for safety and survival tips will be available.  The Suggested Print Materials about Natural Disasters has several titles for the latter type of books.  Additionally, the Natural Disaster Booklist gives more titles that will benefit the students’ research.  Reserve one period in your school library to check out these books and for students to begin their research (or check out these books for your classroom).
  3. Reserve time in your school’s computer lab for a total of five class periods, with at least one day out of the lab between sessions four and five.  Check that computers have Audacity or other software for the students to record as students will produce their own short weather-related recording.  Microphones and headphones must also be available for the students.
  4. If possible, have the research websites and Glogster EDU bookmarked on the computers.  If that is not feasible, you can sign up for a wiki at Wikispaces where you can create a class page for the links and later use this site to show your glogs to your community.  If that is not possible, make copies of  the Natural Disaster Websites, one per computer.
  5. Sign up for an account at Glogster EDU and request the number of student accounts you need (up to fifty are included in your subscription).  Glogster will generate user names and passwords for your student accounts.  Assign each student an account.
  6. Make copies of Creating a Glog, the Natural Disaster Glog Rubric, and the Natural Disaster Checklist (one for each student).
  7. Familiarize yourself with Glogster by using the ReadWriteThink Strategy Guides Teaching With Glogster: Using Virtual Posters in the Classroom and Using Glogster to Support Multimodal Literacy.   Practice the steps of making a glog using Creating a Glog.  Create a sample glog for a natural disaster or use a sample from the Glogster EDU website such as The 2011 Japan Tsunami.
  8. Also, become familiar with Audacity (or other recording software) so that you can save files as .mp3 or .wav.
  9. Find current weather warnings from the NOAA which students can use to write their scripts for their recordings.  See the Sample Weather Warning for an example.

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