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A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Losing consciousness-Silent disasters

Categories:s1 and s2
Sometimes, I think that teaching disasters has little impact as we feel so far removed from them. When students are learning about volcanoes or earthquakes, for instance, they are far more interested in the forces of nature behind the phenomena than the effect on people that they have. We are studying hurricanes at the moment in the s1 class, and I'd like the class to think about disasters that they don't hear about, or events here which they have not really classed as natural disasters which are in their own realm of experience. I can't remember if this is blocked, but I'll start the lesson with a geogreeting. We can talk about 'silent' disasters-Catastrophic events which we don't hear about because of their geographical location, the wealth or politics of the country where they occur. That's where the map in the greeting will be useful. It should emphasise the things which dilute their awareness of the disasters. Then, I'd like to show some images from flickr:

I'm sure the class will quickly pick up on the fact that this is a UK example. I love the shot of the empty road as it's a clear impact of the flooding. The other thing that is interesting about the slideshow is the volume of people and their expressions- laughter, curiousity, anger, concern. This is what I'd like to concentrate on, people's emotions, as it leads perfectly to the emotion graphing for the Hurricane Katrina clip we'll then use. To close the lesson, we'll 'travel with our minds' (copyright of the geography collective). I gave each of the class a new 'name' a couple of lessons ago. They had to wiki map their name as it referred to a previous hurricane. Some were (in)famous, some were not. I'd like the class to imagine they rode out their hurricane and write a postcard/telegram/blogpost to tell others what it was like. I want the students to do this before further researching their hurricane and then cross-check how accurate their account might have been. From this, hopefully, the class will realise that not all hurricanes, or for that matter, disasters have the same effect, despite what our popular perceptions of them are.


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