Poverty and Natural Disasters: Exploring the Connections

In 1989 a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck San Francisco. Sixty-three people died. This year, a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti. A month after the disaster the Haitian government estimates that more than 200,000 people died. Why the huge difference? In this lesson students will answer that question as they identify and explore connections between poverty and natural disasters. 

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Activities and embedded assessments address the following standards (McREL 4th edition)


Standard 1. Understands that scarcity of productive resources requires choices that generate opportunity costs

Language Arts

Standard 5. Uses the general skills and strategies of the reading process

Standard 7. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts

Standard 8. Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes 

Life Skills

Standard 1. Understands and applies the basic principles of presenting an argument

Standard 6. Applies decision-making techniques