Lesson Bundle : Disasters - KS2


Lessons to help KS2 children learn about why disasters happen and what people can do to help those affected by them. Disasters explored include industrial disasters such as Bhopal, the Chilean mining disaster and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and natural disasters such as hurricane Katrina, the Boxing Day Tsunami and earthquakes in Pakistan and Haiti. Lessons include: Trapped in the Mine, Disaster: Quake, Disasters: Prevention is Better than Cure, Emergency, Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Tsunami

Trapped in the Mine

This lesson is based on the news story about the copper miners who became trapped in a mine in Chile. Suitable for upper KS2.

Cross-curricular links: Art,  literacy, science (materials)

Learning Activities:

  • Investigating the uses of copper.
  • Leadership qualities
  • Making posters to show Health and Safety at school and at home.
  • Making leadership masks
  • The legend of the phoenix


Disaster: Quake

This lesson demonstrates how individuals can use their particular skills to help in a disaster. It also explains how earthquakes happen. Links: keeping safety, EARTH DAY

Cross curricular links: Geography, Literacy, IT

Learning Activities

  • Put together a shelter kit
  • Write a description of a scene (word bank provided)
  • Research information on the Peace Bridge


Disasters: Prevention is Better than Cure

This lesson explores how some tragedies can be avoided if preventative measures are taken. It uses the 2005 Louisiana hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Tsunami, the Bhopal disaster in India in 1984 and the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 as examples. Links: keeping safety

Cross curricular links: Literacy, Geography, History

Learning Activities

  • Paired discussion about accidents the children have experienced
  • Making an assessment of risks around school
  • Discussion:  When is there a need to take risks?
  • Making a safety leaflet



This lesson describes how the emergency services operate. It also explains the role of the volunteer and how to administer basic First Aid in situations such as nose bleed and bee sting. The lesson includes a video containing interviews with the staff of Kent Air Ambulance, and an electronic First Aid quiz. Links: medicines, keeping safety, ROAD SAFETY WEEK

Cross curricular links: Health and Safety, Literacy 

Learning Activities

  • Prepare a presentation for the younger children to educate them on keeping safe in certain locations e.g. the beach
  • Complete a quiz relating to the video about Kent Air Ambulance


Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

This lesson explores the environmental, social and financial impact of the 2010 oil spill. It looks at efforts to contain the oil and the massive clean-up operation to try and save some of the wildlife and habitats affected by the spill. It is suitable for Year 4 upwards. Links: green, EARTH DAY

Cross-curricular links: science, design and technology, environmental awareness

Learning Activities:

  • Exploring the advantages and disadvantaged of alternative energy sources
  • Making model electric cars



This lesson tells the story of the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004, how the world reacted, and the processes involved in saving lives, restoration and rebuilding. Suitable for Year 4 upwards. Links: community, schools, WORLD SCIENCE DAY

Cross-curricular links: Dance, literacy

Learning Activities:

  • creating mind maps
  • designing a community centre
  • developing and performing a dance to portray the disaster