2. Geophysical Hazard Risks

Lesson Plans for Geophysical Hazard Risks

These learning activities cover everything in the IB guide for this topic. Lesson plans include resources to use on an interactive whiteboard and worksheets to print. The pages have full student access to give maximum flexibility to the teacher and the student. There are theoretical notes for extended reading and teacher notes at the top that provide timing information lesson objectives and activity instructions.


The distribution of geophysical hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, mass movements)

The relevance of hazard magnitude and frequency/recurrence for risk management

The Distribution of Geophysical Hazards

This page begins with a map test based on plate knowledge but can be supported as you like with an outstanding Flash resource. The lesson goes on to examine the distribution of hazards, through a number of different maps and galleries, supported with a focused worksheets based on the distribution of earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides as well as the reasons behind this. Following this the resources focus on recurrence intervals, frequency and measurement of earthquakes and volcanoes. There is a number of  activities based on videos and gallery images that secure student understanding of the Moment Magnitude Scale and the Volcanic Explosivity Index.


Geophysical hazard risk as a product of economic factors (levels of development and technology), social factors (education, gender), demographic factors (population density and structure) and political factors (governance)

Geographic factors affecting geophysical hazard event impacts, including rural/urban location, time of day and degree of isolation

Risk Vulnerability and Human Causes

This page develops the concepts of risk and vulnerability through the Disaster Risk Equation and Crunch Model. It begins with a photograph analysis question to identify factors of vulnerability. This is introduced in a student-focused activity first, before re-examining Iain Stewart's Anatomy of an Earthquake video. Students then use an A3 noting sheet and resource pack to examine the levels of risk posed to a number of located geophysical hazard events. This can be done via the resource pack or via the site in independent/pair work.

Geographical Factors and Risk

This page develops in some depth the different localized geographical factors that influence risk. The lesson begins with a gallery/photo analysis activity to explore local factors. Students then look in more depth at resources based on the earthquakes at Sinchuan, Kashmir and Bam and complete their noting sheet, examining geographical factors before, during and after the events. This can be followed up with the 9-card diamond ranking and discussion on generalised local geographical factors. The lesson concludes with the introduction to the essay assessment on risk.

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