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Assessment Resource Centre (ARC)

  1. Stage 3
  2. Science and Technology
  3. Activities
  4. Investigating a natural disaster
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Investigating a natural disaster

Grade Work Samples
End of Stage 3 (end of Year 6)
Grade C Chris   Taylor  
Grade D Sam  

Foundation Statement strands

The following strands are covered in this activity:

Investigating Scientifically, Designing and Making, The Natural Environment

Description of activity

Students investigate a natural disaster and design and make a poster to present their findings.


  1. Students develop a plan for their poster to show the specific areas/subheadings to be included about the natural disaster they have selected to research for this activity.
  2. From their collected sources they select the relevant information about the natural disaster that will be included under the subheadings on the poster.
  3. Students analyse the information and summarise it into their own words.
  4. They use the poster plan and the text they have constructed to make their poster.

Suggested materials

Large sheets of paper or poster cardboard, pens, pencils, illustrations or photographs, glue, computer with internet access

Prior learning

This task about investigating a natural disaster is a small part of a Science and Technology unit of work that is integrated with learning in a Human Society and Its Environment unit. Students investigate some natural phenomena that affect their surroundings and have changed the Earth over time. The unit focuses on the students' first-hand experiences in investigating, designing and making and using technology to develop their understanding about the natural environment. Students have identified a number of questions that they could use to find out about a natural disaster. These questions will be used by the students as subheadings on the poster. Students select two or more sources, including the internet, and collected data to address questions for the natural disaster they have selected. They have established the design criteria for a successful poster, for example size, layout of text and graphics, and relevant information. The poster will be used to present their findings about a natural disaster to an audience.


Earth and its Surroundings (ES S3.6)
Recognises that the Earth is the source of most materials and resources, and describes phenomena and processes, both natural and human, that form and change the Earth over time.
Investigating (INV S3.7)
Conducts their own investigations and makes judgements based on the results of observing, questioning, planning, predicting, testing, collecting, recording and analysing data, and drawing conclusions.
Designing and Making (DM S3.8)
Develops and resolves a design task by planning, implementing, managing and evaluating design processes.
Using Technology (UT S3.9)
Evaluates, selects and uses a range of equipment, computer-based technology, materials and other resources to meet the requirements and constraints of investigation and design tasks.

Criteria for assessing learning

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Identify information that is relevant to the selected natural disaster.
  • Analyse data from the selected sources and record the information in their own words.
  • Develop a plan for presenting the information in a poster.
  • Select and use appropriate materials and tools to construct a poster.
  • Design and make a poster using and modifying their plan as necessary.
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