Natural Disasters Learning Guide

This learning guide was created for the 4th grade team at Fairmont Elementary to be used alongside the ReadyGen curriculum. Enjoy and email me with any edits that need to be made, or projects you’d like to share based on the guide!*

The natural disasters within this learning guide include: 

  • blizzard
  • drought
  • earthquake
  • flood
  • hurricane
  • thunderstorm
  • tornado
  • tsunami
  • volcanic eruptions

Start with a database: 

A database is a great place to being researching because it is accurate, appropriate, and has authority. If you’re asked to login, remember our login and password is related to our mascot, the Fairmont Cardinal. Just email or ask your teacher if you forget, we’ll help you out!

WorldBook Student

  • This is a great place to begin. It includes all the topics listed above and even includes videos for hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, thunderstorms, and volcanoes. Remember to search using the topic in its singular form and check out all the amazing images that accompany the articles.

WorldBook Kids

  • Looking for a little easier read? Check out this database. It includes all the natural disasters listed above except for blizzards. In addition, there are videos for all except earthquakes and tornadoes.


  • This resource is also an easier read. All the natural disasters listed above are included and videos accompany all. Check them out alongside reading all the valuable information.

Looking for something in print? Check out the resources available at your school or public library.  

Ask your librarian for assistance or use the library’s catalog to search for a book. Books on natural disasters are mainly available in the 500s of the Dewey Decimal System. 

All of the disasters listed are included within the 2016 World Book Encyclopedias. These are available through the library for use in the classroom but are note available to be checked out to individual students.

Looking for more online resources? Check out these great sites: 

PBS Learning Media 

  • All of the natural disasters listed above are included. Simply type what disaster you’re looking for where it reads “search.”

National Geographic 

  • Use the search bar to find more information about the natural disaster of interest.

Spotlight on Jobs: 



  • A volcanologist studies volcanoes and volcanic phenomena.
  • Koontz, Robin. Scientists in the Field: Volcanologists. ISBN 9781634304092. Rourke Educational Media, 2016.
  • This book is also available in soft cover and as an e-book. It has a Lexile of 1030. In addition, this title will allow students to make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion. More information can be found by visiting

Want to be a disaster detector? Play this game provided by the Smithsonian, Filament Games, and the U.S. Department of Education. 

Disaster Detector

Want to be prepared in case of a natural disaster? Play these games provided by FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. 

Disaster Master 

Want to investigate how meteorologists predict weather? Play around with the Weather Lab provided by the Smithsonian, and the U.S. Department of Education. 

Weather Lab

*A note on this guide… This learning guide is not comprehensive but is focused on a few quality resources. This decision was made in order for students to focus their time on the project at hand. There are many, many more great websites available. I’m happy to provide more assistance and can be emailed at katelyn at circulatingknowledge dot com. Thanks!


Creative Commons License
This work by Katelyn Martens is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.