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Goal: To explore hazards associated with cataclysmic natural events, and human responses to them.
Objectives: Students will
Concept: Cataclysmic events create threats to individual safety that must be analyzed and managed logically, methodically, and cooperatively.
Summary: Students imagine themselves staying for the weekend in a summer cabin near Mount St. Helens (or other volcanic site,) and having to quickly evacuate the area. Working in groups of three to six, they decide on the location of their cabin in relation to the mountain, and plan an evacuation procedure on a 30-minute timeline. Groups attempt to solve this problem cooperatively. Students then evaluate their groups' success, analyzing and discussing processes used to establish priorities, make plans and decisions, manage time and achieve consensus.
Content Areas: Social studies, language arts, science, group-process skills*
*Group's task may be simplified for younger students; for older students, it may be preceded or accompanied by specific instruction in such group-process skills as consensus-building, decision-making, conflict resolution, etc.
a. an all-terrain two-person vehicle
b. a battery-operated am/fm radio
c. three days' worth of food
d. three fishing poles and a hunting knife
e. three knapsacks
f. a camp lantern
g. map of Anywhere Recreation Area
h. a deck of cards.
a. Brainstorm members' thoughts and ideas about the evacuation, and list them on sheets of butcher paper.
b. Decide on the three best ideas and discuss negative and positive aspects of each.
c. Choose the best idea or combine ideas to arrive at the best option.
d. Brainstorm ways to carry out the plan.
e. Choose the best strategies, and assign roles and responsibilities.
f. Write up a plan of action, consisting of steps on a timeline.
(When students have agreed upon and completed the plan of action, they may consider themselves "evacuated." Have each group record the time it took them to complete the task.)
a. What were your thoughts and feelings about this activity?
b. What did you find difficult about it?
c. How does this simulation compare to a real-life situation?
d. How did your group resolve conflict?
e. What kinds of behaviors are important in an emergency situation?
f. What issues prevented or threatened to prevent your group's getting out in the time allowed?
g. Choose one of these issues and brainstorm possible alternate solutions.