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Dangerous Living

A Ray of Hope

factory haze

Unit Summary

Students role-play as environmentalists and study the causes and effects of landslides. They survey the landslide hit areas in Andhra Pradesh, analyse the data and determine the mitigation plans to help the people on the brink of a disaster. They develop landslide management plan and share it with the community. Students also use skits, folk songs and newsletters to create awareness among community.

Curriculum Framing Questions

  • Essential Question
    How does the place we live in impact our life?
  • Unit Questions
    Why should we care about landslides?
    How can we make the world a safer place?
  • Content Questions
    What causes landslides?
    What are the mitigation strategies to prevent it?

Assessment Processes

View how a variety of student-centered assessments are used in the Unit Plan. These assessments help students and teachers set goals; monitor student progress; provide feedback; assess thinking, processes, performances, and products; and reflect on learning throughout the learning cycle.

Instructional Procedures

Preparation of the Unit:
This unit brings enough opportunities for the pupil to integrate subjects and classroom learning with real life situations. Enable the students to identify the risk areas within the school and in their locality and prepare a plan to overcome such problems. Use of research methodology, problem solving, and creativity is well integrated into the unit. Application of real-world tools will create relevant, high-quality products, which help to develop higher order thinking skills. Tell them to organize their work to meet timelines and cover activities that would be required for the successful completion of the project.

Introducing the Unit:
Write, How does place we live in impact our life? on the board and encourage students to give their opinion about safety, relationship between safety and life, various changes occurring in the environment.

Give them sufficient time to write their thoughts about it in their notebooks. Discuss initial responses and record them on poster paper. Let students reflect on where they live. Ask questions and tell them to answer in their journals, such as:

  • What are the effects of population explosion?
  • What is the reason behind constructing houses on slopes?
  • Why do people settle in those places?

After this, hold a discussion on journal entry to find the effects of population explosion, reasons for constructing houses on slopes, etc. Share newspaper cuttings about landslides and engage the students to discuss the effects of the changes in the environment, causes and occurrence of landslides. Pose a scenario to the students – local government asked the students about the issue of landslides, analysis on the occurrence of landslides and the factors that compel people to construct their homes in dangerous high-risk zones, mitigation plans. Ask students to role-play as young environmentalists and study the causes of landslides. Students should keep in mind the skills of managing time, organisation, personal health, attitude and collaboration, which have significant impact on the quality of work. Distribute collaboration rubric (doc) to guide students work in teams. Divide students into 3 groups, 10 in each group.

Field Study
Engage students to think on the Unit Question, How can we make the world a safer place? Plan out field trips and visits to the nearby villages with students to find out houses located on the edges of slopes to collect information by interviewing the villagers according to the Survey Sheet Template (doc). Let them use the Guided Sheet Template (doc) to plan daily work. After collecting the data from the village, students to analyse the data and compile the field trip data and present it in the form of a spreadsheet (xls). Give two weeks time to the students to do the field trips and for collating the data.

Ask students to do the field trip and find out people living near dangerous places where landslides occur. They can cover areas like Venkojipalem and Rajivnagar for their research. While visiting these places let them find out the reasons behind the landslides, reasons for mushrooming settlements at hilltops, etc. Compare the labour settlements of 20 years before and the present day. After having group discussions to analyse the details ask them to suggest the measures to be taken to avoid a disaster. Create multimedia presentation rubric (doc) to assess student learning and share it with the class. Ask students to prepare a multimedia presentation based on the research findings. Give a copy of the rubric to all the students in the class, and explain the scoring system, expectations, and requirements for each level of the rubric. One week’s time can be given to the students to do the research and present their findings in a Multimedia Presentation (ppt). Ask students to communicate through E-mail to the District Collector on measures to be taken to avoid constructions in high-risk zones. Ask students to share the multimedia presentation with the local people in the government body. Encourage students to work as problem solvers involving the community, administration and the risk group.

Reaching out to the Community
Let students develop Family Disaster Plan in the form of newsletter. Let them focus on finding the landslide risk areas in the locality, identifiable hazard locations, and specific information on areas vulnerable to landslides, protection of property, minimising home hazards, and mitigation. Encourage students to visit http://ndmindia.nic.in/* a National institute of Disaster management Web site, and http://nidm.net/Landslides.asp*, a Web site on landslides and http://nidm.net/Administrative%20reforms.html* to understand the administrative reforms and disaster management.

Create newsletter rubric (doc) to assess student learning and share it with the class. Give a copy of the rubric to all the students in the class, and explain the scoring system, expectations, and requirements for each level on the rubric. Encourage students to become:

  • Writers to inscribe the skit in regional language
  • Musicians to write folk songs in simple language, which could be, understood by the villagers.
  • Editors to write articles for Newspapers of their learnings

Encourage students to create awareness about landslides with the help of skits and folk songs. While presenting the skits, newsletters will be distributed to the community leaders as well as the people in the community. Interacting with community leaders to do plantation on hill slopes. Inspire students to conduct watershed development program undertaken in various areas for community development. Two weeks time is allocated for writing the skits, poems and creating awareness.

As a culmination of the project class IX students will form Disaster Management Club. The objective of the club is as follows:

  • Promoting awareness and education activities.
  • Demonstrating Disaster Risk Management.
  • Conducting sensitisation programmes for safety aspects for children.
  • Conducting training in first aid, fire fighting, search & rescue, etc followed by Preparedness Emergency Drills.
  • Assessing vulnerability and taking suitable mitigation plans.
  • Preparing school’s Disaster Management plan.

Students both gifted and resource can be involved equally in this method as resource student is not the resource child outside the classroom and delivers a level of excellence in communication and in understanding real life problems. This is a project, which will continue throughout the rainy season and can be tried also during the summer season to find out the changes of landform.

Prerequisite Skills

  • Basic geographic knowledge of regions affected by landslide.
  • Conducting research using print and electronic resources.
  • Basic work processing/computer skills.

Differentiated Instruction

Incorporate written conversations into instruction to encourage self-expression and participation. Arrange the class into pairs, seated facing one another. Ask both partners to respond to an initial question or prompt in writing, and to then exchange the paper with their partner. The partner responds and they exchange again. The written conversation may continue using the same prompt or you may elect to alter it.

Resource Student

  • Allot extra time for them to complete the tasks.
  • Hold additional discussions to help organize data.
  • Develop a daily "to do" schedule of tasks to help focus the student's effort during project work.
  • Recognize the student's strengths and put them to use when assigning group tasks.
  • Set expectations for cooperative work so that all team members are engaged and their contributions valued.
  • Create opportunities for mutual teacher-student participation so that everyone feels a responsibility and openness to contribute.
  • Create opportunities for students to link theory with practice, i.e., encourage them to apply what they are learning with what's going on in the world.

Gifted Student

  • The student could study more complex questions concerning landslides in the Country.
  • Compare with the measures taken by other countries to reduce this problem.
  • The student can include more advanced technical attributes in the presentation.
  • A group of students could also be in charge of the Newsletter and be responsible for collating all the information from different classes.
  • Meeting with Disaster Management groups,NGO's etc who can educate them and support their findings.


Students of Class IX guided by Mr. Prasanta Kumar Panda, Teacher in Visakha Valley School, P. Janaki teacher in Mathematics for the skit, Padmavathi, HOD, Dept. of Telugu, Mrs. G. Radha for water harvesting program.

Dangerous Living

At a Glance

Grade Level: 9 - 12
Subject(s): Social Studies, Science and Language Arts
 Land slides
Key Learnings: Natural or Manmade Land slides, mitigation plans, problem-solving strategies, collaboration
Time Needed: 6 – 8 Weeks, Three 30-minute class periods per week