Activity Overview

During any natural disaster, it's important to have a plan in place to stay safe and know what resources are available. In this activity, students will create an action plan for what someone should do if they are in an earthquake, or other natural disaster. The example above and the instructions specify earthquake, but you can update the instructions accordingly.

Being stuck in an earthquake can be a terrifying experience that can cause panic. It is important to have an action plan so you know what to do in the event an earthquake hits.

Experts recommend that, if you're inside, you don't leave the building until the shaking stops. Try to get as close to the ground as possible. When you are on your knees, cover your head and neck with your hands to protect yourself from anything falling. You should place yourself away from outside walls, windows, shelves, or anything else that can fall on you. If possible, try to hide under a sturdy desk or table. If you are in bed, you should stay there and cover your head with a pillow. If you are outside, find a place that is away from buildings, trees, or utility cables. If you are driving, stop as quickly as possible away from anything that could fall. Make sure you stay inside your car.

After an earthquake has finished, try to move to open ground if there is a safe and clear exit. If you are trapped, don’t move around; if you have your cell phone, call or text for help. Assist others if you can and make sure you monitor local TV news and radio for updates. After earthquakes, there are often aftershocks, so be prepared to drop and cover if one happens.

Check out for more information.

Alternatively, have your students make visual action plans for other natural disasters such as a hurricane or volcanic eruption.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a narrative storyboard explaining what you should do during an earthquake.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Use a series of scenes, characters, props, shapes and Textables to create a narrative storyboard detailing what you should do (or should not do) during an Earthquake.
  3. Save often!

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-6

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Earthquake Action Plan
Create a visual action plan storyboard showing what you should do in the event of an earthquake.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
All the visualizations are easy to understand and help in telling the story.
Most of the visualizations are easy to understand.
Some of the visualizations are easy to understand.
The storyboard clearly and correctly describes what you should do in the event of an earthquake.
The storyboard correctly describes what you should do in the event of an earthquake but it is not clear.
The storyboard does not clearly and correctly describe what you should do in the event of an earthquake.
The work is highly creative. It could be used as an exemplary model.
Creativity is evident.
Creativity is not evident.
There are only minor errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, or usage, if any.
There are few errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, or usage, but they do not hinder understanding.
There are many errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, or usage which make the text difficult to understand.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

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