Lesson 8: Natural Disasters Lesson Overview: This lesson will explain what natural disasters are and discuss their impact on daily life, agriculture and the local economy. Students will learn about the floods, earthquakes and freezes faced by early settlers to Orange County and how they coped with these disasters. Expected Learning Outcomes: Natural Disasters” ♦ Copy of My Orange County history book In this lesson, students will be able to: page for each student ♦ Identify three types of natural disasters Orange County settlers faced during the Target Vocabulary: 20th century. ♦ Explain the impact that natural disasters Write these words on the board before each have on agricultural communities. lesson to reinforce key lesson concepts: ♦ Discuss the measures farmers and other ♦ natural disaster community members in Orange County ♦ flood took to minimize or prevent damage from ♦ earthquake future natural disasters. ♦ freeze Correlations to California’s Content Starting The Lesson – Activating Prior Standards: Knowledge: ♦ History-Social Studies: 3.1; 3.3; 3.5; ♦ Review teacher background information 4.1; 4.4 for this lesson plan. ♦ English-Language Arts (Listening and ♦ Ask students to define “natural disaster.” Speaking): 3.1 Together as a class, have students ♦ English-Language Arts (Writing): 3.1; 3.2 compose their own definition of “natural ♦ English-Language Arts (Written and Oral disaster.” Write this definition on the Language Conventions): 3.1 board. ♦ Sciences (Life Sciences): 3.3 ♦ Give students dictionary definition of a ♦ Visual and Performing Arts (Creative natural disaster and together, if Expression): 3.2 necessary, rewrite/correct their defini- ♦ Visual and Performing Arts (Connections, tion. Relationships, Applications): 3.5 ♦ Discuss the impact natural disasters can have on a community and explain the Materials: short-term and long-term social, physical, and industrial effects a disaster ♦ Photos: can have on a community. If desired, use ◊ Buena Park flood damage, ca. 1938 modern day examples including ◊ Santa Ana River flood damage, Hurricane Katrina (2005), the Indian Anaheim, ca. 1938 Ocean Tsunami (2004), and the ◊ Icicles on Orange fountain, ca. 1913 Northridge Earthquake (1994). ◊ Earthquake damaged building and car, ca. 1933 The Lesson - Learning Together ♦ Photos of Santa Ana Register newspaper reproduction of1938 flood ♦ Explain to students that a variety of ♦ Student Worksheet: “Orange County natural disasters—flood, freezes and earthquakes—were catastrophic to the Beyond The Lesson – Extension agricultural livelihood of Orange County Activity in the early 20th century. Discuss how the communities took steps to minimize ♦ Have students pretend they are or prevent damage from future forces of reporters for a local newspaper in the nature. early 20th century and must report on ♦ Show and pass around the Santa Ana one of the natural disasters that has hit Register newspaper reproduction to stu- Orange County. Each student writes a dents. Either individually or as a class, newspaper article about one of the have students read about the flood of disasters and “draws” a photo to 1938 and its effect on the cities of Ana- accompany the article. heim, Buena Park and beyond. ♦ Students add their article to their “My ♦ Class Discussion: Orange County” history book. ◊ Of the natural disasters that hit Orange County, which one do you think hurt agricultural growth the most? ◊ What else could the farmers and Teacher Background other community members have done to minimize the damage Like any area, Orange County and its caused by the disasters? agricultural livelihood were susceptible to ◊ Pretend you are an orange/citrus natural disasters, including floods, farmer and a freeze was predicted. droughts (previously learned vocabulary What are some things you might do word), earthquakes and fires. During the to protect your crops? Pretend a early years when Orange County’s pros- flood is predicted and explain what perity depended on agriculture, the you might do to protect your crops. weather wasn’t just something everybody ◊ If you were a farmer and talked about – it was a matter of life and experienced some or all of these death. freezes, floods or earthquakes, do Among the major natural disasters in you think you would have re- the first half of the 20th Century here were mained in Orange County and the freezes of 1913 and 1937, and the continued farming? Would you floods of 1916 and 1938. Another major have tried another type of crop or natural disaster during that time was the industry? Would you have wanted 1933 Long Beach Earthquake. to move to another county or state? The 1913 freeze (a bitter, consistent ◊ Do you think natural disasters can cold snap that can damage or destroy be predicted? crops) was the worst in Orange County’s history. The bitter cold – reported as low as Check for Understanding/Assessment: 18 degrees in some areas – lasted several days, and damaged or destroyed virtually My Orange County history book page: every crop growing at the time. ♦ Distribute this lesson’s page to each Citrus ranchers were particularly hard student. Either alone, in small groups or hit; freezing temperatures could not only as a class, students will complete the sen- destroy the fruit, but the trees themselves tences using target vocabulary words could actually burst open from the cold. from the lesson. Review with students Valleys and low lying areas, where cold and have them self-correct. could settle, were hardest hit. ♦ Students add this page to their My To fight the freeze, growers burned oil Orange County history book. in smudge pots placed throughout the groves as heaters to keep citrus from freezing. An estimated 60 percent of the Your Notes Here county citrus crop was damaged by the Use this space to make notes about the freeze of 1913, and fully 40 percent was lesson, additional resources used, teaching unmarketable as a result. The 1937 freeze reminders for next time, etc. caused heavy crop damage as well. Another great natural disaster was the ______________________________________ 1933 Long Beach Earthquake, which caused heavy damage in parts of Orange County, ______________________________________ and caused at least four deaths. Estimated at 6.3 on the Richter Scale, the quake was ______________________________________ especially strong in the areas around Garden ______________________________________ Grove, Santa Ana and Huntington Beach. In addition to freezes and earthquakes, ______________________________________ floods also took their toll. The 1916 flood destroyed a significant amount of crops, ______________________________________ fields, roads and bridges. Besides destroying crops and homes, the 1938 flood was also ______________________________________ responsible for about two dozen deaths in ______________________________________ Orange County. On March 3, 1938, the Santa Ana River left its bed and water ______________________________________ poured through downtown Anaheim, then to Buena Park and beyond. Fields and ______________________________________ orchards were buried under silt. Just three years later, Prado Dam was completed to ______________________________________ help control flooding on the Santa Ana ______________________________________ River. But in Southern California, droughts ______________________________________ are more common than floods, and can sometimes last for years at a time. The ______________________________________ drought of 1863-64 caused a number of the old Mexican rancheros to lose their land. ______________________________________ The drought of 1876-77 led to the battles ______________________________________ over the waters of the Santa Ana River. To prepare for droughts, local ranchers drilled ______________________________________ wells, built dams and irrigation ditches, and eventually began to look outside of Orange ______________________________________ County for additional water sources. Colorado River water reached Orange ______________________________________ County in the 1940s through the ______________________________________ Metropolitan Water District (MWD) aqueduct. Later, water from Northern ______________________________________ California arrived via the State Water Project. Today, much of South Orange ______________________________________ County is supplied by imported water. ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ Worksheet - Natural Disasters (Lesson 8) Work with students in your group to fill in each square with information about natural disasters you learned about in the lesson. Earthquake Freeze Flood Definition —what is it? Characteristics —what is it like? Impact on Com- munity —what are its effects? Possible Prepara- tion Steps —what can a farmer do to re- duce damage? 1938 Flood, Buena Park (Lesson 8) 1938 Flood, Anaheim (Lesson 8) Winter Freeze, Orange (Lesson 8) Earthquake Damage, Santa Ana (Lesson 8) Santa Ana Register, 1938 (Lesson 8) Santa Ana Register, 1938 (Lesson 8) My Orange County History Book Lesson 8: Natural Disasters Directions: Using the vocabulary words from this lesson, fill in the sentences below. Use each word only once. natural disasters • floods • earthquake • freeze 1. Two major ______________________ washed away crops, fields, roads and bridges in Orange County in 1916 and 1938. 2. Floods and earthquakes are examples of __________________ ___________________. 3. In 1933, an ________________________ centered in Long Beach caused a lot of damage in several parts of Orange County. 4. During a major crop ____________ in Orange County in 1913, farmers reported temperatures as low as 18 degrees. .
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