Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Lesson Plans



Health And Physical Education

Healthy Living

Grade level:



Emergencies and Staying Safe

Time required:

40 minutes


Identify what an emergency is and recognize the two types of emergencies: small-scale (those that affect one or a few people) and large-scale (those that affect a neighbourhood or entire community). Identify the actions they can take to stay safe during eight large-scale natural emergencies that can happen in Ontario.

Instructional Expectations

The Grade Two learners will:


• Demonstrate an understanding of practices that enhance personal safety in the home and outdoors (e.g. in school and community)


a) Learners – Required Prior Learning

  • None

b) Learning Environment

  • Students will remain in their normal seating arrangements for the lesson with the teacher leading the lesson
  • Students will work in pairs to complete a pre-assignment task
  • Students will complete the assignment on their own at their desk/table

c) Resources

** Contact your local Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC) through the municipal office to find out which natural hazards are most likely to occur in your community

Content Strategies


Identification of what is an emergency

  • Ask the students what an emergency is. Take several answers from the students indicating which are correct. Provide the following definition of an emergency to the class:
  • An emergency is a situation that could cause damage to property and put people in danger.
  • Divide the students into groups of three or four. Hand out a copy of the Emergency Spinner Game and explain the instructions as they appear on the first page of the game sheet.
  • Allow the students to play for 5 minutes. Go through each situation and identify it as an emergency or not an emergency and explain why.

Establishing the Learning

Recognize that there are different types of emergencies (small-scale and large-scale)

  • Explain that emergencies can affect one person (medical emergency – child choking), a few people (house fire) or sometimes a whole neighbourhood or village/town/city (flood).
  • Ask students if they can think of any other emergency that could affect their whole neighbourhood or their whole village/town/city.

Identification and definition of 8 natural emergencies

  • Display the book about or photo of each natural hazard (severe thunderstorm, severe snowstorm, tornado, earthquake, flood, ice storm, forest fire, large hail) so all students can see them. Ask the students what each natural emergency is. When a student correctly identifies one, place the name of the natural emergency on the photo or book using the Natural Emergencies Name Cards. Briefly and simply describe each type of natural emergency being careful not to scare children with descriptions.
  • Explain that there are things you can do to stay safe during an emergency. Explain the safety tips. Have the students stand and practice each safety action

Identification of what to do during 8 natural emergencies should they occur

  • Tornado – Go downstairs to the lowest level of you your house/building (action - walk down stairs)
  • Thunderstorm – Go inside (action – open door and walk through)
  • Snowstorm – Turn on the radio and listen for weather updates (action – turn knob and hold hand to ear)
  • Earthquake – Get under a strong table and hold on (action – crouch down and to hold on)
  • Flood – Get to high ground (action –walk up a hill)
  • Hail – Take cover (action – cover your head with your hands)
  • Forest Fire – Leave the area (action – open a door and walk out with a bag)
  • Ice Storm- Stay warm inside (action –look out a window and hug yourself)
  • Game: Have the students stand. Call out the names of various natural emergencies and have the students perform the appropriate safety action.
  • Play the game until at least all natural emergencies have been covered once.


Consolidation of Learning

Provide each student with one of the Natural Emergency Cards from the Natural Emergency Card Set and a piece of masking tape. Have the student attach the card to their shirt so everyone can see what they have. Explain to the class that some students have the name of a natural emergency on them, some have a drawing of a natural emergency on them and some have a safety tip on them. Explain that when told to start, they are to move around the room and find the two other students that go with their Natural Emergency Card.

For Example – If a student has a picture of a tornado on their card, they look for both the word Tornado and the card that shows a person walking downstairs.

When all matches are found, ensure everyone is correct. Each group should have a chance to quickly explain what natural emergency they had and what to do during that emergency.


Have students return to their seats and explain that they will complete a worksheet. They need to match the natural emergency name, drawing and safety action by drawing a line connect them appropriately.


Observe students throughout the lesson, games and activity and make note of any student having difficulty connecting the safety action with the appropriate natural emergency.

The assignment will be collected and assessed based on the attached rubric.

Additional Related Activities

• Set up an emergency worker learning centre with books, toys and activities about emergency workers

• Have the local Community Emergency Management Coordinator in to talk about natural emergencies

• Invite a Geologist to speak to the class about natural emergencies

• Set up a classroom library with books on natural emergencies and emergency workers

Match – It – Up

Natural Emergency Card Set

(cut out before lesson)

Natural Emergency Name Card Set