Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Lesson Plans




Media Arts/Writing

Grade level:



Emergency! Are You Prepared?

Time required:

75 minutes (Day One)

50 minutes (Day Two)


Act as emergency managers and develop a brochure that tells adults why they need to prepare an emergency survival kit and what belongs in an emergency survival kit. Students will utilize appropriate conventions and techniques for this type of media text.

Instructional Expectations

The Grade Six learners will:


  • Produce a variety of media texts for specific purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques
  • Identify conventions and techniques appropriate to the form chosen for a media text they plan to create, and explain how they will use the conventions and techniques to help communicate their message
  • Use a range of appropriate elements of effective presentation in the finishedproduct, including print, script, different fonts, graphics, and layout


a) Learners – Required Prior Learning

  • Students need to have had an opportunity to examine other media texts and identify conventions and techniques used
  • Students need to know about various media forms

b) Learning Environment

  • The students will sit at their desks for the lesson
  • The students will complete the assignment at their desks

c) Resources

  • Blackboard, masking tape
  • Pencil crayons, markers, glue, scissors, magazines (enough for each student to make use of)
  • A three column chart drawn on the board with the following headings: Natural Emergencies, Technological Emergencies and Human-caused Emergencies
  • Some photos/photos in books about large-scale emergencies where the damage caused by the given emergency is visible (be sure to pick photos that do not show human casualties, try to focus on the damage to the built and natural environments only)
  • A copy of Emergency Management Ontario’s Emergency Preparedness Video
  • which is available online at
  • Copies of Flood Aware Brochure (attached)
  • Blank paper
  • Copy of Is It A Natural Disaster Card Set (attached)
  • Examples of emergency preparedness brochures from local community available through your local Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC) or as available on your local municipal webpage
  • The emergencies most likely to happen in the community as determined by the local Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC) who can be reached through your local municipal office
  • Four to five copies of Emergency Management Ontario’s Emergency Survival Kit Card Game (attached)
  • Optional - Copies of Emergency Management Ontario’s Emergency Survival Kit bookmark available through
  • Optional - Copies of Emergency Management Ontario’s Activity Booklet for Children available through
Content Strategies



a) Introduction

Introduction to emergencies

b) Establishing the Learning

Definition of the three types of emergencies

Recognition that some large-scale emergencies (like those on the board) can force families to have to manage on their own for three days without access to stores, banks or basic utility services.

Identification of the importance of having a family emergency survival kit

Contents of a family emergency survival kit

Identification of the role of the local Community Emergency Management Coordinator and Emergency Management Ontario

Identification of conventions and techniques associated with brochures

Ask the students to define what an emergency is. Once several students have had the opportunity to define emergency, provide them with the definition below:

An emergency is a situation that could cause damage to property and put people in danger.

Explain that emergencies can affect one person (medical emergency – child choking), a few people (house fire) and sometimes a whole neighbourhood or village/town/city (flood).

Explain that today they will be focusing on emergencies that can affect a whole neighbourhood or a whole village/town/city.

Ask students to think back to grade five and the discussions they had in science class about natural disasters and the impact they can have on the “built” and “natural” environments.

Have all of the cards from the Is It A Natural Emergency Card Set taped randomly to the blackboard next to the three column chart.

Ask the students to identify all of the natural emergencies and move them to the appropriate column on the chart. If they have trouble, define a natural emergency and show them one of the natural emergency cards and place it in the chart.

Ask the students to identify the technological emergencies and provide the definition for a technological emergency:

Emergencies caused by a failure of technology (power failures, oil/gas line failures, dam failures, transportation emergencies)

If they have trouble, show them one of the technological emergency cards and place it in the chart.

Ask the students to identify the human-caused emergencies and provide the definition for a human-caused emergency:

Emergencies caused by the actions of people (riots, terrorism)

If they have trouble, show them one of the human-caused emergency cards and place it in the chart.

Go through the emergencies on the chart and explain that these sorts of emergencies can cause wide-spread damage and casualties that could overwhelm the resources of the local fire, ambulance (and hospital) and police services. Post some photos of the damage caused by natural emergencies (such as an earthquake, tornado and flood) on the board.

Brainstorming Activity – Have the students think about what could be damaged/made no longer available if a large-scale emergency like those on the board ever happened.

Listen to student answers and guide them toward the types of responses below:

- power, gas, water, telephone services interrupted

- stores and banks closed (no food or cash)

- roads, bridges damaged (cannot safely travel in car or on foot)

-large fires from ruptured gas lines

Explain that serious damage from large-scale emergencies could mean that you and your family have to stay in your home because it is too dangerous to leave. Ask the students the following question:

Would you be able to stay in your home for three days safe and comfortably, without basic services such as power, gas, water and telephone service?

Make note of the number who answer yes to the above question (unlikely that there will be more than 1 or 2 who are prepared appropriately).

Ask students if anyone has an emergency survival kit in their home. Show the students the sample kit and explain that an emergency survival kit contains all of the items you and your family would need in order to stay safe and comfortable for at least three days in the event of an emergency.

Go through the items in the kit and ask the students why you would include each item in the kit. Tell students that their family’s emergency survival kit should also include any required items for those family members with disabilities or special needs.

Explain that being prepared for emergencies begins at home. While Ontario has legislation and emergency management plans in place, in a major emergency, emergency services and other government resources could become strained. As such, families should prepare to be self-reliant for at least three days immediately after or during a large-scale emergency.

Explain that every community in Ontario has a Community Emergency Management Coordinator or CEMC and their job is to work with others and develop, maintain and implement the community’s emergency management program. They are responsible for things like determining what types of emergencies could happen in the community, writing the emergency management plan for the community and educating the public about how to prepare for emergencies. Identify the emergencies that the local CEMC has identified as most likely to happen in the community.

If being used, hand out the Emergency Preparedness Begins With You Activity Sheet for Children and direct them to the list of items that should be in an emergency survival kit.

Explain that Emergency Management Ontario is the branch of the Provincial government that deals with emergency management and that they work with CEMCs and other stakeholders to develop, maintain and implement emergency management programs.

Video (3 min.) – Show the Emergency Management Ontario Emergency Preparedness video.

Hand out a copy of the Flood Aware brochure and give the students a chance to look at it. Ask the following:

What conventions and techniques have been used by the author?

(headings, pictures, illustration that clearly identifies topic on front cover, insets with lists, contact information for more information, bold fonts, different size fonts, use of capitals, spacing, colour)

Content Strategies

Consolidation of Learning

Play Emergency Management Ontario’s Emergency Survival Kit Card Game. Divide the class into four or five groups and hand out a copy of the game (make sure the cards have been cut out before the lesson to save time). Read out the instructions to the class as they appear on the first page. Allow students to play for 10 minutes.


Day one:

Tell students that they are now emergency managers and their job is to develop a brochure that tells adults why they need to prepare an emergency survival kit and what belongs in an emergency survival kit (write this on the board).

Remind students they must use appropriate conventions and techniques for brochures as discussed here and in previous media text lessons.

Provide the students with pieces of blank paper (one for their rough draft and one for their finalized version). They can fold the paper the same way as Flood Aware brochure (thirds).

Students can use markers, pencil crayons and photos/phrases from old magazines in their brochures. Students can decide how much information to put in text form and how much in picture form.

Students should be told how their brochures will be assessed (see Evaluation section below).

Tell students to complete a rough draft of their brochure in pencil and have it peer-edited before they begin their good copies. Students should be told that the rough draft will be required when they hand in their finalized version.

Day two:

The students will have their rough draft peer-edited, if it hasn’t been already and work on their finalized version.


Observe students throughout the lesson and circulate throughout the application activity. Make note of any student who appears to be having difficulty or requires assistance to complete the assignment.

The posters will be assessed using the attached rubric (this information needs to be provided to students before beginning the brochures).

Additional Related Activities

  • Invite the local CEMC into the classroom to see the emergency survival kit brochures by students
  • Students could complete their brochures on the computer using appropriate fonts and photographs from clip art
  • Host a parent info night and students could display their brochures and an emergency survival kit for parents to see (a short presentation about being prepared could also be part of the info night)
  • Grade six flood aware brochure is available as a separate document – please ensure you have this document before teaching this lesson

Is It A Natural Disaster?

(Cut these cards out ready to use before lesson)

 Is It A Natural Disaster? (1)

 Is It A Natural Disaster? (2)

Emergency Preparedness Grade 6 – Lesson 1

What you need to know to protect you and yoru family