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Grade level:



Emergency Survival Kits

Time required:

20 minutes (lesson and group activity)

20 minutes (individual assignment)


Talk about thunderstorms and how to stay safe in a thunderstorm. Examine the various items to have at home in an emergency survival kit in the event of a thunderstorm or other emergency situation.

Instructional Expectations

The Kindergarten learners will:


  • Describe some natural occurrences, using their own observations and representations
  • Respond to a variety of materials read aloud to them
  • Begin to demonstrate control of small muscles in activities when using a variety of materials or equipment (scissors - cutting)


a) Learners – Required Prior Learning

  • Students need to have an understanding of what an emergency is and/or have completed the related Emergency Workers lesson from this unit

b) Learning Environment

  • The students will sit on the floor/carpet for the lesson/discussion
  • The students will complete the assignment at a desk/table

c) Resources

  • Copy of children’s book “Franklin and the Thunderstorm” (or other similar storybook that deals with thunderstorms and a fear of thunderstorms)
  • Pictures of oven, fridge, television, radio, portable phone, radio, furnace, air conditioner, computer, printer, iron, microwave, toaster oven, DVD player
  • A selection of grocery/hardware flyers, catalogues and magazines
  • Glue, scissors, crayons, markers, coloured pencils, white paper
  • Copy of Thunderstorm worksheet (attached)
  • Copy of Emergency Survival Kit worksheet (attached)
  • One complete emergency survival kit (contents available at
  • Copy of the EMO Emergency Survival Kit Bookmark for students to take home (optional)
Content Strategies



a) Introduction

Storybook: Franklin and the Thunderstorm

Author: Paulett Bourgeois

b) Establishing the Learning

Identification of thunderstorm safety rules

Recognition that some thunderstorms can cause power outages

Identification of other things in the home that will not work in a power outage

Identification of problems caused by a power outage

Examination of an emergency survival kit

Ask students what they know about thunderstorms. Listen to several answers and correct any misconceptions.

Explain that lots of children are afraid of thunderstorms but they do not have to be.

Show the students the book and explain that Franklin used to be afraid of thunderstorms, but his friends helped him to understand that they aren’t so scary after all.

Explain that there are things children can do to stay safe in a thunderstorm and if they follow these safety rules they may even enjoy the odd thunderstorm. Ask the students to listen carefully as you read the story and see if they can identify a thunderstorm safety rule.

Ask the students what thunderstorm safety rules where mentioned in the story.

Spend some time going through some basic thunderstorm safety rules:

• If you see lightning or hear thunder, go inside right away.

• If you are outside in a thunderstorm, do not go under a tree to stay dry because lightning is attracted to tall things. Also stay away from other tall objects like flagpoles and streetlights.

• If you are swimming outside, go inside as soon as you realize there is lightning or thunder.

Show students a flashlight and pass it around so the students can look at it (remind students that you never shine a flashlight in their own or other people’s eyes). Ask the students what a flashlight is for (so you can see in the dark). Explain that sometimes you need to use a flashlight during or after a thunderstorm that happens at night because some thunderstorms can cause a power outage. When there is no power or electricity coming into our homes, we cannot turn on lights to see.

Tell students that they are going to go on a scavenger hunt around the classroom to look for things they have at home that will not work in a power outage. Each student will need to try and find one thing that will not work if there is no power. Tell the students to look around and return to the carpet once they know something. Give the students a few minutes to complete the task and assist as necessary.

Once back at the carpet, ask the students what objects they identified as being unable to work in a power outage (oven, fridge, air conditioner, portable phone, radio, television are key but you will also get answers like computer, printer, iron, microwave, toaster oven, DVD player etc.). Have photos of these things or cut-outs of these things from magazines and post them on the board so students can easily identify them. Ask the student who identifies the object to stick the photo to the board.

Take away the photos of the non-essential things and leave oven, fridge, portable phone, radio, furnace (heat), air conditioner (cool) and television.

Ask students what happens if there is no power to your refrigerator for a long time? The students should say the food will melt/go bad.

Ask students what happens if there is no radio/television for a long time? The students may say things like no cartoons but the aim is to get them to say things like parents/guardians won’t know when the power is going to come back on/won’t get any news.

Ask the students what happens if there is no power to your oven? The students should say things like they cannot cook food.

Explain that while unusual, sometimes the power can be out for some time. Explain that in order to be ready in case this ever happens (it might not), students and their families need to prepare/put together an emergency survival kit.

If the students are not in a circle on the carpet, have them sit in a circle now.

Explain that an emergency survival kit has in it all of the items that a family needs to stay safe and comfortable in the event of an emergency such as a power outage.

Pull out the complete emergency survival kit and open it. Ask one student at a time to come up and take out one item and identify it. Explain why they need this item in an emergency survival kit. Have the student then place their item in the centre of the circle.

With this age group, emphasis should be placed on water, food, flashlight, radio and extra batteries. Quickly mention the other items but do not spend time getting into detail about the items and why you need them.

Focus on:

Food: If the food in your refrigerator goes bad because there is no power, your emergency survival kit will have a supply for you and your family. The food in your emergency survival kit has to be a special kind of food called non-perishable. This is food that does not need to be put in the refrigerator.

Water: If there is no power, the water you drink and wash with may become dirty and you may not be able to use it. Your emergency survival kit should have a supply of bottled water for you and your family to use.

Radio: If the power goes out, your television and all the radios that work using electricity will not work. Having a battery-operated or crank radio means you and your family will be able to get information about what is going on and when the power will come back on.

Flashlight: If the power goes out and it is night time, it will be dark and a flashlight will allow you and your family to see.

Batteries: If the power goes out, you will want batteries so that your radio and flashlight work.

Content Strategies

Consolidation of Learning

Ask the following:

  1. What kind of storm did we talk about today?
  2. What should you do if you see lightning or hear thunder?
  3. What are some things you should have in an emergency survival kit?


Students will be asked to complete a 2-part assignment.

The first part of the assignment is to draw a picture of a thunderstorm on the Thunderstorm sheet. Students should use crayons, pencil crayons and/or markers.

The second part of the assignment is to cut-out pictures of items that belong in an emergency survival kit from magazines/flyers and glue them on the Emergency Survival Kit worksheet. Visit those students completing the Emergency Survival Kit worksheet and ask the students to identify what they have drawn. Scribe the names of the objects for students.


Observe all students during the lesson and the subsequent assignments and make note of any students experiencing difficulty. Ask students about the picture they are drawing to ensure that they understand that in situations like a power outage (or other emergency – snowstorm, ice storm, earthquake, flood etc. ), having an emergency survival kit allows them to remain safe and comfortable, even if it lasts a long time. Record observations, as appropriate.

Additional Related Activities

  • Send home a letter to parents/guardians explaining the purpose of the lesson and provide them with a link to the EMO Website (, so that they can learn more and prepare their family’s emergency survival kit
  • Ask the local Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC) to visit your classroom and explain what an emergency survival kit is. Every community in Ontario has a CEMC and they can be contacted through your local municipal office. Your local CEMC will be able to provide you with emergency preparedness information specific to your community and may have a selection of handouts that you can make available to parents.
  • If possible, try to coordinate this lesson with thunderstorm season (early fall and late spring).