Whether affected directly by a natural disaster or just feeling overwhelmed by the media coverage, there's a lot for students to process. This lesson uses the recent bushfires as a case study to teach students techniques that will help them feel a little better about what's going on.

Year level



5 minutes


In class activity

SEL Competencies


Social awareness

Relationship skills

Responsible decision-making

Learning intention

  • Students will learn ways to take care of themselves and their peers during a natural disaster.

Key outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify techniques to maintain wellbeing during a natural disaster

  • identify ways to support peers impacted by a natural disaster

  • apply these techniques to their day-to-day life.

Materials needed

  • Access to the video clip ‘Taking care of yourself during the bushfires’

  • Pen/paper or electronic device

Mapped to

Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Refine protective behaviours and evaluate community resources to seek help for themselves and others (AC9HP8P08)

  • Refine, evaluate and adapt strategies for managing changes and transitions (AC9HP10P02)

Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities

  • Personal and Social Capability:

    • Self-awareness

    • Self-management

    • Social awareness

    • Social management

  • Critical and Creative Thinking:

  • Inquiring

NSW PDHPE Syllabus

  • Examines and evaluates strategies to manage current and future challenges (PD4-1)

  • Examines and demonstrates the role help-seeking strategies and behaviours play in supporting themselves and others (PD4-2)

  • Assesses their own and others’ capacity to reflect on and respond positively to challenges (PD5-1)

  • Assesses and applies self-management skills to effectively manage complex situations (PD5-9)

Victorian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Investigate the impact of transition and change on identities (VCHPEP123)

  • Examine barriers to seeking support and evaluate strategies to overcome these (VCHPEP125)

  • Evaluate factors that shape identities, and analyse how individuals impact the identities of others (VCHPEP142)

  • Evaluate situations and propose appropriate emotional responses and then reflect on possible outcomes of different responses to health and wellbeing (VCHPEP147)

Show details

Activity 1


5 minutes

  1. Provide access to the video clip ‘Taking care of yourself during the bushfires’.

  2. In pairs, students discuss:

    • What tips does the presenter give to help someone who is feeling overwhelmed by a natural disaster such as the bushfires?

    • What can you do to help a friend who is impacted by a natural disaster?

    • How could the tips described in the video be applied in your day-to-day life?

Class debrief: Natural disasters can affect communities at any time. Recent Australian examples include bushfires, drought, cyclones and flooding. How could these tips be applied in different contexts?


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