Natural Disasters: Nature’s Fury

San Francisco Burned District


Students analyze a variety of primary sources to examine Americans’ life changing experiences with nature during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, then research the Library of Congress online collections to broaden their understanding of how communities have dealt with disaster. Next, students connect their investigations to a literary work of historical fiction based on a natural disaster and conduct additional historical inquiry research. After presenting their findings students may examine a recent natural disaster, locating and analyzing primary source documents related to it, and noting similarities and differences in causes, effects and community responses to those of earlier times.

Related Resources


Middle School


Civics, English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies


600-800 minutes


environment, historical fiction, historical inquiry, natural disasters, nature


Teaching with the Library of Congress

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