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IGCSE Geography Lesson Plan Hazardous environments

Hazardous environments
Specification link: Reasons why people continue to live in hazardous environments.
Alignment with Student Book: pages 80–81
Student book
Books/ articles/ internet for research
World outline maps
Tracing paper/ other method of producing overlay maps
A2 or A3 paper for posters
Coloured pens/ pencils for maps and posters
Mini-whiteboards for drafting the poster
Learning objectives
Understand the reasons why people live in hazardous environments.
Be able to make links between sets of data.
Develop and extend understanding and use of geographical terms.
Develop, extend and practise geographical skills, particularly cartographic skills.
Develop the skills of observation and interpretation of information presented on map.
Develop, extend and practise research skills.
Success criteria
Students should be able to:
Understand and use key geographical terminology.
Extract data from a range of maps.
Compare data.
Recognise that living in high-risk areas has advantages as well as disadvantages.
Explain a number of factors which encourage people to live in hazardous environments.
Possible misconceptions and barriers
Some students may be challenged by understanding, extracting data from and comparing
Some students may be challenged by unfamiliar geographical terms.
Some students may be challenged having to ‘suggest’ unfamiliar information.
Optional starter activity
(Approximately 20 minutes, including introduction and summary)
Ask students to design a questionnaire that they might use to investigate why people live in
high-risk hazardous environments.
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Suggest that they use more than six questions such as ‘What is the main hazard in your
This will help the students to clarify a) what is a hazardous environment re the specification
and b) that there may be a number of reasons for living in such environments.
Main teaching
Compare Figure 3.19 with Figures 3.4 and 3.9 (page 80)
This activity enables students to develop skills based on the interpretation of data presented
on maps. The data is then used to record special similarities and differences. There are a
number of options which might be used.
Students could plot the key information on the world base map of the distribution of
cities of more than 1 million people. Figure 3.9. (Note: individual dots should not be
plotted but general high population areas.) They then use a piece of tracing paper to
make an overlay on top, and add the information shown on Figure 3.19. A second
overlay is used to plot the information in Figure 3.4. Students now have a map which
combines the information shown on the three figures and will find describing the
spatial similarities less demanding.
Students could produce a summary table describing of the distribution cities,
earthquakes and tropical cyclones using the partly completed template.
Global distribution
Cities ( more than 1 million people)
Tend to be located on coastlines
Tropical cyclones
Form a linear band from west to east
Located along the Equator
Extend approximately north to the
Tropic of Cancer
Extend approximately south to the
Tropic of Capricorn
Students could work individually or in pairs to extract information from the three
resources and write an account comparing the distributions of major cities,
earthquake zones and tropical cyclones.
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Suggesting additional reasons why people continue to live in high-risk areas (page 81).
This activity requires students to read and understand the information given on pages 80 and
81. They are encouraged to develop their independent learning, thinking and research skills to
suggest additional factors.
• Students read through pages 80 and 81 and take notes under the heading ‘Why do
people live in high-risk areas?’
• Students then work in groups of between two and four. They could discuss the six
reasons which they have noted and suggest other reasons, possibly based on
personal knowledge, for living in high-risk areas. They might find it easier to classify
reasons and think of ideas if they use three categories:
Physical/environmental reasons
Human/social reasons
Economic reasons
This activity could be completed as homework, using all the information from both
the notetaking and discussions. Students could answer the question ‘Explain why
people continue to live in high-risk environments.’
In groups, discuss why you think tourists like to visit volcanoes (page 81).
This activity introduces and reinforces the concept of critical thinking. Students are therefore
able to develop their understanding of the logical connection between ideas.
Students to read through the four bullet points on page 81 which summarises the
benefits provided by volcanoes.
The last bullet point refers to tourism and provides a starting point for the discussion.
Discussions could be class based or the students could work in small groups.
Students could note down their ideas and designs on mini-whiteboards.
Students may want to research for additional ideas but should be encouraged to
develop their own ideas first. The research could form part of a homework.
The students could work in groups of between two and four to produce a poster
entitled ‘Why tourists visit volcanoes.’
For weaker students, focus on:
a) Ensuring that they understand the key concepts – that there are a number of reasons why people
live in high-risk areas, ranging from lack of education and understanding of the risks involved to
urbanisation and employment which makes such areas ‘home’.
b) Extending and reinforcing geographical terms, and encouraging their use.
c) Understanding the demands and requirements of a question. The command words used in the
activities such as compare, suggest and discuss may need reinforcement.
For more able students, focus on:
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a) introducing more complex terms and concepts, e.g. the key term used in the specification is
hazardous environments.
Reinforce lesson coverage. Would the questions asked in the questionnaire help to explain the
reasons for living in hazardous, high-risk environments? Ask the students to summarise the main
reasons why such environments are frequently densely populated.
The students’ posters will provide evidence of understanding of the link between tourism and
Opportunities for homework are indicated in the activities.
Advice for non-specialists
It is important to ensure that students understand the key concepts in this section.
Increasing numbers of people live in high-risk hazardous environments. There are a range of
factors influencing this which include economic, social and physical reasons. Living in highrisk environments may have benefits as well as disadvantages.
Specialist terms: in particular terms from the specification: tropical cyclones and tectonic
hazards, hazardous environments.
Application of geographical skills. Extracting and using data from maps is an important
geographical skill which is reinforced in the first activity.
Geographical skills
Reading, understanding and extracting data from maps.
Comparing data.
Drawing conclusions from a range of data.
Understanding the link between hazardous high-risk environments and population density.
Using a range of geographical terms.
© Pearson Education Ltd 2017. Copying permitted for purchasing institution only. This material is not copyright free.