The Los Angeles County Office of Education, acting as a clearinghouse, has compiled the following resources to provide schools with a curriculum framework to help students understand the cause of Hurricane Katrina and its effect on the environment and the social, political, and economic institutions that directly and indirectly impact the lives of everyone in our nation.

This resource list includes live links and can be accessed via It will be updated periodically as new information becomes available.  Resources are organized within the following categories:


Education World, Hurricane Watch
Activities and lesson plans for art, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and writing.

FEMA for Kids

Miami Museum of Science

MindOh! Foundation
Character education activities related to Hurricane Katrina.

National Geographic Kids
Articles and resources on characteristics of hurricanes.

National Geographic Storm Center

National Hurricane Center
National Weather Service tropical prediction center includes satellite imagery, U.S. weather radar, and resources for learning about hurricanes, emergency preparedness, and hurricane history.

Scholastic News
Special report on Hurricane Katrina for grades 1-8, including news articles and links for helping with the relief effort.

Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University
Tracks storms and includes current forecasts for the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and the East Coast.

U.S. Geological Survey
Information on natural resources, ecology, and water issues, including groundwater runoff, stream flow, erosion, and water quality.

One section examines the worst floods in the United States and what caused them.

USA Today
Graphic and information illustrating a typical Northern Hemisphere hurricane.

“West Nile Virus —Transmission, Virology, Symptoms and Prevention”
Areas of study: Science/Environmental Education, Health, English-Language Arts; Grade Levels 9th through 12th

California Academic Content Standards:

  • Biology: 1a,b,c,d,h,i,j; 4a,b,c,d,e,f; 5a,b; 6a,b,e,g: 7c,d; 8b;10a,b,c,d,e
  • Investigation/Experimentation: 1f,g
  • Language Arts Reading: 1.1, 1.2 2.1, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8
  • Writing: 2.3c
  • Written & Oral: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3

A report on West Nile virus, which includes: geographic range map; transmission cycle diagram; general virus characteristics; WNv structure and growth cycle diagrams; WNv symptoms, severity and risk; illustrated prevention methods; glossary; and references.

“Vector Inspector Student Activity Book” and Teacher’s Guide with 4 suggested lesson plans, teaching notes and student activities.
Areas of study: Science/Environmental education, Health, Mathematics, and English-Language Arts; Grades Levels 3rd through 7th

California Academic Content Standards:

  • Science: 3, 1.4, 1.6, 2.1-2.4, 2.6; 5th: 1.2-1.5, 2.1-2.5; 6th: 1.2-1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3; 7th: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.3, 2.4
  • Writing: 3rd: 1.2; 4th: 1.3, 1.4, 1.6; 5th: 1.3
  • Written & Oral: 3rd: 1.1-1.4, 1.8; 4th: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3; 5th: 1.1, 1.2, 1.5; 6th: 1.1, 1.2
  • Listening/Speaking: 3rd: 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.11; 4th: 1.1, 1.6, 1.8, 1.10; 5th: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3; 6th: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3; 7th: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3
  • Math: Number Sense 4th: 2.4; 5th: 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5
  • Math Reasoning 3rd: 1.1, 1.2; 4th: 2.4 3rd: 3a,b,c,d; 5a,b,d 4th: 2b,c; 3a,b,d; 6a,c 5th: 2a,b,c; 6a,d,e,g,h 6th: 5a,b,c,d,e; 7b,e,f 7th: 2a; 3a; 5a,c,g; 6b,d; 7b,d,e
  • Language Arts: Reading 3rd: 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.8, 2.1-2.7, 3.4, 3.6; 4th: 1.2, 1.

Lessons on definition of vector, mosquito biology, the mosquito proboscis, disease transmission cycle, mosquito life cycle, and mosquito control. Student activities, crossword puzzles, word search, fill in questions and glossary.

Contact: Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District
Contact Person: Karen Walker, Education Program Specialist
12545 Florence Ave., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Phone: 562-944-9656 FAX: 562-944-7976

Teaching American History Discussion Network
Collection of Hurricane Katrina links (lesson plans & teaching resources, news outlets, relief efforts, background info, ways kids can help).

Reach Every Child
Information and ideas to teach about weather.

Alliance for a Media Literate America
For educators who want to help students analyze, understand, and cope with Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the AMLA offers this basic set of media literacy activities and suggestions.

Berkshire Publishing Group
314 Main Street
Barrington, MA

  • Disasterous Disease <#Section1>
  • Victims of Poverty <#Section2>
  • Inside the Berkshire Encyclopedia <#Section3>
  • New Orleans <#Section4>

15 September 2005 Volume 2, Issue 2
Just as the terrorist attacks of 9/11 brought our attention to global terrorism, the destruction and loss of life caused by hurricane Katrina has brought our attention to natural disasters. Natural disasters are natural because they are environmental events. They are disasters because they kill or injure humans or cause destruction to property. An environmental event that causes no harm to humans is not a disaster. Experts classify natural disasters into fifteen types:

  • Avalanches
  • Flooding
  • Snow and ice storms
  • Diseases
  • Hurricanes/typhoons/cyclones
  • Storm surges
  • Drought
  • Insect infestations
  • Tornados
  • Earthquakes
  • Lahars (volcanic mud/debris flows)
  • Tsunami
  • Eruptions
  • Landslides
  • Wildfires

Victims of Poverty
Articles on natural disasters include climate change, earthquakes, famine and fire are included in the Berkshire Encyclopedia. Diseases are dissected in four main articles. Related and supplementary articles include Anthroposphere, Malaria, Quinine and Water. While the disaster event is natural in origin, the nature of the victims is largely human-determined. Hurricane Katrina is no exception, with most of the victims being poor and poorer neighborhoods suffering the greatest devastation. This is the pattern around the world and over the course of human history.

Poor people suffer more because they are more vulnerable. They often live in the areas at greatest risk such as farmers on the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh, fishermen on the coasts of Thailand and Indonesia, and urban poor in the below-sea level neighborhoods of New Orleans.

Poor people, and people in less developed nations, are vulnerable also because they live and work in buildings that are not built to withstand natural disasters. This means, for example, that an earthquake in eastern Turkey or Iraq will knock down many stone houses and shops, killing and injuring the inhabitants while a modern earthquake-resistant high-rise will likely escape with only minor damage. Finally, poor people are more vulnerable because in poorer nations and neighborhoods, less assistance is readily available and what is available often goes to the wealthy first.

Facing History and Ourselves

  • Workshop: Looking at Immigration: A Approach to Constructive Dialogue
  • Conference: Pursuing Human Dignity: The Legacies of Nuremberg for international law, human rights and education.
  • New Lesson Plans for PBS Film, Hiding and Seeking
  • Online campus update

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California-Education Programs
Contact Person: Benita Horn, Sr. Education Programs Representative
P.O. Box 54153, Los Angeles, CA 90054 Phone: 213-217-6739

Water Politics-Case 2: Conflict and Consensus: The Bay/Delta
Areas of study: Science/Environmental Education, Geography, History, Civic Education/Government, Economics, and Health
Grades Level: Grades 9-12

Science Standards: Biology/Life Sciences

  • Ecology-stability in an ecosystem (the Delta and its levees)
  • Evolution – relative to species —the flora and fauna
  • Earth Science –California geology—perfect fit here
  • Investigation and Experiment

History-Social Science Standards:

  • Chronological and Spatial Thinking
  • Historical Research, Evidence and Point of View
  • Grade Nine—Electives
    • Our State in the 21st Century
    • Physical Geography
  • Grade Eleven – U.S. History and Geography: Continuity and Change in the 20th/21st Century
    • 11.11.5-envronmental conservation, protection
  • Grade Twelve - Principles of American Democracy
    • 12.8.2 and 12.8.3—role of media and shaping public opinion
  • Grade Twelve—Principles of Economics
    • 12.1 and 12.2 – economic reasoning, scarcity, supply and demand (relative to water) and its impact on relative scarcity

National Science Education Standards:

Life Science

  • Content Standard C
    • Biological evolution
    • Interpretation of organisms
    • Matter, energy, and organisms in living systems

Science and Technology

  • Content Standard E
    • Ability of technological design
    • Understandings about science and technology
    • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
  • Content Standard F
    • Personal and community health
    • Population growth
    • Natural resources
    • Environmental quality
    • Natural and human-involved hazards
    • Science and technology in local, national and global challenges

History and Nature of Science

  • Content Standard G
    • Science as a human endeavor
    • Nature of scientific knowledge
    • Historical perspectives

The program also supports the following Science Education program Standards criteria:

  • Program Standards B and C

Water Politics
Students investigate, discuss and debate water management decisions. In a key interdisciplinary case study, “Conflict and Consensus: the Bay/Delta” activities focus on the hub of the state’s water delivery system and the fragile delta ecosystem, water quality, agricultural, and political realities of the region, as they relate to Southern California.

> Curriculum/Lesson Plans
> Web Sites to Support Relief Efforts
> Informational Items about Hurricane Katrina


Kids Helping Kids – Service-Learning Projects for Schools
21st Century Schools, LLC
Students have a real emotional need to be able to take some action, to do something, that will help. Listed on our web site you will find some suggestions for service-learning projects. Some can, and should, be implemented immediately, while others are longer-term. Both are crucial. These can be done in after-school programs, or they can be a part of the regular curriculum. The curriculum connections are there. The web site includes a comprehensive list of possible service-learning projects in three categories: Fundraisers, Focus on the Arts, and Focus on Information.

National Service-Learning Partnership
Service-learning ways to help:

  • Ask if your school, community organizations and local businesses will match donations for recipient organizations like those listed below. Monetary donations are often most effective because they allow organizations managing relief efforts to obtain and distribute most needed supplies. Use math skills, persuasive writing or make other curriculum connections for a service-learning fundraiser.
  • Join with groups in your area who are supporting specific communities, or make direct contact with teachers and schools who may need assistance. Young people can use writing and public speaking skills to develop relationships with students in affected areas.
  • Connect with Partnership members in affected areas through the member database to find out how you can help.

Web sites for information about making donations:

U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement
The Department of Education has launched the “Hurricane Help for Schools” webpage to serve as a nationwide clearinghouse addressing the needs of the affected children and schools and districts serving displaced students:

National Center for Homeless Education
Provides resources related to schools’ enrollment of student evacuees, federal policies on providing meals to those children, and psychological help for such children.

National Education Association
Offers guidance on how to help displaced students feel comfortable at their new schools and provides tips for dealing with children experiencing emotional trauma.

American Federation of Teachers
A member-to-member locator site, in partnership with United Teachers of New Orleans, where UTNO members can provide current contact information and locate colleagues from the New Orleans public schools. Union has also started a relief fund for educators who were forced to evacuate their communities.

The Orchard Foundation
Local nonprofit helping displaced Louisiana students. (A Project of
Serves as a clearinghouse for evacuees to find free temporary housing and for people to offer free housing to displaced people. People using the site can note that they would prefer to offer housing to educators or school support personnel.

National Association for College Admission Counseling
Monitoring the effects that Hurricane Katrina is likely to have on high school students’ postsecondary educational opportunities. Has established an online message board for people to alert NACAC to problems for Gulf Coast students who are planning to go to college or those from outside the region who were considering attending colleges affected by the hurricane.

National Association of Independent Schools
Helping place private school students displaced by Hurricane Katrina find spots in other private schools.

National Catholic Educational Association
Overseeing a fund-raising effort to raise $1 from every Catholic school student in the country to be used for the educational needs of Catholic school children displace by the hurricane.

School Mental Health Project/Center for Mental Health in Schools
UCLA Dept. of Psychology
Gather accessible information and guidance notes to encourage school planning around mental health needs of students and school staff in the aftermath of the hurricane.

The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS)
News Alerts -- September 6, 2005
AAP Releases Guide for Protecting Children from Effects of Disaster: In light of hurricane Katrina, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) September 2 released a report that had been scheduled for later this week, "Psychosocial Implications of Disaster or Terrorism on Children: A Guide for Pediatricians."

San Francisco Office of Emergency Services
The city of San Francisco launched a Web site to list the items residents should have on hand if a disaster knocks out electricity, running water and telephone service.

Anti-Defamation League
The Anti-Defamation Leagues invites the public to contribute to the United Jewish Communities (UJC) humanitarian relief fund to aid members of the Jewish and general communities.

FRAC (including information from USDA)
Link to the fact sheet on relief and support to victims:
Information on feeding children:

The Santa Clara County Office of Education Information and Resources

MindOh! Foundation
MindOH! wants to help young people explore the good that can come from a bad situation and to encourage them to be courageous in the face of a disaster. They have created a number of resources that include a classroom lesson plan, a family activity and broadcast messages intended to encourage both the victims of the hurricane and the giving to relief organizations. These can be read over a school's in-house public announcement system or television system.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has declared a federal public health emergency for the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida and is helping to set up and staff 250 beds in each of 40 emergency medical centers in the area to care for survivors of hurricane Katrina.

Katrina's Forgotten Victims: Native Americans; Deportation Fears Prevent Katrina Aid

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Network for Good

American Red Cross

The Humane Society of the United States

The Salvation Army

Feed The Children

State Library of Louisiana's Hurricane Assistance Links

Louisiana Library Association - Disaster relief information list of relief outfits by state

> Curriculum/Lesson Plans
> Web Sites to Support Relief Efforts
> Informational Items about Hurricane Katrina


Education Week
“Tallying the Costs, Striving to Move Ahead”
Vol. 25, No. 3, September 14, 2005

“New Orleans Eyed as Clean Educational Slate”, Major Reforms Urged for a District in Crisis Long Before Storm Hit”
Vol. 25, No., 4, September 21, 2005

“Education Plans Unfold in Wake of Katrina Devastation”
By David J. Hoff
Even as schools across eastern Louisiana are closed, local and state officials are laying plans to assure that students have classrooms to go to as soon as possible.

eSchool News

Educators Rally in Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
The devastation left by Hurricane Katrina has forever changed the lives of millions of people in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. eSchool News Online readers can help hurricane victims and assist those now talking about the hurricane in their classrooms. They provide readers a space in the Ed-Tech Insider forum to share their own thoughts on the tragedy, to send their best wishes to those coping with the most difficult of circumstances, and to suggest resources we can add to our list. Also, if you know of ways to help specific schools and districts in the area, please let them know at:

At least one eSN reader, Dr. Eric F. Luce of the University of Southern Mississippi, is among the thousands of people personally affected by this hurricane. He was forced to evacuate his home as the hurricane approached and has been on the road ever since. You can read Dr. Luce's
journal entries at:

Scientific American
"Drowning New Orleans"

The Economist (UK)
"When Government Fails"
US News and World Report

> Curriculum/Lesson Plans
> Web Sites to Support Relief Efforts
> Informational Items about Hurricane Katrina

Compiled by
Michelle M. Herczog, Ed.D.
Consultant, History-Social Science
(562) 922-6908

Karen Lefler
Secretary, History-Social Science
(562) 922-6331