An Educational Game – Disaster Watch

By kylemawer  

Level: Intermediate +

Location: Computer room

Topic: Food shortage, flood and earthquake disasters

Language focus: Writing

Game: Disaster watch

An Educational game commissioned by Christian Aid to raise awareness of the threat of Food shortages, flood and earthquakes in a Central American country.

Screen shot 2010-03-22 at 11.13.48 PM


I started this activity in a connected classroom by dictating these four questions:

  1. What’s his name?
  2. Where does he live?
  3. What disasters /do they watch for?
  4. How many disaster clues /do you have to /watch for?

Then I played the video intro to the game until learners had all the answers to the questions.  In feedback I elicited the three disasters (earthquake, flood and food shortages) on to the board and put learners into groups and gave them the task of predicting what possible ‘warning signs’ there might be before each disaster. Learners brainstorm them into three categories which they draw in their note books.


Learners take their notebooks to the computer room.  Sit learners in pairs at a computer.  Direct them to the game and let them play the game Disaster watch.  Stress that they have to complete their tables in their notebooks.  There is enough text in the game for learners to get some good reading practice.  As an alternative/ extra activity you may like to get them to record any difficult language items.

Post Play

Back in the classroom feedback on the answers.  Ask learners if there were any warning signs that they predicted at the beginning that i) appeared in the game ii) didn’t appear in the game.

Extra Activity

Learners write a short composition entitled “The warning signs for __________” and write about one of the three disasters.  They can structure their composition in 4 parts:

1 About the Country – Learners write a little background information about the country.  They can use information from, the intro, research, what they know.

2 A disaster – a little bit about the disaster they have chosen to write about (what it is, what it does, who it effects etc).

3 The Warning signs – Use their notes from the game to complete this paragraph.

4 What can be done – What possible solutions there are and how best to combat the disaster (later parts of the game will give learners some ideas).

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