An Awareness Raising Game with Stop Disasters

By kylemawer  

Level: Upper Intermediate (and above)

Location: Connected classroom

Skills Focus: Speaking/ Writing

Game: Stop Disasters

This is a disaster simulation game covering such scenarios as Tsunami, Hurricane, Wild Fire, Earthquake and Flood.  Students play the game and discuss strategy and play while making notes on how to prepare for the disaster scenario of their choosing.

When you have to select the difficulty level of the game near the start I recommend the easy level.  The map is smaller and the time playing the game is shorter.


  1. Display the game to the class so that you have the screen above.  Tell your class to describe each scenario to a partner saying what it is,
    where it happens and what can be done to prepare for it – dictate the questions if you want.
  2. Mouse over each scenario in turn so that the descriptor appears and give students enough time to ask and answer the questions before moving on to the next.
  3. On a new page of their notebooks ask them to choose one of the above scenarios and write the title down.
  4. They then write ‘Game objective and draw a table of four columns titled ‘What to buy?’, ‘How does it help?’, ‘Cost’ and ‘Other Information’.
  5. Tell them they are going to play a game and complete the table with at least six things that they buy.
  6. At this stage it may be useful to choose one scenario yourself and play part of the game under your students’ direction while they complete a row from the table.
  7. When the newspaper report appears elicit useful language, the function of each sentence (introduce news, give details, provide eye witness account etc) and language elements (present simple, past simple, reported speech, present perfect etc).


  1. Students play the game in pairs on multiple computers.
  2. Students should be encouraged to discuss what they are buying and to justify it to their partner and agree before they proceed with buying it.
  3. Encourage students to make notes using the table.  The ‘How does it help’ section should include the most information so encourage students to fill this area.
  4. Students play to the end of the game and use the Daily News Post to add to the ‘More Information’ section of their table.

Post Play

  1. Students form new pairs and compare notes.  If they chose the same disaster scenario they compare strategies and decide in retrospect how they could have better prepared for the disaster.  If they chose different disasters they can explain what they did and how effective their strategy was.  They can then comment on each others peformance in the game.
  2. Encourage students to expand on their notes adding more information.  They can use the other students notes to expand on their own or they can discuss and include other measures that they think would be a good idea.

Extra activities

  • Write a newspaper report based on their game OR source a real world incident of their disaster scenario and use the language they took from the game to write a newspaper report.
  • Students prepare a radio broadcast and record their news report for the class to listen to.




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