The Tragedy in Haiti


Listen to your gut about how to approach this.  Find out if students have family or friends there that they are worried about. Be sensitive to various ways students process difficult information.

  1. Review the News: What has happened? Where did it happen? (locate this on a map).  What do we know so far about the ‘aftermath’?  (Who, what, when, where, why).  You might also just show pictures and ask them what they see.
  2. Discussing Aid: What have people done to help? What do you think we (as a class, a school, a community, a nation) should do to help?  Maybe explore with the advisory: When is helping a moral question? A spiritual question? A political question? An economic question? What does it mean when we describe it in these ways?
  3. Incredible use of technology: Recent advances in Red Cross – they pioneered a way to text a donation (right onto your phone bill).  Text “Haiti” to 90999 to send an immediate $10 donation to the Red Cross. (What do they think about this use of technology?).  Look into how satellites, twitter and facebook were so important to the initial reaction to the Haitian Earthquake.
  4. Look at the science of the Earthquakes.
    1. What are earthquakes?  (source 1, USGS)
    2. How do they work? How is their strength measured? (How much more powerful is a 7.0 earthquake than a 6.0?)
    3. What specific fault is Haiti on? What do scientists know about what type of earthquake this is?
  5. How do individuals deal with grief? Look at the Kubler-Ross 5 -stages of grief model and discuss what they think about this.
  6. Discuss a country’s infrastructure and why it is a “race against time” to get help. Consider why the relief efforts are “trickling” in.  How would you go about some of the challenges?  (Closed roads, no phones, no water, cracked runways).




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