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New York DEP


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Civics, Geography

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plan
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Interactive Media
  • Project

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York, New York City



Building Resiliency in NYC

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  • This lesson plan includes two activities for students to understand resiliency as it relates to Hurricane Sandy and its impact on the people and the local environment of New York City.
  • Students will learn about mitigation efforts in the five boroughs, as well as the personal memories of others as they interview family members and friends.
Teaching Tips


  • The section that includes students interviewing older family members, neighbors, classmates, and friends about their experiences with natural disasters builds self-confidence and assists with socialization.
  • The lesson includes objectives, a materials list, the methodology, a vocabulary list, discussion questions, and extension activities.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers will want to begin this lesson by discussing the definition of "resiliency."
  • Some students may have trauma regarding natural disasters, so teachers need to be mindful of reactions to the lesson.
  • While there are points in the lesson to define and discuss climate change's influence on storms and the use of geographic information systems, some students may benefit from learning these concepts in separate lessons if time permits.


  • Math teachers can utilize the lesson when teaching about coordinates and geometry.
  • Social Studies teachers can have students complete the lesson and research legislation for mitigating economic hardships after natural disasters.
  • English teachers can have students complete the lesson and then have students create personal narratives to coincide with their natural disaster memories.
  • Some students may benefit from more direction with the interactive map, such as a series of steps to follow to answer questions about it.
Scientist Notes
Hurricane Sandy was one of the worst environmental disasters to hit New York City. This lesson has students exploring how New York is building resiliency to future events like Hurricane Sandy. The science herein is accurate and verifiable, and this resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.8.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
      • SL.11-12.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, qualitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
      • SL.11-12.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically. The content, organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Social Studies
    • U.S. History: America in the World - Geography, People, and the Environment
      • 6.1.12.GeoHE.13.a: Construct an argument on the effectiveness of environmental movements, their influence on public attitudes, and the efficacy of the government’s environmental protection agencies and laws.
      • 6.1.12.GeoHE.14.a: Evaluate the impact of individual, business, and government decisions and actions on the environment and climate change and assess the efficacy of government policies and agencies in New Jersey and the United States in addressing these decisions.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-2. Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
  • Related Resources


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