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close this bookLearning about Natural Disasters - Games and projects for you and your friends (IDNDR-DIRDN)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentMessage to teachers
View the documentLearning about disasters
View the documentSome major disasters of the 90s
View the documentDrawing a map of your community
View the documentSave Natalie! The preparedness game
View the documentCommunicating through art
View the documentRaising awareness in your community
View the documentReporting to your community
View the documentMake new friends in far-away places

Communicating through art

Through contests and public exhibits, children around the world use drawings to say what they think about disasters. Here are examples of how children are communicating through art, and some ideas for you and your friends.

1. Draw a Recent Disaster

These two drawings show how people in the Philippines acted in disasters in the 1990s. What do these pictures tell you?

For you and your classmates

Have you experienced a disaster recently? Draw what happened, and discuss with your classmates.


Katherine Mae H. Palles, Age 12, P. Burgos Elementary School, Metro Manila, Philippines


Richmond Nitro, Age 10, Mabini Elementary School, Manila, Philippines

Shown at the World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction, a 1994 United Nations conference in Yokohama, Japan.

2. Draw a Disaster That Could Happen to Your Community

In April 1994, government officials of Petropavlosky (a city in eastern Russia) announced that Koryacksky Volcano, 25 km away, was about to erupt. Below are some paintings drawn by children from Petropavlosky, 10 days after the announcement.

For you and your classmates

Think of the maps you used earlier in this booklet. What kind of disaster may strike your area? Draw what might happen if you are not prepared.


Disobedient Volcano Koryackscky - Svetlana Chekutova, 13 years old


Beautifully and Unmercifully - Anna Kazantseva, 13 years old


Fiery River - Karina Pack, 10 years old


Angry Volcano - Katya Grechanyuck, 13 years old. Children's Art School Number 1, Petropavlosky, Russia.

Shown at the World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction, Yokohama, Japan, 1994.

3. Draw How to Be Safe

In Australia in 1992, children drew pictures about how to keep themselves safe in case of fire. The pictures were part of a contest for the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, called for by the United Nations. Each year, on the second Wednesday of October, many schools hold art contests to raise public awareness about disasters.

For you and your classmates

Look at the drawing you made of a disaster that could happen in your area. Now draw a picture of what you could do to keep your house, yourself and your family safe from the disaster.

Other Ways You Can Talk About Disasters Through Art

1. Draw a legend showing a disaster. How did the disaster happen, and what did people do about it? What would you do? Tell your class.

2. Draw a mural - one big drawing done by you and your friends. Discuss beforehand what should be in it. Then make sure it is in a place where many people can see it!

3. Make a picture book with your classmates about a recent disaster. Show what people did before, during and after the disaster.

Ask your teacher to show your pictures in a library, market, shop window, town square - or any place where your parents, friends and neighbours can see and talk about them.


Above left to right: Candice Davidson, 12 years old; Ben Ewing, 9 years old. Burnside Primary School, Adelaide, South Australia