Forces of nature: learning about resilience

Looking at the recent natural disasters in Indonesia, consider the roles of resilience and coping with challenges.

Two women retrieve salvageable items after Tsunami that affected Indonesia in December 2018
11 - 16
Lesson plan
PSHE, Tutor time
Disasters and emergencies, Newsthink

Some areas and people around the world face many more natural disasters than others. In December 2018, Indonesia was struck by a devastating tsunami, triggered by a landslide of part of Anak Krakatau volcano. This was following the previous tsunami that occurred in September 2018.

This activity will give learners an opportunity to explore resilience – this is the ability to cope with and recover from setbacks or difficult situations. Looking at a photograph, learners will consider how people can support each other in challenging times and discuss what helps to build resilience.

Learning objectives

Learners will:

  • discover more about the impact of natural disasters
  • explore the meaning of resilience and the importance of support in developing this
  • consider what can help people to cope with challenges.

Resource overview

1. Starter: Coping skills
Learners begin by discussing the small challenges they may have to face in their own lives (i.e. not getting the grade they hoped for) and what helps them to cope. 

2. Photo activity: Recovery
By looking at a photo, learners will think about the challenges people face after the natural disaster in Indonesia, the impact on their lives and build empathy.

3. Discussion: Resilience
Learners consider the role of resilience after setbacks – in helping yourself to build resilience, and the support systems that are important – and how they could apply this to their own lives.


This resource was written by Nick Hunter and published in January 2019.

Image © Ed Wray/Getty Images.