I Survived by Lauren Tarshis

Book Info

Grade Level
Elementary School, Middle School
STEM Concepts
Animal Instinct, Ethics & Civics, Natural Disasters, Man-Made Disasters, First Aid, Rescue Efforts, Weather
Publisher
ISBN
978-0545861014

Each I SURVIVED book tells the story of one of history’s most terrifying events, through the eyes of a kid who lived to tell the tale. A mix of real history and thrilling plots will take you into the midst of events that have shaped our world, from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius to the Nazi Invasions of 1944 to the Joplin tornado of 2011. Each character will face life-or-death challenges to discover that even in history’s darkest moments, hope stays alive.

Source: Scholastic 

Videos

I Survived: The STEM Read Experience

Watch author Lauren Tarshis talk about the amazing STEM Read event for her book series “I Survived!”

"I Survived" Author Lauren Tarshis

Lauren Tarshis, author of the “I Survived” series, answers some questions about her process, her series, and advice for authors.

Surviving Hurricanes Rita and Katrina

Mary Baker survived both hurricanes Rita and Katrina.  Here she talks about the challenges of living through a hurricane, and has advice for anyone in the same unfortunate situation.

After the Storm with Mary Baker

After Katrina and Rita, Mary Baker the inhabitants of New Orleans make due and learn to survive the aftermath of the hurricane.

You Don't Have to be Dead to be a Part of History

Michelle Donahoe, executive director of the Sycamore History Museum, talks about first person history, and how anyone can preserve their own history.

Disaster Management in an Emergency Situation

Learn about what to do in a crisis situation from DeKalb emergency services coordinator Dennis Miller.

The Black Death

Dr. Valerie Garver, a professor at Northern Illinois University, explains some of the history surrounding the Black Death in an easy-to-understand way for children.

Responding to a Crisis

Officer Bennet, an officer with the local police department, shares essential emergency information.

The Economics of Disaster

Tammy Baston, instructor at Northern Illinois University, discusses the economics of disasters. Of particular focus is scarcity.

Educators

Idea Sparks and Mini Lessons

These questions, prompts, and short activities provide quick ways to inspire interest and explore the STEAM concepts related to the book. Idea Sparks and Mini Lessons can also be used for differentiation and to foster new ideas of your own.

Download Lesson Plan

Design a Safety Vehicle

This engineering challenge is based on the I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis. It is designed to connect the various concepts int he series to real-world problems and ideas. Students may work independently or in groups to explore the topic of surviving a natural disaster. Students must actively research, brainstorm, design, and create model solutions. This lesson pairs well with the following books in the I Survived series:

  • The Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980
  • The Joplin Tornado, 2011
  • The Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79
  • The Japanese Tsunami, 2011
  • The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
  • Hurricane Katrina, 2005

Download Lesson Plan

Levee Building Challenge

In the book I Survived: Hurricane Katrina, 2005 by Lauren Tarshis, students learn about the devastating results of the levee failure on the main character’s family. In this engineering challenge, students will work in teams to design a levee prototype, test their design, and redesign using newly “purchased” materials. This lesson pairs well with the following book in the I Survived series:

  • Hurricane Katrina, 2005

Download Lesson Plan

Write a Survival Guide

In this lesson, students will learn about effective, clear communication used in public service materials. Students will work as a group to research skills necessary for survival and will then design a survival guide. This lesson pairs well with the following books in the I Survived series:

  • The Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980
  • The Hindenburg Disaster, 1937
  • The Joplin Tornado, 2011
  • The Great Chicago Fire, 1871
  • The Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79
  • The Nazi Invasion, 1944
  • The Japanese Tsunami, 2011
  • The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863
  • The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
  • The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941
  • Hurricane Katrina, 2005
  • The Shark Attacks of 1916
  • The Sinking of The Titanic, 1912

Download Lesson Plan

Titanic Probability

The disparity in the treatment of passengers aboard the Titanic is well known and is nowhere more evident than in the survival rate among the different classes. While we still have disparity in our society, we have come a long way in equality issues. In this lesson, students will learn about the passenger classes on the Titanic. Students will work math problems related to probability and in order to help them visualize the differences in the treatment of different social levels of people today from 100 years ago. Disclaimer: This has been used as a fourth grade lesson when it is teacher directed. The math standards are for middle school. Either use a teacher led, introductory lesson or use a challenge to higher level learners. This lesson pairs well with the following book in the I Survived series:

  • The Sinking of The Titanic, 1912

Download Lesson Plan

Survival Through Time and Place

In this lesson, students will discuss the different time periods and places around the world where the disasters in the I Survived books by Lauren Tarshis take place. They will place the events in chronological order and identify locations on a map. Students will then research one of the locations and the time period of the disaster, then share information with the class. This lesson pairs well with the following books in the I Survived series:

  • The Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980
  • The Hindenburg Disaster, 1937
  • The Joplin Tornado, 2011
  • The Great Chicago Fire, 1871
  • The Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79
  • The Nazi Invasion, 1944
  • The Japanese Tsunami, 2011
  • The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863
  • The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
  • The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941
  • Hurricane Katrina, 2005
  • The Shark Attacks of 1916
  • The Sinking of The Titanic, 1912

Download Lesson Plan

Ethics Challenge: Help the Bully

In this lesson, students will participate in a writing activity and in-depth discussion about whether it is possible during a disaster to help another person who had previously been a bully. This lesson pairs well with the following books in the I Survived series:

  • The Great Chicago Fire, 1871
  • The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
  • Hurricane Katrina, 2005
  • The Shark Attacks of 1916

Download Lesson Plan

Historical Detectives

The narrative in each of the I Survived books by Lauren Tarshis describes a first-hand account of surviving a historical disaster or major event. In this multi-part lesson, students first learn how to identify primary and secondary sources. Secondly, the students research a disaster or event and then create a secondary source about that disaster or event. This lesson should come after students have read one or more of the I Survived books.

Download Lesson Plan

Disaster Route Mapping

In this lesson, students will learn how to read a map using coordinates and cardinal directions to help their “meeple” move through a city to escape a disaster and get to a place of rescue.

This lesson pairs well with the following books in the I Survived series:

  • The Great Chicago Fire, 1871
  • The Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79
  • The Japanese Tsunami, 2011
  • The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
  • The Sinking of The Titanic, 1912

Download Lesson Plan

Survival Kit Game: Surviving Disasters

If a disaster struck, how prepared would the majority of us be? In order to assure the best chance of survival in the event of a disaster, it is recommended that a survival kit is prepared ahead of time. Not all disasters require the same types of items for survival. In this lesson, students will research different disasters, and prepare a survival kit for the disaster they are assigned. The class will then guess the disaster based on the supplies in the kit.

Download Lesson Plan

Learning Survival Skills

In this lesson, students will assemble into groups to explore specialized areas of survival and research skills necessary for survival. Students will present a survival skill to the class. This lesson pairs well with the following books in the I Survived series:

  • The Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980
  • The Hindenburg Disaster, 1937
  • The Joplin Tornado, 2011
  • The Great Chicago Fire, 1871
  • The Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79
  • The Nazi Invasion, 1944
  • The Japanese Tsunami, 2011
  • The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863
  • The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
  • The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941
  • Hurricane Katrina, 2005
  • The Shark Attacks of 1916
  • The Sinking of The Titanic, 1912

Download Lesson Plan

Surviving Extreme Circumstances

In this lesson, students will participate in a class discussion about items, skills, and knowledge necessary for surviving extreme circumstances, relating it back to the book series. Students will engage in a card trading activity in order to get them thinking about survival. Students will write a short essay about their experience playing the game.

Download Lesson Plan

Cipher Disk

Use a cipher disk to decode a secret message, then create your own secret messages for each other. This lesson pairs well with the following books in the I Survived series:

  • The Hindenburg Disaster, 1937
  • The Nazi Invasion, 1944
  • The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941

Download Exploratory Activity

STEM Read Cipher Disk

Video Discussion Guide

Watch the videos and then use these questions to facilitate classroom discussions about the topics presented.

Download the Video Discussion Guide.

For Further Reading

After reading from the I Survived series, students might want to learn more about the events in the story. STEM Read recommends a few recent releases on our Reading List.

Download the Reading List


Scholastic’s Educator Guide

About the Author

Lauren Tarshis

Lauren Tarshis’s acclaimed and bestselling I Survived series, which has more than 21 million copies in print to date, tells stories of young people and their resilience and strength in the midst of unimaginable disasters. Lauren has brought her signature warmth and comprehensive research to topics such as the sinking of the Titanic, the destruction of Pompeii, Hurricane Katrina, the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In addition to being an author, Lauren is the editor of Storyworks, an acclaimed national language arts classroom magazine for grades 4-6 and the newly-launched Storyworks Jr. for grade 3. She lives in Westport, Connecticut.

Learn more at laurentarshis.com.

Source: Scholastic