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Surviving Hurricane Sandy and After the Disaster

Ever since Ariel Creamer’s waterfront town of Rockaway, New York, was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, the 14-year-old has been working to bring hope to her community. We’ve paired Ariel’s inspiring story with an essay that questions how best to rebuild after natural disasters.
Teaching Objective:

to synthesize key ideas from narrative and informational texts and a video

Featured Skill:

integrating key ideas and details
Other Key Skills: inference, author’s craft, text evidence, domain-specific vocabulary, central ideas and supporting details, interpreting text, text features


Quizzes and Activity Sheets

You may print and copy the activity or have students complete it on their computers or tablets. Click here for instructions for using writable and interactive PDFs.

Integrating Key Ideas and Details

Students make connections between the two articles.

Close-Reading and Critical-Thinking Questions

For printing or projecting. These questions also appear in the lesson plan.


A list of tricky words that appear in the articles. Includes definitions and example sentences as well as a practice activity to reinforce understanding. Click here to learn more about Scope Vocabulary.

Interactive Reading-Comprehension Quiz

A test-prep essential! We formed these multiple-choice and constructed-response questions based on state and PARCC assessments. Need help with interactive PDFs? Visit our FAQ page.

Reading-Comprehension Quiz

A printable version of the quiz above.

Contest Entry Form

A Tibetan saying states, “Tragedy should be utilized as a strength.” In a two-paragraph response, students explain what this saying means and how it applies to natural disasters. Click here to learn more about our contests.

Answer Keys

Answers to these activities as well as the other activities in the issue.


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The Video

Problem loading video..

Rebuilding Hope

Ariel Creamer takes us on a guided tour of Rockaway in this powerful video. Use these Video Discussion Questions to make connections between the video and the articles.

Essential Questions

What does our response to natural disasters reveal about the human spirit?

Why does history repeat itself?

In what ways can people from different places come together to solve problems?

Complexity Factors


Literature Connections


Skills and Standards