Morocco earthquake

Lesson plan overview

This breaking news ESL lesson plan is about the devastating earthquake that struck Morocco on 8 September. Students will learn vocabulary to talk about earthquakes and their consequences, read about the Morocco earthquake and watch a video analysing the reasons why the earthquake has been so deadly. Note that this lessons shares a couple of vocabulary and speaking activities with the lesson plan “Turkey-Syria earthquake“. This lesson plan could be combined with the lesson “Tackling rising sea levels“, where the topic of natural disasters is discussed, as well as “Phrasal verbs: natural disasters” and “Phrasal verbs: the environment”.
The lesson starts with a speaking activity, which doubles down as a vocabulary activity: students are given 5 questions about earthquakes. First they match the words and expressions in bold to their definitions (e.g. to be prone to, impending earthquake, warning signs, safety measures). After that they discuss the questions. Then, students look at different consequences and discuss how each of them is related to the topic of earthquakes. Then they match the details given to the correct consequence. This activity introduces key vocabulary (aid and relief efforts, shelter, displacement, collapse..

Speaking: Students talk about their personal experiences related to earthquakes and earthquake preparedness by matching 7 halves of questions and then discussing the questions.
Practice: Students read a short text about the earthquake that struck Morocco and complete it with the words given.
Listening: Students watch a video “Why Morocco’s earthquake was so deadly” and take notes about points given.
Speaking: The last activity is focused on speaking: students discuss what they should do in the event of an earthquake.
The conversation cards provide additional questions on the topic of earthquakes.

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Teacher’s lesson plan

Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

Conversation cards PDF

Pre-class activities

To send the pre-class activities to your students, copy the link below.

Vocabulary matching


The first time you watch the video, pay special attention to the correct pronunciation of the following words:

Familiarise yourself with possible natural catastrophes in your country.
Prioritise earthquake-resistant house constructions.
Store dangerous items properly in order to prevent them from falling.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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