Page 4 – Determining the cause

Use the topics in the Disasters category of NZHistory.net.nz  for the following activity ideas.

Having examined what happened and why you can now explore the issue of whether some factors played a greater role in this tragedy than others. This helps students to develop the ability to distinguish between primary and secondary causes. This activity is important as a foundation to a more in-depth examination of cause and effect as explored in other activities included in 'The Classroom'.

  • With a younger class you could brainstorm the causes of this event together as a class or in groups.
  • Older groups  have to come up with these causes based on their own reading and research.
  • The students now rank each cause from ‘3- most important cause’ to ‘1- least important cause’. They have to be prepared to explain why they gave each cause that particular score.
    • This can be done individually, in pairs or groups.
  • The whole class can then debate these results and see if a consensus can be reached.
  • At senior levels these outcomes could be used to set up a formal class debate.
How to cite this page

'Determining the cause', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/classroom/social-studies/disasters/determining-cause, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 20-Dec-2012