Use of comic strips in teaching earthquakes to kindergarten children

Justin Sharpe (Department of Geography, King's College London, London, UK)
Yasamin O. Izadkhah (Risk Management Research Centre, International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES), Tehran, Iran)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Publication date: 1 April 2014



Up to now, no extensive work has addressed the capacity and resiliency of pre-school children, nor the importance of extending disaster preparedness education to them. The purpose of this paper is to show that given the right learning tools to engage them, in this case a comic strip designed for this purpose by the first author, pre-school children are able to demonstrate the extent of their learning well.


Comic strips have been used in a number of ways to enhance knowledge and education, including for disaster risk reduction (DRR). Their use as learning stimuli is outlined, showing their historical context as well as their potential for future use. The methodology used included classroom observations, coupled with interviews with some of the class.


The research showed that pre-school children engaged with and responded to the comic strips in a positive manner while the blank comic strips allowed learners to make sense of the topic through the retelling of the story, allowing them to be placed within a schema of understanding deemed essential for deeper level learning.


The research is significant because it shows that, even at a young age, complex cognitive process were engaged in order for learners to take their new knowledge, place it within the context of their own experience and re-tell it to others. This pattern of reflection, reasoning and testing is important for triple-loop learning, which may hold the key to truly resilient individuals and communities.



Sharpe, J. and O. Izadkhah, Y. (2014), "Use of comic strips in teaching earthquakes to kindergarten children", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 138-156.

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