This study examined how the implementation of a disaster mitigation education program for high school students in a geography course contributed to the students' learning of geography and understanding of flood risks in the vicinity of the school district. The education program aimed to improve students' understanding of flood risks through disaster mitigation mapmaking activities that engaged the students in learning about local landforms and area survey methods. The mapmaking activities comprised classroom instruction, fieldwork, and presentations on the maps. Twenty-two students from the Kyoto Prefectural Nantan High School participated between July and October 2011. Questionnaire data from the students, the disaster mitigation maps, and manuscript notes for the presentations were analyzed; the results indicate that the mapmaking activities were extremely effective at improving students' understanding regarding the relationship between landforms and flood risks. This education program could be applied to improving students' understanding of flood risks in other areas. Furthermore, teaching students to think in geographical terms and draw on geographical perspectives in examining flood risks can facilitate the development of problem-solving abilities.