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Home > Earth and Space Science > Earthquake and Tsunami lessons
by Wendy Ruchti, Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:16 PM
Our hearts go out to those hit by the recent earthquake and tsunami this past week. Pam and I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread in light of the recent earthquake in Japan and the tsunamis that followed. Are you going to discuss the science of earthquakes and tsunamis in your classroom this week? If so, how? Let's link to lesson ideas and support each other.
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by Wendy Ruchti, Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:03 PM
The website, Connecte2d Teaching

http://mceer.buffalo.edu/connected_teaching/index.html

has quite a few web resources created by the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER). The lesson plans (mostly for middle school) are developed by teachers, teacher educators, engineers and professionals in the library and information sciences. Here is the link to the article in Science Scope as well! Looks promising!

http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/ss07_030_07_68

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by Laura Callahan, Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:55 PM
Does anyone have an idea for this week to do an activity (or just a discussion framework) regarding the recent events in Japan? I just took a temp position teaching Integrated Physical Science until the end of the year. We are going to cover Earth Science until the end of the year. Since I am more of a Life Science teacher, I am scrambling to find resources and ideas to keep students engaged. This class has mostly 9th and 10th grades but many are not achieving at grade level. Also, there are several Junior and Senior students who are only here to graduate, having failed other science classes. So I am using more middle school resources in some cases. My question at the moment is about finding any ideas to talk about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan tomorrow since we will cover Earthquakes within a week or 2. It is so much in the news right now, that I thought I'd take a day or 2 now to talk generally about the impact this has had and what we can learn from it.
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by Sue Garcia, Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:40 PM
Are you needing lessons about the current tsunami in Japan (and more about earthquakes) go to:
http://www.iris.edu/hq/ It is a great site and easy to use.I highly recommend it.
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by Alyce Dalzell, Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:01 PM
The news is stating that social networking is playing a vital and positive role in the lives of families and friends that are trying to make contact with tsunami survivors. As an advisor, I have seen on our Learning Center boards that we have Japanese educators and students that access the LC for support and information in their professional growth.

We want everyone to know that educators from all over the world have you in their thoughts and prayers.

Following are some free NSTA journal articles that include content knowledge and students activities for use in your elementary, middle and high school classrooms.

Take care, Alyce
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by Pamela Auburn, Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:17 PM
The following list of websites may be helpful for those looking for ways to create teaching moments connected to the Japan Earthquake and tsunami. In addition to pasting the list here, I am attaching a file for those who may wish to download and save a copy.
Tsunami! Bridge Data Tip Activity (Grades 8-12)
[url=http://www.vims.edu/bridge/index_archive0105.html]
Using tsunami time travel maps, students predict how long it will take a tsunami to reach the shore. The lesson incorporates a number of data maps and affords students to analyze quantitative data.
The Ring of Fire (9-12)
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/lessons/15/g912/ring.html
In this lesson, students will learn more about plate tectonics as they investigate the region known as the Ring of Fire, where 75% of the Earth's active and dormant volcanoes are located.
Power of Fire (9-12)
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/activities/15/powerfire.html
Become a natural-hazard mapper! Figure out where people face danger from earthquakes and volcanoes, and create a map showing where these natural hazards may occur.
Fetch Me A Wave (9-12)
http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/03portland/background/edu/media/portlandfetch.pdf
How do ocean waves form, and what is the effect of extreme storms on wave formation?
Aggregated CNN Student News coverage (8-12)
http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/studentnews/03/13/transcript.mon/index.html?iref=allsearch
This link takes you to aggregates CNN student news coverage of the Earthquake and Tsunami. There are numerous links to video footage.
The Science of Tsunamis (8-12)
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/teachers/lessonplans/science/tsunamis.html#standards
A 45 minute lesson plan that includes a demonstration to learn about wave propagation and a discussion of the PBS NewsHour program "Scientists Explain the Origin of South Asia's Deadly Disaster (1883 tsunami)
The Tsunami Lesson Plan (6-9)
http://www.ema.gov.au/www/ema/schools.nsf/Page/TeachLesson_PlansTsunami
The Australian government has created this tsunami lesson plan. Excellent explanations and exposure to students discussing tsunami preparation
Tsunami-Tidal Wave (9-12)
http://www.earthsci.org/education/teacher/basicgeol/tsumami/tsunami.html
Brought to you by an aggregation of Earth Science resources assembled by the Australian government, this explanations of tsunamis is adapted to HTML from the course notes of Prof. Stephen A. Nelson Tulane University.
Tsunamis- Geoscience Australia
http://www.ga.gov.au/hazards/tsunami/tsunami-basics.html
Geoscience Australia put together this site on tsunamis with an especially nice image gallery
California Tsunami Lesson Plans (6-12)
http://www.conservation.ca.gov/cgs/geologic_hazards/Tsunami/Pages/student_activity.aspx
The State if California department of Conservation put together these teacher resources on tsunamis. The lesson plans have been created to provide an interactive activity with online California tsunami hazard maps. The lessons are targeted for use at 6th grade or higher grade level. These two activities provide students with real world applications using science based maps. The following California Earth Science Content Standards are reinforced in these lessons:

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by Pamela Auburn, Sun Mar 13, 2011 7:18 PM
Please not the hyperlinks are active in my previous attachment
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by Alyce Dalzell, Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:19 PM
Laura, Welcome to our NSTA Discussion Forum and congratulations on your teaching position. I think that as you have time to visit the different threads you will find a wealth of support and resources! Please feel free to ask/post your questions and comments. If you become frustrated, find yourself in a time crunch, or not able to locate a specific resource, click on the yellow window that says, "Live Support Online". A real educator/scientist will help you navigate through the Learning Center to locate any type of resource you may be searching for. The online support can be a life saver!

Pam, I especially like the simulations on the Government of Australia's site, I will use that tomorrow morning in class.

BioEd, Baylor College of Medicine, has dozens of links to outside sources that include satellite pictures, simulations, journal articles.

Also, Teacher's Domain is an excellent FREE source for video segments (many PBS, NOVA), lesson plans, simulations, images, interactions and content knowledge. You will need to register to use this 5 Star site that is constantly being upgrade for K-12 educators.

Thank you for sharing your experiences and resources! Alyce
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by Pamela Auburn, Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:43 PM
I have expanded my list a bit further and have found a few sites providing information appropriate for elementary grades. I am not going to attempt to cut and paste it here as the links did not work before and only created an unsightly mess. The world doc, provided as an attachment functions well and the hyperlinks work!
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by Lara Smetana, Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:50 AM
Thanks, Pam, for a such an extensive list of resources!

I will also share the PBS Mountain Maker, Earth Shaker activity and related resources. Visualizations such as these can help students make sense of the abstract concepts. This would also be an opportune time to tie in some nature of science discussion. A history of science lesson on continental drift theory and the opposition that Alfred Wegener faced about 100 years ago illustrates that science is influenced by society and its values. The PBS site has some information here to assist.

ExploreLearning has a vast collection of computer simulations, with a couple that address concepts relevant to discussions about earthquakes and tsunamis. While it is a subscription site, free trials are available.
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by Adah Stock, Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:15 AM
Hi!
Just a suggestion to incorporate the power (energy)of a wave. Tie in the physical science aspect from Earth science events to force and motion as well.
It is a great time to integrate the sciences.
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by Carolyn Mohr, Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:08 PM
It is difficult and heartbreaking to watch the devastating video clips showing the incredible earthquake and tsunami forces wreaking havoc. It is mindboggling to see how quickly a tsunami can extend out to reach from Japan to northern California and the Pacific North American coastline. Two articles, both from the March 2007 Science Scope journal, might be of use in the classroom, as our students come back to the classrooms with their questions about how this happened.
Waves and Tsunami Project
Science Sampler: Connecte2d Teaching-A Comprehensive Resource for Teaching Science
Both of these articles were mentioned above in others' posts, but I thought they were worth highlighting. Laura, I think they might be of help to you.
Carolyn
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by Arlene Jurewicz Leighton, Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:49 PM
I just took a temp position teaching Integrated Physical Science until the end of the year. We are going to cover Earth Science until the end of the year. Since I am more of a Life Science teacher, I am scrambling to find resources and ideas to keep students engaged

Hi Laura,
I echo Carolyn's thoughts that the events of what is unfolding in Japan are heart wrenching.

You might want to, for your own background information, look over these two NSTA Science Objects. There is some good basic information about seismic waves and how and why earthquakes happen

Earth's Changing Surface: Changing Earth From Within
http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/7/SCB-ECS.1.1
Plate Tectonics: Layered Earth
http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/7/SCB-PT.1.1

My best,

Arlene JL
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by Carolyn Mohr, Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:57 PM
The NSTA WebNews Digest has posted some resources for this "Teachable Moment on the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami".
There are several websites, classroom activities, and NSTA Resources identified for classroom use. Thank you NSTA!
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by Dorian Janney, Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:35 PM
Greetings folks- This is a very helpful and timely forum. Thanks to everyone for sharing. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the Japanese people as well, and my students share this sentiment. We have been closely following this tragedy- the earthquake, tsunami, and now the nuclear plant problems as well. The resources that have been listed here are fantastic, and help us use real world events to engage our students and show them the relevance of science to their daily lives. It also helps us to show them that the science community is international and works closely together to solve the problems that we face as a world community. I am also using the New York Times and the Washington Post websites to help communicate the current situation and learn more about nuclear energy.
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by Tina Harris, Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:08 PM
Attached is a document with additional links to interactive websites with satellite photos and tv coverage from the west coast of the US. While we did not get the worst of the tsunami - it is amazing how much energy the waves that struck the west coast still had after crossing the Pacific - and continued to have for days.
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by Carolyn Mohr, Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:02 AM
Steve W. brought a University of California/Davis Geology Dept webpage to my attention at a different discussion thread. If you scroll down to announcements, you will see a link to the KeckCAVES and the new 3D earthquake imagery technology that originated at this university. They are able to show the past and present earthquake activity from above, on, and below Japan. The technology is very cool! There is also a link to a YouTube video, of this month's Japan quake activity.
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by Angelika Fairweather, Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:50 AM
NOAA's tsunami warning network is a global effort to have water level monitoring gauges that trigger an alert as water levels rise. Oceanographers use this data to create models for tsunami paths. Exposing students to the research and how it is applied is great way to develop interest in STEM careers. NOAA has educator resources and media available at NOAA tsunami education. There is also a computer based tutorial available at Tsuanmi tutorial that would be appropriate for older students or professional development.
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by Arlene Jurewicz Leighton, Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:30 AM
Thursday March 24th at 1:30 pm EDT

You can submit question and attend this live event with NOAA's Director of Tsunami Research Vasily Titov

http://www.jason.org/science/Live/titov/jason/event.aspx#quest

JASON Host Researcher Vasily Titov is the Director of Tsunami Research at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Pacific Environmental Marine Laboratory (PMEL). He has been involved with tsunamis and tsunami modeling for nearly 20 years. This is nearly his whole professional career. Today, he is one of the world's leading experts on tsunamis. Vasily has generously agreed to join us to take student questions live!

On Thursday, March 24 at 1:30pm EDT, visit this page to watch Vasily answer your live text questions and explain the science behind tsunamis, what happened off the coast of Japan, and how his work relates to this past week's events.


Arlene JL
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by Angelika Fairweather, Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:32 AM
The JASON project is soliciting questions that will be answered live by a NOAA tsunami researcher, Vasily Titov. Students can submit there questions online online by March 22 and they will be answered live at 1:30 EDT on March 24th. This is a fantastic opportunity to get students involved.
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by Sue Garcia, Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:23 AM
A MUST SEE!!! Everyone who needs an observation/discussion about Japans recent tsunami needs to visit this site. It is several before/after pictures shown in a sliding bar style. You see the before picture, slide the bar across that picture to reveal what the after picture looks like. It is both fascinating and horrifying at the same time. Grades 4 and higher.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/13/world/asia/sat...unami.html
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by Arlene Jurewicz Leighton, Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:27 AM
I get weekly updates from this website http://www.scidev.net/en/

Science and Development Network News,views and information about science, technology and the developing world

If you are interested in science and technology in the developing world this is a good source of information

Earthquake, tsunami and nuclear calamity...
Developing countries assess their tsunami alert systems and their nuclear safety, while we ask whether Africa's nuclear aspirations can be realised safely.
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by Donald Boonstra, Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:13 PM
Sue
Those are pretty amazing pictures. Here is another set - often you can see how the topography affected the wave and the damage.

Link to before and after coastline of Japan.



<http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/japan-quake-2011/beforeafter.htm
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by Alyce Dalzell, Tue Mar 22, 2011 4:44 PM
Hello,
I received this link in the mail today - and realize it is a promo to subscribe to their site/curriculum...but the simulations that are provided free of charge may be worthwhile to some of you.

The Layered Earth - Teachable Moment: Earthquakes & Tsunami

Alyce
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by Dorian Janney, Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:41 PM
These are some amazing resources. Nature's power never ceases to amaze all of us, and this horrible disaster is certainly no exception. Sten Odenwald has created two new Space Math problems that focus on these twin disasters:

Problem 409: The 2011 Japan Earthquake Rocks the Earth and
Problem 408: Estimating the Speed of a Tsunami

These can be found at the Space Math website, at http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/

I would be interested in ways teachers have used this these natural disasters with their students. We are just finishing our chemistry unit and will begin our geology unit in a few weeks. We looked at the earthquake and tsunami news and discussed how they happened- using news stories and the website that Sue Garcia had posted

Are you needing lessons about the current tsunami in Japan (and more about earthquakes) go to:
http://www.iris.edu/hq/ It is a great site and easy to use.I highly recommend it."


We also learned about the nuclear power disaster as a part of our chemistry studies.
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by Ruth Hutson, Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:10 PM
Hi thread readers,

I just stumbled upon Teaching resources for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on the NSTA blog. It has a wealth of great links.

Happy surfing, Ruth
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by Alyce Dalzell, Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:59 PM
This video clip was shown on several news stations when the tsunami "attacked" Japan's land. The narration along with the clip is heartbreaking. I would not show this to my middle school students, as the narrative is so descriptive.

As we all keep the survivors and lost family members in our thoughts and prayers, Alyce
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by Ruth Hutson, Wed Apr 06, 2011 7:18 AM
Alyce wrote, "This video clip was shown on several news stations when the tsunami "attacked" Japan's land. The narration along with the clip is heartbreaking. I would not show this to my middle school students, as the narrative is so descriptive."


Alyce,
Thank you so much for sharing the clip of the tsunami. It is amazing the force of the water over such a large area. I can only agree with you that our hearts must go out to the people affected by this natural disaster. I don't think I would share this video with my freshman, but my physics students would be mature enough to handle it.

Ruth

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by Tina Harris, Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:58 PM
Today is the 2 year anniversary of the Japanese Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. There are a number of news stories out about the people and the area. One that had information that was new and surprising to me (although it was released last year) was this one from Amazing Planet on the Craziest Ways Japan's Earthquake Affected Earth. The earthquake not only affected the oceans and the earth, but the cryosphere and atmosphere as well, not to mention the debris still floating off-shore. Scientists have been reworking earthquake prediction models after having discovered that tsunamis leave different debris as they move inland and they were not looking for the correct evidence.

Someone has even made an audio of the earthquake sounds from the seismographs as the waves traveled through where it sounds like a combination thunderstorm and breaking wood.

I suppose it is only after an event when all the data from all over has been looked at, that things like these can be noticed and studied and it can be pointed out how interconnected everything (and everyone) really is.
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by Tina Harris, Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:42 PM
Yet another example of interconnectedness that was discovered as we learn more about the Earth,despite the horrible ongoing tragedy. The earthquake in Japan over two years ago also created seiche waves in Norway. Story posted on LiveScience this week about how the S-waves passing through the Earth triggered a resonance response in the fjords.
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