Real Earthquakes, Real Learningby: Aaron Schomburg

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One teacher took her class on a year long earthquake expedition. The goal was to monitor the occurrences of real earthquakes during the year and mark their locations with push pins on a wall-sized world map in the hallway outside the science room. The purpose of the project was to create a detailed picture of the earthquakes that occurred worldwide over the school year and to see if any patterns emerged. Through this experience students conducted “real” science—using actual data, drawing conclusions based on that data.

Grades
  • Elementary
Publication Date
9/1/2003

Community ActivitySaved in 257 Libraries

Reviews (7)
  • on Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:51 PM

In an elementary science club, students spent the whole school year plotting real data from the National Earthquake Information Center on a world map. Students learned words from their social studies curriculum based on geography such as island and other geological terms as well as map skills such as scale, compass rose, latitude and longitude. These skills were applied to science as well. Students furthered their understanding of concepts related to earthquakes by looking for patterns around the world. This is a great way to teach interdisciplinary concepts.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Wed Apr 20, 2011 7:06 PM

Congratulations to Mr. Schomberg for giving us an account of a science project that would benefit any classroom. It is this kind of learning that stays with students, that they will remember when they are grown. His students will probably harbor a life-long interest in the earthquakes that occur only too frequently. Mr. Schomberg outlines not only the plan for how one would organize a project of this kind, but he tells us the reactions of his students and the benefits to them and to the whole school community. This was a very readable, very helpful article, full of references to websites and other resources.

Allison Cooke
Allison Cooke

  • on Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:09 PM

That was a great idea for making students scientifically literate and it ws very hands on with real data. I believe most students who are interested in earthquakes would love this activity.

Nikki T
Nikki T

  • on Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:02 PM

This article was written for a 4th grade class. However, this project can easily be applied to a 6th grade earth science class. I plan on using it next year when I teach plate tectonics again

LeRoy A
LeRoy A

  • on Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:15 PM

In this article the teacher discusses how she collected latitude and longitude of earthquakes throughout the year. Students marked earthquake locations on a large visible map in the room. Patterns emerged over time which can be discussed in class. This activity involves students in authentic data collection.

Patricia M  (Pottstown, PA)
Patricia M (Pottstown, PA)

  • on Sat Oct 16, 2010 2:42 PM

In this article the teacher discusses how she collected latitude and longitude of earthquakes throughout the year. Students marked earthquake locations on a large visible map in the room. Patterns emerged over time which can be discussed in class. This activity involves students in authentic data collection.

Patricia M  (Pottstown, PA)
Patricia M (Pottstown, PA)

  • on Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:45 AM

As educators, our hearts resonate with the destruction and upheaveal that occurs in the lifes of others due to natural disasters, but our minds also seek connections among the data present as an opportunity for students to grow as 'citizen-scientists.' This article relates the strategies of an educator to connect students to earthquakes globally and in time. Modeling the goals as described by the teachers will enable you to design a platform for data collection and analysis that charges your students directly to connect classroom learning to the world in which they live.This model can be adapted for students of all levels and can be made into exercises of reading and writing across the curriculum since a teacher can connect strands of the data to learning content in the chemical, physical, and environmental sciences. You are encouraged to read the article and then to make the goals your own within the learning environment of your students. It is a grand opportunity to reach out an

Patricia  (Arlington, VA)
Patricia (Arlington, VA)


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