TeachersFirst's Earthquake Resources

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

Whether you teach about earthquakes as part of a unit on plate tectonics in an Earth Science class or need resources to explain a recent natural disaster, this collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students understand how earthquakes happen and learn about famous earthquakes in history. Also included are sites and tools well suited for projects about earthquakes.

 

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Understanding Earthquakes - University of California Santa Barbara

Grades
3 to 12
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Want to find more information about Earthquakes? Use the Understanding Earthquakes site to take a small "Quiz," use the rotating "Globe" to view earthquake locations, and read...more
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Want to find more information about Earthquakes? Use the Understanding Earthquakes site to take a small "Quiz," use the rotating "Globe" to view earthquake locations, and read of first hand "Accounts" from a person's perspective. View how earthquakes occur by clicking on "Rebound," or the "History" of past earthquakes since 1910, as well as other informational sites linked in "Others." Site requires Java and Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use the information as an introductory activity to disasters. Use the data to identify common places where earthquakes occur, research the different types of faults, provide information of the various earthquakes and locations affected, or as a springboard for individual or class projects. Note that much of the information is text-heavy, so younger readers will need assistance reading.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Volcanoes: Can We Predict Volcanic Eruptions - Annenberg Media

Grades
8 to 12
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This website highlights the many active volcanoes worldwide and answers the question, "Can we predict volcanic eruptions?" The highlight of this website is the "case files" students...more
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This website highlights the many active volcanoes worldwide and answers the question, "Can we predict volcanic eruptions?" The highlight of this website is the "case files" students read through to predict an eruption. Other topics include Melting Rocks, Dynamic Earth, Judging Hazards, Forecasting, & Coping With Risk . One of the video clips requires QuickTime, some of the interactive activities also require FLASH. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): plate tectonics (23)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to take your students on this volcanic adventure. Have your students take on the role of "weather chasers." Study the case files together, read about the warning signs, and see if your students can "track the volcano."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dynamic Earth - Annenberg Media

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4 to 9
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Learn the powerful forces that shape and change the Earth. Dynamic Earth explores the Earth's Structures, Investigating Plate Tectonics, learning about Plates and Boundaries, and how...more
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Learn the powerful forces that shape and change the Earth. Dynamic Earth explores the Earth's Structures, Investigating Plate Tectonics, learning about Plates and Boundaries, and how the plates Slip, Slide, and Collide. Read the information provided, click on the Interactive pictures for more information, and test your knowledge in each section with interactive activities. In the end, test your skills using an online assessment. This website requires flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), geology (81), mountains (13), plate tectonics (23), volcanoes (61)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to Geology or Earth Science or as a review of concepts previously learned in class. Use the site as a springboard for additional activities such as mapping where most earthquakes occur. Follow up with ways to prepare for earthquakes, design buildings to withstand earthquakes, or other important topics. If you have a class wiki, have students work in teams to share various aspects of earthquake knowledge for an audience of people living in an earthquake zone.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Learning Videos Demo - National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration

Grades
6 to 12
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Where else can you 'catch a wave' as you learn about ocean waves? Fifteen videos feature everything from Deep Sea Corals to Tides to Ocean Pollution. Topics include: Plate ...more
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Where else can you 'catch a wave' as you learn about ocean waves? Fifteen videos feature everything from Deep Sea Corals to Tides to Ocean Pollution. Topics include: Plate Tectonics, Mid-Ocean Ridges, Subduction Zones, Chemosynthesis, Hydrothermal Vents, Benthos, Water Cycle, Currents, Hurricanes, and Seamounts. Intriguing video footage of rarely-seen ocean creatures and ocean atmospheric conditions offer teachers an new approach to bringing the world to the student. Activities and questions accompany each video. Answers to activity questions are hidden until prompted by a click. Each topic is explored further through the Global Impact tab. For amazing photos with written explanations on each subject, click the Explore section.The videos load quickly on a high speed connection.

tag(s): coral (12), hurricanes (35), oceans (148), plate tectonics (23), tides (7), tornadoes (16), waves (21)

In the Classroom

Use the videos for whole class instruction using an interactive whiteboard or projector. A printable version of each video presentation is also available. Middle and high school reading and special education and ESL/ELL teachers would appreciate using this authentic text: students can listen to the video while following along in the text copy.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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You Do It: Safety - The Alaskan Pipeline

Grades
4 to 8
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This unique (and quick) web activity challenges students to examine various sections of Alaskan terrain and choose the type of pipeline strategy that works best for each. There are...more
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This unique (and quick) web activity challenges students to examine various sections of Alaskan terrain and choose the type of pipeline strategy that works best for each. There are details and a survey guide provided. Use this activity to help students with problem solving skills and to further their understanding of plate tectonics, landforms, and climate in a real world application. Be sure to extend it in talking about the challenges of any geographic feature or landform in building structures. If you are studying basic geography concepts or structures, be sure to include the challengs of terrain and climate in your own region.

tag(s): alaska (25), plate tectonics (23)

In the Classroom

This activity would work well individually or as a whole class project using an interactive whiteboard. A great follow-up would be to create photographic slides of geographic challenges and the structures used to meet them in your own area (use a digital camera!).

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A Science Odyssey: Mountain Maker, Earth Shaker - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn about plate tectonics as you manipluate plates with the computer and watch the resulting changes in the earth's surface. Read detailed explanations with animated images. Then...more
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Learn about plate tectonics as you manipluate plates with the computer and watch the resulting changes in the earth's surface. Read detailed explanations with animated images. Then try the Plate Tectonics activity to manipulate the plates yourself. There is also information about the various scientists who made relevant discoveries about tectonics and what they found. The activity requires Shockwave. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page. or from the link right on the page.

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), landforms (45), plate tectonics (23)

In the Classroom

Share the plate tectonics siumlator on an interactve whiteboard as you learn about the different ways that plates interact. Be sure to allow students to move the plates and name the resulting changes. To further reinforce the plate activiites, have pairs of students create animated graphics on slides in PowerPoint slides showing the motions of the plates and labeling them. This could also be an alternative assessment that shows real understanding. If they can add their own sound effects, they will really enjoy themselves!

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Virtual Courseware: Earthquake - California State University

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn about how earthquakes are measured and actually collect data to locate the epicenter of one, using this simulator. The site includes images, tutorials, and analysis tools for...more
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Learn about how earthquakes are measured and actually collect data to locate the epicenter of one, using this simulator. The site includes images, tutorials, and analysis tools for real earthquake data. Students will be reminded of nhow longitude ad latitude work (don't worry--there is a tutorial!). They will also see how important math is in manipulating scientific data. You will need to turn off your pop-up blocker to use this site and be sure to read the System Requirements! The simulator uses both Java and Flash. The instructions are user-friendly, so don't be afraid to try it. Check the System Requirements button if you are having trouble making the site "work."

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), geology (81)

In the Classroom

Even middle schoolers will be able to understand the earthquake simulator if you demonstrate on an interactive whiteboard. High schoolers can do it themselves after a demonstration, perhaps working with a partner. Start by sharing some of the aftermath photos so students get a sense of the impact of earthquakes. We do recommend that you play with the site a bit before using it in class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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This Dynamic Earth: The Story of Plate Tectonics - U.S. Geological Survey

Grades
7 to 12
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This site provides an organized and user-friendly explanation of the history of plate tectonics as described by the U.S. Geological Survey. It includes a lot of detailed information...more
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This site provides an organized and user-friendly explanation of the history of plate tectonics as described by the U.S. Geological Survey. It includes a lot of detailed information as well as photographs and diagrams. This site has some tough reading depending on the reading level of the user. Allow plenty of time to take in all of the information.

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), geology (81), plate tectonics (23), volcanoes (61)

In the Classroom

This site is useful as a supplement to a geology unit or for review. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class. It is also a great reference tool when preparing your lesson plans. This is a great site to use when teaching about informational text(s). Open it on an interactive whiteboard and review reading strategies using highlighters and pens as you learn about plate tectonics.

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Grand Canyon Explorer - The Geology of the Grand Canyon - Bob Ribokas

Grades
7 to 12
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This site provides an organized, easy-to-read explanation of the formation of the Grand Canyon. It includes a lot of detailed information and photos that are fascinating to peruse....more
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This site provides an organized, easy-to-read explanation of the formation of the Grand Canyon. It includes a lot of detailed information and photos that are fascinating to peruse. Allow plenty of time to enjoy all of the information. Click on the link for the USGS website on plate tectonics for an added bonus!

tag(s): geology (81), logic (235)

In the Classroom

USe this site as an introduction to a geology unit. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class. Use the accompanying log of an actual canyon trip for students to apply what they learn from the basics explained on this portion of the site.

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Faultline - Exploratorium

Grades
4 to 12
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Bring the power and drama of an actual earthquake into your classroom with this beautifully designed Web site. In addition to basic information about the science behind this natural...more
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Bring the power and drama of an actual earthquake into your classroom with this beautifully designed Web site. In addition to basic information about the science behind this natural phenomenon - including explanations of plate tectonics, faults, and how scientist measure earthquake force - the site provides historical information about some of the world's most devastating quakes and some breathtaking video clips. Click on "Active Zone" for some creative, hands-on activities that can be implemented in your classroom.

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), plate tectonics (23)

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Virtual Tour of the 1906 Earthquake - USGS

Grades
4 to 12
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Remember the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco quake - and learn a lot about earthquakes in general - with this remarkable set of Google Earth overlays from USGS. ...more
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Remember the anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco quake - and learn a lot about earthquakes in general - with this remarkable set of Google Earth overlays from USGS. The set illustrates the 1906 quake, the plate tectonics of western North America, and the history of earthquakes in the area over the past century.

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), plate tectonics (23)

In the Classroom

Try saving the various "layers" to your computer, then use in the classroom with a projector, turning on the various layers in sequence. Lots of instructional possibilities with this one.

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What on Earth - Ministry of Education, New Zealand

Grades
2 to 6
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Earth science and technology join in this highly entertaining, interactive site featuring six activities that teach kids about the mechanics of their planet. Topics include plate tectonics,...more
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Earth science and technology join in this highly entertaining, interactive site featuring six activities that teach kids about the mechanics of their planet. Topics include plate tectonics, the rock cycle, heat and pressure, and layers of the earth and atmosphere.

tag(s): geology (81), plate tectonics (23), rock cycle (9)

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Guide to Earthquakes - BBC

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4 to 8
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This BBC tutorial presents concise information about why and how frequently earthquakes occur, their destructive effects, and recent earthquake events. Be sure to view - and project...more
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This BBC tutorial presents concise information about why and how frequently earthquakes occur, their destructive effects, and recent earthquake events. Be sure to view - and project in class - the animated guides to earthquakes and tsunamis, which visually describe the processes that combine to produce these natural phenomena.

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), sun (71), tsunamis (16)

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Asia Quake Disaster - BBC

Grades
9 to 12
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Keep updated on the constantly changing news from the tsunami-ravaged areas of South East Asia with this news page created by the BBC. Includes statistics on the devastation, information...more
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Keep updated on the constantly changing news from the tsunami-ravaged areas of South East Asia with this news page created by the BBC. Includes statistics on the devastation, information about the International relief efforts, and a step-by-step animation of how the disaster unfolded.

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), sun (71), tsunamis (16)

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Seismic Monitor - c

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6 to 12
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Keep track of earthquake activity with this near-real time monitor. Earthquakes with magnitudes of 4.0 or greater are shown as colored circles on the interactive map. Visitors can even...more
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Keep track of earthquake activity with this near-real time monitor. Earthquakes with magnitudes of 4.0 or greater are shown as colored circles on the interactive map. Visitors can even go back in time and view all global earthquake activity over the past five years. The USGS National Earthquake Information Center is the main source for the seismic data on this site. Check out the Education Links that include lesson plans and resources for teachers.

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), sun (71), tsunamis (16), volcanoes (61)

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Savage Earth - WNET

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4 to 6
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What happened deep beneath the Indian Ocean to cause the destruction throughout Southeast Asia? This brief, but effective site combines animation and text to illustrate the formation...more
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What happened deep beneath the Indian Ocean to cause the destruction throughout Southeast Asia? This brief, but effective site combines animation and text to illustrate the formation of an earthquake-centered tsunami.

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), sun (71), tsunamis (16), waves (21)

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2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake - Wikipedia

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6 to 12
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This Wikipedia article scientifically documents and explains the deadly Indian Ocean quake that caused staggering devastation across thirteen countries. Includes an animated image...more
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This Wikipedia article scientifically documents and explains the deadly Indian Ocean quake that caused staggering devastation across thirteen countries. Includes an animated image of the tsunami, a description of its characteristics, data on damage and casualties, and links to ongoing news coverage, videos, and photos.

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), sun (71), tsunamis (16), waves (21)

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Tsunami in Southeast Asia - WorldChanging

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6 to 12
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The magnitude of the earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean almost defies description, but this site offers a collection of first-hand and background information on the extent of...more
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The magnitude of the earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean almost defies description, but this site offers a collection of first-hand and background information on the extent of the damage. It includes a number of pesonal blogs from people on the scene.

tag(s): earth (228), earthquakes (48), india (36), sun (71), tsunamis (16)

In the Classroom

This information could be used in a class focused on current events or for an Earth Science teacher looking for a practical example of the destruction that can be caused by a tsunami. Have students read the site on classroom computers, or out loud via interactive whiteboard.

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Paper Plate Education - Great Lakes Planetarium

Grades
1 to 12
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These creative and rather offbeat hands-on activities use common paper plates and a lot of ingenuity to illustrate principles of science, math, geography, music, and more! From plate...more
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These creative and rather offbeat hands-on activities use common paper plates and a lot of ingenuity to illustrate principles of science, math, geography, music, and more! From plate tectonics (no pun intended), to multiplication practice and physical fitness, this site provides an amazing collection of ideas. Instructions are provided for most.

tag(s): resources (112)

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San Francisco Historical Photographs - San Francisco Public Library

Grades
6 to 12
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The San Francisco Public Library offers a searchable online collection of photos, with information about additional collections available locally. While this collection will be of interest...more
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The San Francisco Public Library offers a searchable online collection of photos, with information about additional collections available locally. While this collection will be of interest primarily in northern California, its collection of images taken after the 1906 earthquake would be useful for any study of earthquakes and their effects. Read the basics on the home page, then click to Search Digitized Images or Browse one of the collections.

tag(s): air (163), earth (228), earthquakes (48)

In the Classroom

Allow students to use the images (with appropriate citations under Fair Use, of course) as part of their reports or PowerPoint presentations on California, earthquakes, the twentieth century, and more!

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