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Teacher Vision
Resource Type: Assessments

A printable quiz regarding earthquakes. Questions test knowledge on what fault lines are, where most earthquakes in the US happen, what a seismograph measures, what tectonic plates are, what magnitude is, how long earthquakes usually last, and dangers to people during an earthquake. Students...

Grade Level: 4, 5
University of Houston (UH)
Resource Type: Assessments

A 47-question quiz on earthquakes. This assessment is designed to test your knowledge of material covered in the chapter and in the Internet-based resources.

Penn State, Terry Englander
Resource Type: Assessments

Sample questions and answers from the GEOSC 20 Final Exam in 1996

GeoScience Videos
Resource Type: Assessments

This GeoScience Videos blog provides support for instructors using the series of GeosScience Videos found on YouTube. The blog contains one-page quizzes for each short video as well as other related information such as in-class questions and activities. If you visit the blog's Assessment...

University of California Berkeley Seismological Laboratory (UCBerkeley Seismological Lab)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

MyShake is a free app for Android (and in the future, iOS) phones that has the ability to recognize earthquake shaking using the sensors in every smartphone. The app runs "silently" in the background on your phone using very little power - just like the step-tracking fitness apps. When the...

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Earthquakes, a scientific and physical phenomenon, affect our lives in many ways. In this project, students use Real-Time earthquake and volcano data from the Internet to explore the relationship between earthquakes, plate tectonics, and volcanoes. Students will use real-time data to solve a...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Annenberg Learner
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Dynamic Earth is an interactive website where students can learn about the structure of the Earth, the movements of its tectonic plates, as well as the forces that create mountains, valleys, volcanoes, and earthquakes. The first section focuses on the layers that make up the Earth - from the...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity has students make a fault like out of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The sandwich is sliced at an angle, letting the instructor demonstrate the three types of fault lines: normal, thrust, and strike-slip. The layers of the sandwich represent offset layers of the earth's crust...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4
Colorado State University (CSU)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Earthquakes can provide a useful context for teaching or reviewing many basic physics concepts, such as sliding and static friction, forms of energy and conversion from one to another, and the elastic properties of materials. Conducting the following lesson provides an opportunity for students...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9
University of Utah
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

We invite teachers and their students to study earthquakes via real accounts of earthquakes in our own region. It's easy with access to the Internet. 48 Intermountain West earthquakes that have occurred since 1876 have been researched by Earthquake Education Services (EES). Newspaper articles,...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The USGS's Today in Earthquake History page gives details of famous earthquakes that happened on that date in history. Visit every day and learn about a new quake.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Discovery Education
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Have your students track earthquakes around the world. They will work in groups to discuss the current plate tectonic theory, linking those ideas with earthquake records. Next, students will use the USGS website to identify locations of the 10 largest quakes over a 10-year period. Students will...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Tarleton State University
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This lesson helps students and educators prepare for an emergency, such as an earthquake. It identifies hazards in the classroom and school. Psychologically, people who know what to expect in a disaster and who have taken steps to prepare, are less likely to panic during and after a disastrous...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Take a hard-boiled egg and crack its shell. Does the egg remind you of anything? The Earth, perhaps? The egg could be seen as a tiny model of the Earth. The thin shell represents the Earth's crust, divided into plates; within the shell is the firm but slippery mantle. Move the pieces of the...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
GeoBlox
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This 3-D earthquake model demonstrates parts of an earthquake: the focus, the epicenter, and P waves.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
PBS Learning Media
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

According to the theory of plate tectonics, Earth's crust is composed of a number of individual plates that change shape and position over time. Geophysical evidence indicates that the face of Earth's surface has changed significantly since its initial formation and that the plates on which the...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This site lists Science Fair projects relating to the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program. Projects include: earthquake prediction, seismic waves, making a seismograph, earthquake risks, San Andreas Fault model, plate tectonics, Tsunamis, stress and strains, monitoring earthquakes, and earthquake-...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Oregon State University (OSU)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Chapter 2 focuses on earthquakes and Volcanoes. Lessons included in this chapter: Earthquakes - the rolling Earth, Volcanoes, Volcanic Terms.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
J Barker, Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity allows you to investigate how often earthquakes of various magnitudes happen within a geographic region of your choice. You will use the online resources of the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) to do the investigation. Students use online maps to attempt...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Oregon State University (OSU)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Chapter 3 focuses on cones, eruptions, pyroclasts, looking at products of volcanic eruptions and hotspot volcanoes. Lessons included in this chapter: lava flows and pyroclasts, volcanic cones and eruptions, hotspot volcanoes (Hawaii and Yellowstone).

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Activity where students represent different historical scientists. Students introduce themselves using the biographical paragraphs in order to show how ideas about the earth and earthquakes have changed through time as recorded in various historical documents.

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
United States Geological Survey (USGS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible aftereffects. An earthquake is a sudden movement of the Earth, caused by the abrupt release of strain that has accumulated over a long time. For hundreds of millions of years, the forces of...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Teach Engineering
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students learn how engineers construct buildings to withstand damage from earthquakes by building their own structures with toothpicks and marshmallows. Students test how earthquake-proof their buildings are by testing them on an earthquake simulated in a pan on Jell-O. Students also develop an...

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity has been designed as a way to access a learning groups prior knowledge of and experiences with seismology, while introducing the participants to one another.

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Indiana Geological Survey (IGS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this lesson, students will use IndianaMap to create geographic information systems (GIS) maps to demonstrate the amount of general seismic risk that exists for urban areas within the state of Indiana. Step-by-step directions and tutorial videos will provide students with the necessary...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Earthscope
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Discover your "birthquake," the most powerful earthquake on the day of your birth. Enter your birth date and discover the location and magnitude of the biggest quakes around the world!

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity is intended to help students observe how stick-slip movement works. Instructions on how to build a motorized version of the following experiment as well as data produced from this model are available. At the end of the activity, students will be able to answer the questions, "how...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Science Buddies
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Have you ever been in an earthquake? What did it feel like? Did you jiggle back and forth? Up and down? Was there a jolt? Or a rolling motion? Come build a house Hansel and Gretel would love to eat, a special table to shake it on, and see how different soil types can amplify shaking. In this...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The American Institute of Professional Geologists lists educational resources from a variety of organizations. Browse through topics such as: earthquakes, energy, environment, fossils, minerals, volcanoes, water, and general earth science resources.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Indiana Geological Survey (IGS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this lesson, students will create three-dimensional (3-D) blocks out of paper to learn about the types of faulting that occur at the Earth’s surface and its interior, and explain how earthquakes are generated by fault movement. Step-by-step directions will provide students with the necessary...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students will be able to discuss how different magnitudes of earthquakes affect structures differently by simulating how buildings become damaged in an earthquake.

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Only recently have scientists come to recognize that Bangladesh is positioned at the juncture of several active tectonic plate boundaries. Moreover, it sits atop the world's largest river delta at close to sea level, facing both the risk posed by a quake and secondary risks of tsunamis and...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The apparatus consists of a heavy object that is dragged steadily with an elastic cord. Although pulled with a constant velocity, the heavy object repeatedly slides and then stops. A small vibration sensor, attached to a computer display, graphically monitors this intermittent motion. This...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this lesson, students examine seismic evidence to determine a) Earth must have a layered internal structure and, b) estimate the size of Earth’s core. Using an inquiry approach, students are divided into two teams (theoreticians and seismologists) to test the simplest hypothesis for what is...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
JOIDES Resolution
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The Outreach Department's mission is to raise awareness about ocean drilling science and its central role in our understanding of the Earth's past, present and future, teach science content and process, ad inspire careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Our approach includes use of...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), Earth Science Week (ESW), Ameican Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Elastic waves that move through the Earth are called seismic waves. Want to study them more closely? SeisMac is a free application that displays the output from the Sudden Motion Sensor in recent Mac laptops as a real-time, three-axis, acceleration graph, or, more commonly, a seismogram. Once...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity uses the Earthquake Machine, a mechanical model that illustrates the earthquake cycle, as a tool to investigate the behavior of fault systems. In the activity groups of students are presented with a claim about earthquakes. Using the Earthquake Machine, students design an...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
United States Geological Survey (USGS) Earthquake Hazards Program
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Targeted for students in grades 6-8, this activity from the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program provides a brief overview of what earthquakes are, what causes them and where they occur, why the Earth shakes, and how earthquakes are recorded, measured, and located. The material includes vocabulary,...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

During an earthquake, buildings oscillate. If the frequency of this oscillation is close to the natural frequency of the building, resonance may cause severe damage, The BOSS model allows students to observe the phenomenon of resonance. Students will predict how a structure will react to...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
FEMA, American Red Cross, Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity lists materials needed (for home and school use) in case of emergency or natural disaster. Following a natural hazard, basic services – electricity, water, gas, telephones – may be cut off for days. Or, you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice. You probably won’t have time to...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Purdue University
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Lesson plans for teaching about seismology and other Earth science topics. Includes descriptions of demonstrations, experiments and activities for teachers and students. The lessons are designed primarily for teachers of grades 5-12 but can be adapted to introductory college level Earth science...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
United States Geological Survey (USGS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

A volcano is a vent in the surface of the Earth through which magma and gasses erupt. Volcanic eruptions are among the Earth's most powerful and destructive forces, but volcanoes are also creative. Volcanoes have also shaped the Earth's landscape, as many of our mountains, islands, and plains...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8
Incorporated Research Institutions in Seismology (IRIS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this activity, students create an earthquake machine: a movable system that can test the strength of earthquakes and tremors. Students should have a discussion before and after the experiments, highlighting these questions: what is an earthquake, how do they form, what kind of damage do they...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

An earthquake is a shaking of the ground caused by the sudden release of stored energy along a fault. Think of it like snapping your fingers. You push your fingers together enough so that they don’t move when you try to slide them sideways. Then suddenly, one finger slips past the other finger...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Landslides constitute a major geologic hazard. They are widespread, occurring in all 50 states, and cause $1-2 billion in damages and more than 25 fatalities on average each year. Landslides commonly occur with other major natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods (USGS Learning Web)....

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Push away from those paper seismograms and get outside to make your own earthquake waves! You're going to learn about earthquake location kinesthetically. In the activity below, you will model how earthquake waves travel through the Earth at different speeds. You also will construct and utilize...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Some areas of the world are susceptible to frequent earthquakes. Other areas of the world have a history of volcanic eruptions. Unfortunately, many areas such as Japan experience both volcanoes and earthquakes. In this activity, you will use a computer model, Seismic Explorer, to investigate...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Landslides not only are dangerous — causing on average more than 25 deaths and over $1 billion in damages a year — but are also widespread, occurring in all 50 states. Compounding the hazards, these natural disasters often occur along with other similar natural phenomena, such as floods or...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8
American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Earthquakes are exciting and dangerous, and many Earth scientists try to determine the risks they pose to people. In fact, earthquakes are one of the most costly natural hazards faced by the Untied States, posing a significant risk to 75 million Americans in 39 States. Earthquakes occur every...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this activity, you will use a computer model, Seismic Explorer, to examine patterns of earthquakes below Earth’s surface and relate earthquakes to plate boundaries and movement.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8

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Iron precipitation in Montana wetland
Classroom Activities
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

This website is designed to broadly educate students about acid rain, including: its definition; its cause; the various effects that is has on humans, the environment, and buildings and objects; what is being done to reduce its occurrence. In addition it offers students several ways that they...

Students stufying soil at an NRCS educational event in Missouri
Classroom Activities
United States Department of Energy (DOE)

The School Energy Survey is designed to give students the necessary background and framework to conduct an energy survey of their school building. The step-by-step approach guides students through the process of analyzing energy consuming appliances and systems. After gathering data, students...

Mojave Desert Fault Zones
Curriculum Materials
Annenberg Learner

What happens as boundaries diverge? Watch a continental rift, volcanoes and lakes form as two continental plates move apart.

Students observing a fault model
Curriculum Materials
Annenberg Learner

What are convergent boundaries? Examine how collisions of oceanic and continental plates can create volcanoes, island arcs, and earthquakes.

North American crustal plates and earthquake epicenters
Classroom Activities
Annenberg Learner

In this game, you will see a series of five images showing the positions of earth's continents during different geologic periods. You will have two minutes to arrange them in the correct order.

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The Education Resources Network aggregates geoscience education resources from a variety of providers. The goal is to provide visitors with the widest possible collection of curricula, classroom activities, teacher professional development opportunities, science education standards, virtual field trips, teaching ancillaries and much more.

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