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Seismology Teacher Resources
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Plumb the depths of the Submarine Ring of Fire and explore seismic waves with this lesson plan. Junior geologists simulate s-waves and p-waves, calculate their speeds, and then apply the data to discover the material that makes up inner Earth. Detailed directions, student handouts, and internet resources provide everything you need to present a memorable lesson plan on seismology.
Students develop Modified Mercalli Intensity values for a written description of an earthquake. They map MMi values and defend their decisions where to place them on a large-scale zip code map. They define how measures of magnitude and intensity are applied to earthquakes.
Students use the Internet to investigate earthquakes and plate tectonics. In this plate tectonics lesson plan, students complete a web quest with multiple links and activity types relating to earthquakes and volcanoes. They connect the earthquake and volcano activity worldwide with plate boundaries.
Students investigate earthquakes by examining chart data. In this disasters instructional activity, students identify the waves that are recorded when an earthquake arises by reading sample graphs in class. Students participate in an earthquake experiment in which they jog around the playground recording their impact.
Learners examine three seismograms of a recent South American earthquake recorded by USGS stations. They measure the S-P distance and use a P and S wave travel-time graph to find the epicenter distance for each seismogram. In addition, they use distance to find the epicenter of the earthquake.
Students investigate the Richter scale and seismology in a teacher-led lab in which they are introduced to the concept of seismic waves and epicenter location. They further investigate the inner workings of a seismograph and practice using the circular intercept technique to find the epicenter of an earthquake.
More of a mini-unit than a lesson, these activities lead inquisitors through a survey of oil deposits. In the first part, they read about and view diagrams of sedimentary rock layers that trap oil. Next, they test porosity and permeability of different sediments. In part three, they consider the need for geologists to use topographic maps. The fourth part can only be used if your school has a data analysis system that you can access for relevant data. These are top-notch activities that can be used individually, together, or in addition to "Fossil Fuels (Part I)," also available via the Lesson Planet website.
Challenge your class members to create new compound words. After examining compound words associated with earthquakes, groups select a topic that has some local connection, brainstorm a list of associated words, and invent new compound words for their topic. Background links, a list of related terms, assessments, and an answer key are included with the highly detailed plan.
Learning about the earth should be a moving experience, and what better way to record that movement than with a seismograph? Each team will work together to design and build a seismometer, then compete against the other teams to see which one works best. Note: the original lesson plan, which is attached below in the Additional Materials section, provides learners with several background knowledge readings, which add a lot to the instructional activity. You may wish to include these readings before starting the instructional activity.
Learners investigate coordinate graphing. In this Algebra I lesson, pupils determine the distance between two cities by finding the vertical and horizontal distances using the longitude and latitude readings. They use the Pythagorean Theorem to determine the distance and convert the degrees to miles.
Give science learners nine questions about the biogeography of hydrothermal vents and turn them loose to research this fascinating habitat. Working in cooperative groups, they prepare a report that addresses each of the questions. A plethora of resource links are included for groups to glean information from! Versatile in subject matter, this lesson can be used in a biology when exploring habitats, or in earth science when covering plate tectonics or ocean-bottom features.