Seismology Teacher Resources
Find Seismology educational ideas and activities
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Plumb the depths of the Submarine Ring of Fire and explore seismic waves with this lesson. 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 on seismology.
Transform your class into young geologists as they learn about six different branches of geology. Using the included geology career descriptions and picture cards, learners work in small groups deciding which tools and locations fit their assigned geology specialist. They then write short narratives describing their jobs to demonstrate what they have learned. Some of the included tools may be unfamiliar, so be sure to explain their uses prior to small group discussions.
Students use the Internet to examine earthquakes. They discover the theory of tectonic plates and analyze faults throughout the world. They also examine the science of seismology to explain how earthquakes are measured.
Young scholars explain the processes of plate tectonics and volcanism that resulted in the formation of the Hawaiian Islands. They describe, compare, and contrast S waves and P waves. They explain how
Students use the Internet to investigate earthquakes and plate tectonics. In this plate tectonics lesson, 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 lesson, 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.
Students complete a worksheet that guides them through an overview of Japanese geography. Students research the topography, climate, population and size of Japan and consider how these factors work together to produce Japanese culture.
Eighth graders demonstrate the mathematical components of a scientific problem as well as illustrate how real world problems can be solved using math. They demonstrate math skills such as rate calculation, graphing, and linear equations.
Students 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.
Students work together to use a sample seismograph. They role play the position of an engineering firm that is to analyze the machine. They discover how engineers develop new machines to take measurements.
High schoolers relate earthquakes from around the world and from Canada to places of high population density. They explore mapping tools using ArcView GIS, play the "Earthquake Guessing Game," and conduct Internet research on types of faults.
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 lesson. You may wish to include these readings before starting the lesson.
Here is a comprehensive package in which middle schoolers learn about types of seismic waves, triangulation, and tectonic plate boundaries. Complete vocabulary, colorful maps, and a worksheet are included via links on the webpage. You will need to have some Slinky® spring toys on hand to demonstrate P and S waves, and a way to project the accompanying maps. A whole-class activity involves learners lining up with shoulders touching, and having them act out the wave movements.
Students explore how to locate the location of an earthquake and why earthquakes happen more frequently in some areas more than others.
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.
Students research and design an educational earthquake Web site, using the current disaster in Afghanistan as a starting point. They begin by reading and discussing As Many as 2,000 Feared Dead in Afghan Earthquakes which is imbedded in this plan.
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.
Students explore how different people on local, national and international levels respond to a destructive natural disaster and the needs of its victims and how various facets of the media cover such an event. The August 1999 earthquake is a case study.
Young scholars, in committees, develop and propose solutions to rebuild various elements of Colombia's infrastructure in the wake of the January 25, 1999 earthquake, as well as compare and contrast the earthquake's affects on Colombia to an earthquake in Los Angeles.