Earthquakes: Third Grade Lesson Plans and Activities

This Earthquakes: Third Grade Lesson Plans and Activities unit also includes:

Introduce third graders to energy waves with a hands-on geology activity, in which they answer questions and compare seismograms in the San Francisco Bay area. After a demonstration that shows how bigger waves indicate a high-intensity earthquake, learners observe how energy waves travel through materials, and connect the damage associated with earthquakes to these waves.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Add the following words to your plate tectonics cycle word wall: earthquake, energy waves, frequency, seismogram, magnitude, intensity, epicenter, wavelength, crest, trough, tsunami, and pressure
  • Demonstrate the lab before allowing individuals to begin
Classroom Considerations

  • Gather necessary materials prior to teaching
  • Further background information may be necessary for teachers
  • The second in a series of four lessons that makes up a unit on the plate tectonics cycle
  • Refer to pages 4-6 in the workbook
Pros

  • Answers are provided for pre-lab and lab exercises
  • Workbook for the entire unit is included below
Cons

  • Alaskan earthquake of 1964 video is not provided; substitute with another video or leave out all together
Common Core