Synopsis

Lesson Snapshot

1. Engage: Students will examine both a visual and an audio representation of the seismic waves recorded from the 2011 Japanese earthquake.  Students will discuss how these relate to ground movement during an earthquake and what information this might give a scientist.

2. Explore: Students will read interviews from individuals who experienced the 1995 Northridge, CA, earthquake, detailing the damage and what happened during the quake. Students play the role of a USGS scientist analyzing the data and determining the earthquake intensity by zip code based on the data.

3. Explain: Students will present their findings from the Explore section.  Students will compare the types of earthquake waves and how they function during an earthquake and how these relate to damage at the surface.

4. Extend/Expand: Students will jigsaw a set of articles from various news sources and the USGS describing numerous earthquakes around the globe.  Students will analyze the key information regarding the earthquakes magnitude, intensity, epicenter, and focus.  Students will summarize the data from each article. 

5. Evaluate: Students will represent a science news reporter by writing a news article covering an earthquake using key academic vocabulary and concepts relating to earthquakes and seismology and including earthquake survivor interviews.