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Kevin Driscoll
(Los Angeles - United States)

I taught Computer Science and Mathematics from 2004-2007 at Prospect Hill Academy Charter School in Cambridge, MA. Since then, I completed a Master's degree in Comparative Media Studies at MIT and am now a PhD candidate in Communication at University of ...

Week 4: Natural Disasters

Day 1: Natural Disaster Overview

Introduction:
Today we are going to have a quick overview of 3 major disasters. The first is the Great Chilean Earthquake, the second is the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and the last is the recent Tsunami in the Indian Ocean. These disasters caused massive damage and loss of lives. You will view images and hear a short summary of the events that went with each one. Please be respectful of the tragedy of these events. Teams will then spend a little time browsing the internet to decide which disaster they want to know more about and create a presentation on.

Group Size: Whole class

Learning Objectives:
The students will be introduced to the basics of 3 major natural disasters.

Guiding Question:
What is the largest volcano eruption, earthquake, and tsunami throughout history?
What was the effect of each?

Materials:
Overview of Tsunami http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tsunami/anatomy.html

Tsunami Simulation http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Jan05/tsunamiVid640.html

Chile earthquake image http://www.suite101.com/view_image.cfm/357333

Procedures:

1. After introduction display the first image of the Chilean Earthquake
Chile earthquake image
http://www.suite101.com/view_image.cfm/357333
2. While students view the image read the following excerpt about the earthquake. The Great Chilean Earthquake is also called the Valdivian Earthquake. It happened in May 1960 and was 9.5 in magnitude. About 6,000 people died and the damage was estimated to cost over a half a billion dollars.
3. Next watch the short video of Pompeii http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/pompeii/pliny/video.html
4. Read the overview of Pompeii while loading the Tsunami simulation. The web page will take several minutes. Pompeii Overview: In 79 AD Mount Vesuvius erupted lasting more than 19 hours. People died from the gases released and were preserved when covered in ash and molten lava.
5. Tsunami Simulation http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Jan05/tsunamiVid640.html
6. Tsunami Overview: This great Tsunami was caused by and earthquake underwater. Waves got as tall as 100 feet high. 225,000 people died or were missing after the Tsunami.
7. After overviews allow students to work in partners to spend a few minutes browsing the web for more details.
8. During this time pass around a sign up sheet for kids to choose what topic they want research and create a presentation on.
9. The sign up sheet has a limited number of slots per disaster. NaturalDisasterSignUpSheet.doc

Benchmark or Standards:
Students will develop an understanding of…

• Structure of the earth system
• Earth's history
• The solid earth is layered with a lithosphere; hot, convecting mantle; and dense, metallic core.
• Land forms are the result of a combination of constructive and destructive forces.
• Major geological events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from plate motions
Attached Files:

 NaturalDisasterSignUpSheet.doc

Days 2-5: Research

Introduction:
Today we will begin our research. Partners will work on the computers using the internet links provided to begin their project.

Group Size: Partners

Learning Objectives:
The students will research a specific natural disaster.

Guiding Question:

How did this disaster happen?

How would a slight change in geological factors impacted the destruction?

What steps could have been taken to help minimize the damage?

What have scientists learned about the Earth from the disaster?

How did the disaster effect the environment?

Could this disaster happen again? Why?

Materials:
Websites on the attached hot list. currikiearthlinks.doc

Project Instructions Projectinstructions.doc

Paper and Pens

Procedures:

1. Pass out the instructions. Explain to the students they need to begin their research before deciding what is the best mode for them to convey their information. For example, groups doing the Great Chilean earthquake would not want to do an i-movie due to lack of images from the disaster.
2. Make sure they record any websites they use in their research for the bibliography.
3. All research must be written in their own words.
4. All presentations must include a detailed answer to the guiding questions.
5. Pass out the list of websites. These are good places to start. Once they have used the websites provided then they may search on their own.
6. Dismiss pairs to begin.
Natural Disasters Project

Choose either The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD, The Great Chilean Earthquake of 1960, and the Tsunami of 2004.
Choose the type of presentation you would like to make. You may create a power point, an I-movie, or a collection of posters. Make sure each presentation is given orally and that the visual aides enhance the facts presented. Be prepared for a question and answer session after each topic has been thoroughly covered.

The goal of this project is to research the causes and effects of each event from a geological perspective. Make sure to include important facts as well as personal accounts of the events.

How did this disaster happen?
How would a slight change in geological factors impacted the destruction?
What steps could have been taken to help minimize the damage?
What have scientists learned about the Earth from the disaster?
How did the disaster effect the environment?
Could this disaster happen again? Why?

All presentations will be graded by using the presentation rubric. Each team will be expected to complete a self assessment as well as a group feedback form. You have one week to complete this task.

presentationrubric.doc

Benchmark or Standards:

Students will develop an understanding of…

• Structure of the earth system
• Earth's history
• The solid earth is layered with a lithosphere; hot, convecting mantle; and dense, metallic core.
• Land forms are the result of a combination of constructive and destructive forces.
• Major geological events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from plate motions
Attached Files: