Lesson Plan

Reading and Interpreting Seismograph Data

Students will learn how to operate a model seismograph and interpret the data generated by a real seismograph

Students will learn how a seismograph works.

Students will learn how to interpret the data generated by a seismograph.

Grades 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 How do We Measure Earthquakes?

Danielson Framework Domain1: Planning and Preparation. 1b Knowledge of Students.

The teacher knows that 6th grade students need excitement in the classroom so she shows a video of a devastating earthquake to hook the students interest in the subject.

The teacher realizes that not all students are kinesthetic learners that can easily understand now machines work. The teacher will show the students an informational video about how a seismograph works before introducing them to a physical model.

2 Using a Seismograph and Data Collection

Activity: Investigating

Danielson Framework Domain 2: Classroom Environment. 2c Managing Classroom Procedures

The teacher The teacher will break the students into manageable lab groups and instruct the students to bang on their desks near the model seismographs in order to generate "earthquake data" so they can model the effects of distance, direction, and force on earthquake readings. The teacher will ensure that each student takes a turn banging and reading the data.

Student Instructions

Use your model seismograph to generate "earthquake data" . How can you change the distance, direction, and force of the waves generated by your "earthquake"?

3 What Do All These Squiggles Mean? Learning How To Read a Seismogram

Danielson Framework Domain 3: Instruction 3a Communicating with Students

The teacher will use examples from the website to help explain the content to students. She will utilize online resources to help the students learn how to interpret a real seismograph generated by an earthquake.

Student Instructions

Use the examples on the website to help you read the seismogram from the 1964 earthquake in Alaska.

4 Interpreting a Real Seismogram

Activity: Other — Studnets will interpret a seismogram from a real earthquake

Danielson Framework Domain 3: Instruction 3c Engage Students in Learning

The teacher will give the students an authentic seismogram generated from a historic earthquake for them to use in relating information about earthquake waves to real events. The teacher will help the students interpret the seismogram data from the 1964 Alaska earthquake. Help them determine the location on the graph and the actual arrival time of P waves, S waves, and surface waves using the seismogram.

Student Instructions

Look at this real seismogram and determine when the first P waves, S waves, and surface waves arrived at the Bellingham, WA station that this seismogram was recorded at.

5 Interpreting a Real Seismogram Continued

Activity: Assessing

Danielson Framework Domain 3: Instruction 3d Assessment in Instruction

The teacher uses formative assessment to ensure that the students are learning during instructional time. The teacher creates a worksheet for the students to complete as a short homework assignment out of class to show that they learned how to identify P waves, S waves, and surface waves on a seismogram.

Student Instructions

Complete the homework assignment using data provided by the teacher. Make sure you know how to determine the locaiton of P waves, S waves, and surface waves on a seismogram.