This site is best used as a resource to pull information from; there's not a ton of stuff that students can actually do here. You can show very young students the Earthquake ABC. You can also ask them to create their own drawings about either earthquake-related issues or major weather events that may become more frequent in the future.Continue reading Show less
Earthquakes for Kids is a website from the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) that offers lots of earthquake-related information, links, and activities. The home page features 16 different clickable icons, including Latest Quakes, Puzzles and Games, Become an Earthquake Scientist, and more. Some of these, like the Earthquake ABC, are kid-friendly, while others just connect you to the USGS's regular site or other grown-up science resources. Students can watch animations of geological changes that create earthquakes or can complete quizzes on the science of what happens beneath the Earth's crust.
Although there's a ton of information here, it's not very kid-friendly. The site is ultimately a collection of links; some go to other parts of the USGS site, and others go to various earthquake resources across the Internet. Some of its information is rather bleak, which may make students uneasy. A kid-drawn Earthquake Alphabet is informative but a little disturbing -- the letter K stands for kill and is accompanied by a drawing of people losing their lives in earthquakes. While this is a reality and shouldn't be ignored, the site doesn't offer much follow-up on how to address students' fears.
The science fair ideas are solid, and a teacher could present a guided lesson using the Latest Quakes map or Animations. The site isn't designed for student use, but teachers can still find lots to share with their students here. Ask-A-Geologist is a good resource with one flaw: Although kids can email an actual geologist with any question, the scientists' responses go directly to the asker. It would be great if some of the best question-and-answer sets were posted on the site for other students to read and learn from.
Key Standards Supported
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.
Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
Key Standards Supported
Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.
Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.