Tsunami Resources and Ideas
Here are a few resources I have selected with YOUNG learners in mind... please email me if you any online resources or lesson ideas to share!
Online Book about Tsunami Warning Systems in the USA
This site is an online book which tells about how an earthquake in Alaska causes a tsunami. This tsunami is detected/predicted and the people in Hawaii are warned and take precautions to avoid the loss of life. This could be used to discuss other things we plan for and know how to "deal with" - like fire drills etc. It would seem important to not make it sound as if the people in areas recently struck by the tsunamis did not heed the warnings. It might also be important to explain why there is not yet a warning system there (perhaps a lower occurance of tsunamis in the region, and the large cost to develop and deploy such a system).
Pictures of the Tsunami Warning Bouys
BrainPop Movie - Tsunamis (currently a FREE movie)
This movie is a good overview for students who are 7 and older. The approach is scientific and yet complete and easy to follow.
PBS Site on Tsunamis
Lots of good information. I especially like the step-by-step "animation" which explains tsunami formation at this link: http://www.thirteen.org/savageearth/animations/tsunami/index.html
This is appropriate for discussion at most age groups.
The Economic "Angle" on the Tsunamis
While this resource is designed for older students, there are some ideas here which are easily adapted to 5 year old learners and older. I could envision using the lesson plan which asks children to discuss what children in the effected areas might need with even young children. It could lead to a fruitful discussion of needs vs. wants.
National Geographic Kids
This resource provides information,a simple diagram of what causes tsunamis and a first person story. Seems appropriate for children 5 and up(independently by older students, as a teaching prop, learning tool for younger students.)
NOAA Movie of the Globe with Recent Tsunami's Spread
This is simply a "movie" showing how the tsunami travelled across the globe. Appropriate with explanation for students 6 and up(and above)
Satellite Images of Tsunami Areas - Before and After
These are VERY impressive pictures of the effect of the waves, the receding water, etc as taken from satellites. These pictures depict great loss, but since they are from space, they do not directly show people dying or injured. These show amazing damage. Probably best for students who are 7 or older.
"Wave" Height Data
Imagine using these figures to "graph" on a school wall or playground the heights of waves which resulted from the earthquake on December 26, 2004 from all around the world. A good measurement lesson, conversion from metrics if you which or just a lesson in comparisons. (Here is another way to look at "wave heights": http://tsun.sscc.ru/tsulab/20041226mod.htm )
Some lesson ideas I have thought about (please send me your ideas to share):
1. Use a plastic swimming pool to demonstrate the start of a tsunami. Place a small inflatable swimming pool on two boards one elevated on books or bricks. Fill the pool with water. The pull the board off the bricks or books causing the pool floor to fall (like the floor of the ocean) and watch for a created wave.
2. If you drop an object in a pail of water students can observe the rings made by the object. The rings move quickly but students will be able to see the rings. Of course, if your school is near a lake or pond you can use this to drop a pebble in and watch the ripples (small waves) move across the surface.
Another (and probably better) idea is on page 21 of this document: http://www.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/curriculum/supports/Tsunami/K_6%20Tsunami%20Curriculum.pdf .
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