April 03, 2020

Afterschool To-Go | Resource Nook: All About Earthquakes

By Holly Phillips |  

The 5.7 magnitude earthquake that had us jumping out of bed on March 18 was surprising and more than a little scary, especially for our youth. Making connections, building understanding, and discovering new ideas about earthquakes can help youth process this event, scientifically and social-emotionally. Here are 19 activities on earthquakes, several guiding tools, and a design framework to help you get started.

Earthquake Resources 

The resources provided were hand-picked based on the quality of content and variety of age group appeal. Some of them are tailored for a young audience, while others are well suited for middle and high school youth. They are just a few of the many resources we provide in our digital library.

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Guiding Tools 

After reviewing the list of resources the following guiding tools can be used to help layout and plan your activity. They are not restrictions but suggestions and ideas that can help enhance your work. Ensuring that youth continue to receive quality programming, even virtually, is a responsibility we all must keep at our epicenter moving forward.

Program Quality Assessment (PQA) Tool 

The PQA is a great resource and guide when putting activities together. Two areas within this tool that are important to keep in mind while planning earthquake related lessons are active engagement and reflection. Creativity is required for engaging students virtually; let the PQA continue to be your guide.

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Utah Core Standars uen

Once you have a topic in mind for your activity it is always helpful to review the Utah Core Standards. Finding the standards that fit with your subject can help guide your work. An activity doesn’t have to be changed to fit a standard, but key words, ideas, and concepts from them can help take your activity to the next level! Here’s an example:

Utah SEEd Standard 7.2.5

Ask questions and analyze and interpret data about the patterns between plate tectonics and the occurrence of earthquakes and volcanoes.

One key concept or take-away from this standard is patterns between plate tectonics and earthquakes.

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Activity Structure 

There are many ways to structure an activity, but one that is particularly useful for science education is the 5E Instructional Model. It is based on the constructive theory of learning, which suggests that people construct knowledge and meaning from experiences. Using the flow of Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate, you can engage students, motivate them to learn, and guide them towards skill development.

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Lights, Camera, Action! Programming 101IMG_3765.jpg

Connecting on a digital platform requires ingenuity. To start your digital program, ask open-ended questions such as: how did you feel before and during the earthquake, how do earthquakes happen, and why are some places more prone to earthquakes than others. Keep your lesson engaging by utilizing easy access materials, such as the spaghetti noodles in the spaghetti fault activity. Consider concluding your program by having your youth write or draw what they learned, to show their families. Playing a game to open or conclude your lesson is also fun!

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Final Thoughts 

Whether you are working with youth face-to-face, on a digital platform, or creating care packages and activities to send home, consider having one of your upcoming themes be about earthquakes. You might be surprised to discover how much youth already know and how strong their feelings are about the event last month. What will be your shake, rattle and roll?