Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
The Dynamic Earth
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

Students are introduced to the nature of earthquakes and volcanoes. Students learn about the effects of earthquakes from eyewitnesses to the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 (pictured below). They learn about how earthquake intensity is measured, where earthquakes occur (by studying real-time data), and what global patterns exist. They will then compare earthquake patterns to volcano patterns.

San Francisco Earthquake Grade Level:


Subject Matter:


Curricular Uses:

Earth Science

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the experience of a real earthquake through reports of eyewitnesses.
  • Locate and plot earthquakes using latitude and longitude data from real earthquakes.
  • Understand how earthquake intensities are reported by investigating both the Mercalli intensity scale and the Richter scale.
  • Identify global patterns for earthquakes.
  • Hypothesize about why these patterns exist.
  • Correlate global earthquake patterns to global volcano patterns.
  • Understand that most earthquakes and volcanoes are found along tectonic plate boundaries.

Use of Internet: Students will use the Internet to conduct Web research and collect data online.

This lesson was developed by Alan D. Sills, NTTI Internet Master Teacher 1998-99, and was funded by The Louis Calder Foundation.