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Learning Exercise

Submitted by: Dr. Troy Tenhet Ed.D. on Jun 27, 2007
Date Last Modified: Jun 27, 2007
Title: Earthquake Preparedness Reflection Essay
Description: This lesson uses observations from this website and the site located at to have students write a response essay on some key points in being prepared for an earthquake. This somewhat ties to grade six science standards and also grade six writing standards.
Type of Task: Student-centered, Supervised
Time Required One Week
Topics: Science and Language arts...Technology infused teaching works here too.
Course: 6th Grade Multiple Subjects
Audience: Middle School
Prerequisites Skills: Students should be able to use the internet, take notes, communicate effectively with written and spoken words.
Learning Objectives: Students will become more aware of and equipped to deal with concepts located within the following CDE standards for Science and the Language Arts: SCIENCE---Plate Tectonics and Earth's Structure Plate tectonics accounts for important features of Earth's surface and major geologic events. As a basis for understanding this concept: Students know evidence of plate tectonics is derived from the fit of the continents; the location of earthquakes, volcanoes, and midocean ridges; and the distribution of fossils, rock types, and ancient climatic zones. Students know that earthquakes are sudden motions along breaks in the crust called faults and that volcanoes and fissures are locations where magma reaches the surface. Students know major geologic events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from plate motions. LANGUAGE ARTS---Organization and Focus 1.1 Choose the form of writing (e.g., personal letter, letter to the editor, review, poem, report, narrative) that best suits the intended purpose. 1.2 Create multiple-paragraph expository compositions: Engage the interest of the reader and state a clear purpose. Develop the topic with supporting details and precise verbs, nouns, and adjectives to paint a visual image in the mind of the reader. Conclude with a detailed summary linked to the purpose of the composition. 1.3 Use a variety of effective and coherent organizational patterns, including comparison and contrast; organization by categories; and arrangement by spatial order, order of importance, or climactic order. Research and Technology 1.4 Use organizational features of electronic text (e.g., bulletin boards, databases, keyword searches, e-mail addresses) to locate information. 1.5 Compose documents with appropriate formatting by using word-processing skills and principles of design (e.g., margins, tabs, spacing, columns, page orientation). Evaluation and Revision 1.6 Revise writing to improve the organization and consistency of ideas within and between paragraphs.
Technical Notes: Make sure you have some type of word processor and printer. Don't forget to peer edit the created material.
Text of Learning Exercise: Review the main learning object which is the website with the countless links. This should be done as a group in a computer lab in a whole-group lecture format. Pay special attention to the Q & A Forum link. Have students get a feel for what is being done about having communities that are at risk of earthquakes, preparing themselves for disaster. I would like to then see students visit the following site located at It is a NASA press release that discusses earthquake preparedness. Have students write a response set of paragraphs dealing with the important points of earthquake preparedness and then have them peer-edit each other's work. Final publishing should be done with a word-processor and then shared orally with the class. An added value activity has students videotaping their responses and sharing them with the school and parents at an "Open House" event or even with the media from the community...
Additional Information URL:
Assessment: Informal works here via observation. If you want to use a rubric for the written response, then I would use Rubistar.
Assessment URL:
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