Activities for Grades 6-8

  • By using the real life story of Kamome, a boat whose travels across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to California were initiated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, a concrete example is provided for students to explore, better understand, explain and prepare for these geologic events through the participation in classroom lessons designed to articulate with The Extraordinary Voyage of Kamome.    It includes information on preparing personal earthquake kits and finding out about tsunami hazard zones.  This activity is meant to augment California’s ShakeOut Drop Cover and Hold On Drill, held every year on the third Thursday in October.  It will take a minimum of one 50-minute session (procedures 1-4) or two 50-minute sessions for the entire activity.

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  • This activity uses pieces of spaghetti to illustrate the earthquake magnitude scale.  While completing an activity using bundles of spaghetti, students will discover the difference in magnitudes of earthquakes from a magnitude 5 to a magnitude 9.   A magnitude 8 can be demonstrated as well, but takes bit more preparation work.  The earthquake in Japan in 2011 which created the tsunami that travelled across the Pacific Ocean, as described in Kamome, was a magnitude 9.1.  The  Pasta Quake video https://www.iris.edu/hq/inclass/video/pasta_quake_modeling_magnitude_scale_using_spaghetti demonstrates a magnitude5, 6, 7, 8 and a magnitude 9 earthquake.  This exercise also introduces the concept of duration as a way to estimate earthquake magnitude.   Allow 50 minutes of class time for the activity and an additional 60 minutes of preparation.

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  • The voyage of Kamome begins with a magnitude 9.1 earthquake.  To give a feel for just how big an earthquake this was, you will listen to a recording made by Robert Pate while he experienced the 1964 Alaska earthquake in his Anchorage home.  The Alsak earthquake had a magnitude of 9.2.  You will hear the sounds that his house makes and the objects falling and Mr. Pate’s commentary on what he is experiencing and feeling.  The activity introduces the concept of earthquake intensity and the Modified Mercalli scale, a measure of the relative shaking strength at a particular location.  Allow for 50 minutes to complete Part A (listening to the recording), and 50 minutes for looking at the photos and estimating intensities (part B).

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