Earthquakes and Volcanoes

Posted by Montessori Kiwi on

As a child I was fascinated by Pompeii, particularly the idea of a place frozen in time. I think many children are interested in this topic, it is a bit like children's fascination with Dinosaurs!
Here in NZ we have our own 'Pompeii'  In June 1886 Mt Tarawera in the central North Island erupted and killed 120 people mostly local Māori. The beautiful silica terraces were destroyed too. Te Wairoa a village where many people tried to shelter is now known as the buried village and is a tourist attraction, it is a beautiful and eerie place.
In this picture of the eruption you can see a waka (boat) some people believe that this 'phantom waka' was seen hours before the eruption and was a premention of the eruption that was going to happen.


SMXLL
 
One of the things I find really interesting is hearing the stories of people who were involved in Earthquakes or Volcanoes. Here is one from the Mt Tarawera eruption which would be great to share with children.
I love teaching about Earthquakes and Volcanoes and am fascinated by the inner workings of the earth that create them. It is really interesting to think that the idea of Plate Tectonics didn't become a widespread scientific belief until the 1960s. That in itself is a good story to talk about how some things are not appreciated in their time or take a long time to be listened to! 

Volcanoes and Earthquakes have lots of interesting vocabulary to learn about.
Some examples:
-Eruption
-Magma Chamber
-Aftershock
-Liquefaction - here in New Zealand we have heard a lot about this after the Christchurch Earthquake.
I am a big fan of diagrams and easy to understand descriptions. I have made these resources which isolate and explain Volcano Vocabulary  and Earthquake vocabulary (click on the pictures to go to all my Earthquake and Volcano resources)
SMXLL
 
SMLXL
 
Armed with this knowledge young people are able to better understand the current events that are happening around them and the impact they have on the world. Here are just a few that I could think of, which are great for discussion and reflection particularly around the interaction between people and the earth:
- The 2010 Eyjafallajokull eruption which disrupted air traffic
- The 2011 Christchurch Earthquake in NZ
- In August 2016 three Indonesian Volcanoes erupted at the same time!
- The 2015 Earthquake in Nepal: Nepal is also interesting because of the geology and tectonics involved in the creation of the mountain ranges there.

Your children may also be interested in looking at recent Earthquakes that are happening around the world. Here is one such map which shows the most recent earthquakes around the world
I also made my own activity where children map the 10 largest earthquakes/volcanoes - because children love seeing what the largest and biggest thing is! :)
SMLXL

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