Which of These Factors is Involved in Earthquake Formation

Which of These Factors is Involved in Earthquake Formation


Students larn about the structure of the globe and how an earthquake happens. In ane action, students make a model of the earth including all of its layers. In a teacher-led demonstration, students larn well-nigh continental drift. In another activity, students create models demonstrating the different types of faults.

This engineering curriculum aligns to Adjacent Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Engineering Connection

Engineers need to thoroughly understand the processes that shape the Earth so they can design structures (schools, hospitals, bridges, etc.) that are able to withstand natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanoes and hurricanes. In add-on to designing sturdy, resilient structures, engineers also develop detection devices that assist predict earthquakes and tsunamis, as a way to warn people before catastrophes occur. Together, these technologies minimize the number of injuries and casualties that might event.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students should exist able to:

  • Know and sympathize the processes and interactions of Earth’south systems and the structure and dynamics of Earth.
  • Identify major features of Earth’s surface that lead to earthquake development.
  • Explain the distribution and causes of earthquakes that shape/change the Earth.
  • Understand why engineers need to learn most the World’south structure.
  • Place cause-effect relationships involved in earthquakes.
  • Know and understand interrelationships among science, engineering and human action and how they can affect the world.
  • Place careers that involve science and engineering science.

Educational Standards

lesson or activeness is correlated to i or more than Chiliad-12 science, applied science, engineering or math (Stem) educational standards.

All 100,000+ Yard-12 Stem standards covered in
are nerveless, maintained and packaged by the
Achievement Standards Network (ASN), a projection of

In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: kickoff by source;
e.g., by state; within source by type;
eastward.g., science or mathematics; within blazon past subtype, then by grade,

NGSS: Next Generation Scientific discipline Standards – Scientific discipline
NGSS Performance Expectation

Analyze and interpret information from maps to depict patterns of Earth’s features. (Grade 4)

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This lesson focuses on the following 3 Dimensional Learning aspects of NGSS:
Science & Applied science Practices Disciplinary Cadre Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Analyze and interpret data to make sense of phenomena using logical reasoning.

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The locations of mountain ranges, deep ocean trenches, ocean floor structures, earthquakes, and volcanoes occur in patterns. Virtually earthquakes and volcanoes occur in bands that are often forth the boundaries between continents and oceans. Major mountain chains form within continents or near their edges. Maps can help locate the different country and h2o features areas of World.

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Patterns tin can be used as evidence to back up an caption.

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NGSS Performance Expectation

Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their furnishings. (Grades 6 – 8)

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This lesson focuses on the post-obit Iii Dimensional Learning aspects of NGSS:
Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Construct an oral and written argument supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon or a solution to a problem.

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Mapping the history of natural hazards in a region, combined with an understanding of related geologic forces can help forecast the locations and likelihoods of future events.

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Graphs, charts, and images tin be used to place patterns in data.

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The uses of technologies and whatsoever limitations on their employ are driven by individual or societal needs, desires, and values; by the findings of scientific inquiry; and by differences in such factors equally climate, natural resources, and economic conditions. Thus technology utilise varies from region to region and over time.

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International Technology and Engineering Educators Association – Technology
  • Explicate how various relationships can exist between applied science and engineering and other content areas. (Grades 3 – five) More Details

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Country Standards

Colorado – Science
  • Analyze and interpret data identifying ways World’s surface is constantly changing through a variety of processes and forces such as plate tectonics, erosion, degradation, solar influences, climate, and man activity (Grade 5) More than Details

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  • Develop and communicate an evidence based scientific explanation around one or more than factors that change Globe’southward surface (Course 5) More Details

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In 1923 almost Kobe, Japan, 140,000 people were killed by nature. The cause of this natural devastation was a massive convulsion! How does an earthquake happen? Well, the Earth’s crust is made up of
tectonic plates, which lock together like the pieces of a puzzle. The tectonic plates float on the molten stone of the Earth’southward
and move around very slowly. The movement of these plates, which ultimately causes movement of the continents, is chosen
continental drift. The areas where these tectonic plates meet are the regions of the globe with the nigh violent natural events, with respect to earthquakes. This boundary zone sometimes forms mount ranges or
— cracks in the Earth that release a tremendous amount of free energy which so shakes the Earth and causes earthquakes. Earthquakes, therefore, are basically the issue of the tectonic plates coming together and sliding together to create friction and vibrations that not only cause rocks to break but remarkable Earth shaking also.

Engineers are very concerned with processes that shape the Earth, considering they demand to be able to pattern structures (buildings, schools, bridges) to protect humans against natural events such every bit earthquakes, volcanoes and hurricanes. Engineers design sturdy structures (i.e., buildings, schools and bridges) that can withstand earthquakes and detection devices to predict earthquakes. Information technology is important for engineers to design roads, bridges, structures, airports, dams, sewage systems — and the methods to obtain and filter drinking water — with Earth processes in mind.

Lesson Background and Concepts for Teachers

What is the construction of the World and what are some of the processes that shape the Globe’s surface? Call up of the Earth as an onion with 5 main layers. The get-go, or inner, role of the World is the
inner core
, which is solid and composed by and large of fe and nickel. Although, scientists cannot actually get to the inner core to test information technology because it is over 5000 km below the Globe’s surface, scientist have predicted that the inner core is solid. The second layer, going from the within outward, is the
outer core
, which is molten — or liquid fe and nickel. It lies from 2891 to 5150 km within the Earth. The third layer that makes up most of the Earth is the
mantle. The mantle ranges from 40 to 2900 km deep. It is made of molten rock, which is lighter than the fe and nickel core, only heavier than the Earth’s crust — the fourth and final layer of the World. The crust is xv – 200 km thick and is made of light materials, which stay on the surface of the Earth. Figure 2 illustrates the unlike layers of the Earth. Students tin solidify their understanding by creating a model earth with the Calibration Model of the Earth activeness.

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A diagram showing the layers of the Earth with the inner and outer core shaded light gray, the mantle colored orange and the lithosphere colored dark gray.
Figure ii. The layers of the Earth


Copyright © http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/ unanswered.html

Near thirty years agone, geologists developed the theory of
plate tectonics
— the theory that the crust of the Earth is divided into large plates called
tectonic plates, which lock together like the pieces of a puzzle. The tectonic plates are between 200 km (under landmasses) and xv km (under the ocean) thick. Geologists believe that the tectonic plates are floating on the molten rock of the pall and moving around very slowly. Each continent has its own tectonic plate (see Figure 3), and the continual wearisome motion of the plates subsequently causes move of the continents— called
continental drift. Refer to the Globe-trotting Continents activity that pairs a instructor demonstration with a investigation worksheet to help students grasp the concept of continental drift.

A map of the world showing each continent's tectonic plate in a different color.
Figure 3. The world’due south tectonic plates.

Scientists believe that
convection currents
in the molten rock nether the crust account for the motion of the continents. Convection currents are currents, or movements, of liquid that occur because of differences in temperature. As the hot molten rock closest to the outer core of the Earth rises toward the chaff, it cools slightly. The cooler molten rock is denser, then it sinks, creating a circular current similar to a pot of boiling soup.

The boundaries where the tectonic plates meet are the areas of the globe with the most violent natural earthquake activeness. When the plates grind confronting each other forth plate boundaries, the rocks are under and then much force per unit area that sometimes they rut up and fold, creating mountain ranges, hills and valleys. The intense pressure at plate boundaries can also crusade rocks to snap and break — forming cracks in the Earth, or
faults. When faults are formed, a tremendous amount of energy is released, which shakes the Earth and causes

There are three primary types of faults:
opposite faults. Transcurrent faults move sideways creating earthquakes. The San Andreas Fault in California is an example of a transcurrent error. In normal faults, the tectonic plates either motion apart from one another or towards each other causing a block of Earth to fall between the two plates. With a reverse fault, a cake of Earth is pushed upwards and sometimes over the tectonic plate. Refer to the Faulty Move activity to assist students sympathize the deviation and characteristics of the previously described three types of faults.

The U.S. Geological Survey has created a map of the Us to help identify areas that are naturally prone to more earthquake activeness (meet Effigy iv). Through their historical assessment of earthquake activity, they are able to predict which areas of the U.S. are likely to feel high, medium, low or niggling to no earthquake action. Such a map assists engineers in developing the all-time construction to withstand these naturally occurring events.

A colorful map of the United States, showing areas of earthquake hazard. High earthquake hazard areas are shaded in red. Low-hazard areas are white and light blue.
Figure 4. An earthquake hazard map.


Copyright © http://earthquake.usgs.gov

Associated Activities

  • Scale Model of the Earth – Students explore the Earth past creating a dirt model.

    Sentry this activity on YouTube

  • Globe-trotting Continents – This is a teacher-led demonstration of continental drift. Students also extend their knowledge of drift by doing a math action in which they calculate continental drift over fourth dimension.
  • Faulty Movement – Students make models of the three different types of faults. They will learn how land moves when blocks of stone slide sideways, autonomously or towards each other.

    Watch this action on YouTube

Lesson Closure

Inquire students what causes earthquakes. (Answer: Earthquakes occur when friction between tectonic plates causes rocks to break along fault lines.) Ask students what are the societal and environmental affects of earthquakes. (Answer: Earthquakes alter the makeup of our Earth’s surface. As well, each year, earthquakes cause millions of dollars of damage to cities and contribute to the injury or death of many people.) Ask students whether they retrieve their school is at risk for an earthquake. (Answers will vary depending on where y’all live. Revisit Figure 4, the earthquake hazard map of the U.S.). Talk to students nearly how they could tell if they are at risk of an earthquake. Have in that location been many earthquakes in your expanse in the past? Practice you live in a high-gamble or low-risk area? Could you utilize the cyberspace to see where earthquakes are currently occurring? (Reply: Yes, students can visit https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/ to find electric current earthquake action.)


continental drift:
The theory that the continents have drifted autonomously.

convection current:
A electric current, or motion, in a liquid or gas that is caused by differences in temperature and density.

The innermost layer of the Globe which is solid, comprised of generally iron.

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The outermost and thinnest layer of the World also called the lithosphere.

A scissure in the Earth. There are a lot of faults underlying plate boundaries.

Too chosen the crust (litho pregnant “rock” in Greek).

The tertiary layer of the Earth fabricated of molten stone.


normal fault:
A error in which a cake of rock falls down between the edges of the cleft.

outer core:
The second layer of the Earth which is a liquid, mostly molten fe.

plate boundaries:
The purlieus betwixt two tectonic plates.

plate tectonics:
The theory that the World’s crust is fabricated of plates which motility relative to 1 another.

reverse mistake:
A error in which a block of rock is pushed up or over ii tectonic plates moving toward each other.

tectonic plate:
The interlocking pieces of the World’southward crust.

transcurrent fault:
A fault, or crack, where the tectonic plates motility sideways.


Pre-Lesson Assessment

Journal: If students do not already have a science journal, this unit is perfect for trying ane! Print out periodical sheets and KWL charts each time you practice an activity for the students to keep in a binder/binder.

Give-and-take Questions: solicit, integrate and summarize student responses.

  • Has anyone always been in an convulsion?
  • Has anyone seen an earthquake on TV?
  • What might an earthquake feel like?

Post-Introduction Assessment

Question/Answer: Ask students questions and have them heighten their easily to respond. Write answers on the board.

  • What is the Earth’southward crust made upward of? (Reply: tectonic plates)
  • What is the motility of continents as a result of the shifting of tectonic plates called? (Answer: continental drift)
  • What happens at the boundaries of tectonic plates? (Answers: earthquakes, the about violent natural events, the formation of mount ranges or faults)
  • What is a fault? (Answer: A fault is a scissure in the Globe’s chaff that releases a tremendous corporeality of energy, which shakes the Earth and causes earthquakes.)
  • What causes earthquakes? (Respond: Earthquakes are the result of tectonic plates meeting and sliding together to create friction, which then causes tremendous World shaking.)
  • Why exercise engineers intendance about earthquakes? (Respond: Engineers are very concerned with processes that shape the Earth, considering they need to be able to pattern structures — buildings, schools, bridges, for example — to protect humans against natural events such as earthquakes, volcanoes and hurricanes.)
  • In taking earthquakes into consideration, what else practise engineers design? (Answer: Engineers also pattern roads, bridges, houses, schools, office buildings, airports, dams, sewage systems, and the methods necessary to obtain and filter drinking h2o.)

Lesson Summary Assessment

Bingo: Provide each student with a sail of newspaper containing a list of the lesson vocabulary terms. Have each student walk around the room and find a pupil who can define one vocabulary term. Students must discover a different student for each discussion. When a student has all terms completed s/he shouts “Bingo!” Continue until two or 3 (or nearly) students have bingo. Inquire the students who shouted “Bingo!” to give definitions of the vocabulary terms.

Lesson Extension Activities

Talk to students about what to exercise in the consequence of an convulsion. For data on earthquake safety tips and an online quiz about earthquake safety tips, see the post-obit link: http://www.quakehold.com/emergency-preparedness-disaster-preparedness-convulsion-preparedness/disaster-preparedness-earthquake-preparedness-preptest.html.

Have students choose an historical convulsion and write a pocket-sized report on the facts of the earthquake. They should written report on the fourth dimension, date and location of the earthquake and what the effects of the earthquake were.


Curtis, Neil and Michael Allaby.
Visual Factfinder. Planet Earth.
New York: Kingfisher Books, Grisewood and Dempsey and Co., 1993.

Press, Frank and Raymond Siever.
Understanding Earth. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1998.

Silverstein, Alvin, Virginia Silverstein and Laura Silverstein Nunn.
Plate Tectonics. Brookfield, CT: Twenty Outset Century Printing, 1988.

Taylor, Barbara.
Earth Explained.

A Beginners Guide to Our Planet.
New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997.

Walters, Martin and Felicity Trotman.
Earth Sciences; A Prentice Hall Illustrated Dictionary.
New York: Prentice Hall, 1992.







© 2004 by Regents of the University of Colorado.


Jessica Todd; Melissa Straten; Malinda Schaefer Zarske; Janet Yowell

Supporting Plan

Integrated Pedagogy and Learning Program, College of Engineering, Academy of Colorado Boulder


The contents of this digital library curriculum were developed nether a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.South. Section of Education and National Science Foundation GK-12 grant no. 0338326. Nevertheless, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the Department of Pedagogy or National Scientific discipline Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Last modified: June six, 2019

Which of These Factors is Involved in Earthquake Formation

Source: https://www.teachengineering.org/lessons/view/cub_natdis_lesson02