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Students in grades 3–5 may be interested in exploring some foundational information about earthquakes and tsunamis, changes in the Earth's surface brought about by fault activity, or interesting and unusual bits of information about earthquakes. They may also be interested in discovering more about Japan's physical and cultural geography or in learning how to protect people and property during a natural disaster.

March 11 Earthquake and Tsunami

Major Earthquake Rocks Japan. See what Scholastic News Kids Press Corps reported about the March 11, 2011, earthquake in Japan.


Tremor Troop: Earthquakes—A Teacher's Package for K–6. Download this PDF file for a complete unit on earthquakes. The lessons in Unit I, Level 2, provide students with opportunities to explore legends about earthquakes and then determine what causes earthquakes. There are several additional lessons and activities in this unit that delve deeper into the topic of earthquakes.

Earthquakes on the Surface. Determine if there is a relationship between faults and the surface features of the Earth.

Earthquake Facts. Marvel at some interesting facts about earthquakes.

The Science of Earthquakes. Read about the basics of earthquakes.

Online Coloring. Interact with this online paint application while learning about earthquakes.

Today in Earthquake History. Look back in time to learn where earthquakes occurred on this day in history.


K–6 Tsunami Curriculum. Download this PDF file for a complete unit on tsunamis. The file also includes earthquake information and activities.

What Is a Tsunami? Watch this Wonderopolis animation of a tsunami.

Japan: A Sense of Place

Be a Geography Detective. Examine the physical and cultural geography of Japan. Adapt this lesson by substituting Japan for North America. You'll find information about Japan at Kids Web Japan: Explore Japan.

Living Landscapes: Are You a Disaster? Investigate how natural disasters impact people and property.

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Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami. View before-and-after pictures of the affected areas.

Fundamentals of Physical Geography [excerpt]: Chapter 10, "Introduction to the Lithosphere" (ORC #9173). Review this comprehensive overview of the Earth's surface features and the processes that shape them.

NOAA Center for Tsunami Research. Watch narrated animations of the Honshu tsunami of March 11 and review tsunami-related data.

The Quake-Catcher Network. Join the Quake-Catcher Network and request a USB sensor so you can help researchers learn more about earthquakes. Download interactive software to learn more about earthquakes.