Japan earthquake and tsunami

On 11th March 2011 an earthquake off the east coast of Japan registered 8.9 magnitude. The earthquake triggered a massive tsunami, which hit the northern port of Sendai, killing thousands of people and leaving many more unaccounted for. The enormous scale of the natural disaster has left a devastating humanitarian crisis in Japan.

British Red Cross appeal for funds to be raised in the UK and sent to the Japanese Red Cross

The Japan earthquake and tsunami resources collection is for Primary and Secondary teachers - to help explain how earthquakes and tsunamis happen - to help pupils understand the devastation that natural disasters can cause - to learn about life in Japan.

Further materials include - PSHE materials to explore upsetting feelings - literacy resources for journalistic writing - Japanese poetry resources.

Lesson Plan and supporting resources: Earthquake and tsunami, Japan 11th March 2011 (KS3 /KS4) Geography - Weather and climate

Thanks to Andy McFadden


  • Japan Earthquake Powerpoint (pictures, tasks, videos & instructions)
  • Japan worksheet Powerpoint
  • Adapted newspaper article

Learning objectives: What happended on Friday and why was it so deadly?

What if you could explain where the earthquake and tsunami in Japan happened, what caused these events and describe some of the ways the north east coast of Japan has been affected.

What we are looking for is key detail to explain what happened, with locations and analysis of how the north east coast of Japan has been affected.

What’s next? To examine the further challenges Japan will face, right now in the short term and then in the longer term as they try to recover.

In the news Geography - Japanese Earthquake (KS2 / KS3) Geography - Weather and climate

Why do earthquakes happen? (KS2 / KS3 / KS4) Geography - People

Useful words and phrases in Japanese - ideal for Japanese children or for projects on Japan (KS1 / KS2)

Natural Disasters - Tsunami (KS2 / KS3)

Predicting tsunamis in Europe (KS4 / KS5)

What is a Tsunami


Earthquakes (KS3 / KS4) Geography

Earthquake assessment (KS3) Geography

Earthquake information and links for Primary schools (KS2)

Key information on volcanic eruptions and ash.

Plate tectonics and seismic waves

Plate tectonics (KS4) Chemistry - GCSE Geological processes Geography

Plate tectonics word match (KS3 / KS4) Geography

Plate tectonics true or false (KS3 / KS4) Geography

Plate tectonics quiz (KS3 / KS4) Geography

Plate tectonics animations (KS4) Geography Chemistry

Seismic waves powerpoint (KS4) Geography Physics


Learning about life in Japan

Japan - Human or physical (KS3 / KS4) Geography

Japan - Teachers TV video about life at school in Japan - offering a focus on behaviour

The Japanese Flag (KS2 / KS3 / KS4) Geography

Japan quiz - formative, summative, research (KS3 / KS4) Geography

Barnaby Bear in Japan (KS1 / KS2) Geography

A question of Japan (KS2 / KS3 / KS4) Geography

PSHE - Feelings

Circle time card (KS1 / KS2) PSHE

How are you feeling? (KS1 / KS2) PSHE

Discussion toolkit (KS2 / KS3 / KS4) PSHE

Emotional literacy wordbank (KS2 / KS3 / KS4) PSHE

Literacy - Report writing

Writing a news report - Japan earthquake 2011 (KS2 / KS3) English - Writing Geography

Non chronological report, writing frame- Widgit

Checklist for a news story (KS2) English - Non-fiction texts

Setting out an information text (KS2) English - Non-fiction texts

Newspapers (KS3) English - Non-fiction texts

Japan Scheme of Work for Teachers of English

Japan Quiz - Supports SOW

Japan Key Words Wordsearch

Japanese Artefacts - Starter / Plenary / Research

Non-chronological report-What are the features?

Journalistic writing (KS2) English - Non-fiction texts

Literacy - Japanese poetry: Haiku and Tanka

Tanka explained (KS2)

Easter Haikus

Haiku Powerpoint

Fiction writing - Haiku poems

Haiku poetry (KS3)

Forms of Poetry: Haiku

Forms of Poetry. Haiku. The seasons

Forms of Poetry: Haiku. Theme of winter

Poetry Techniques and Features

TES teaching resources