My brilliant idea - Movers and shakers

26th September 2008 at 01:00

Science

Ages 14-15

This is a 21st-century science course activity about geohazards. It looks at earthquakes, using literacy, drama and YouTube - a fabulous teaching resource as long as you watch clips all the way through first to check the content.

I found three suitable clips showing webcam footage shot in an earthquake, pupils taking part in a drill and a news report on how the Californian authorities are planning a state-wide "shake out" earthquake simulation.

I asked pupils to concentrate on the effects of the earthquakes, including people's emotions and what happened to the buildings. They also looked at how schools and authorities can prepare for geohazards.

We discussed what problems there were in Pakistan and China when the last major earthquakes hit there and how pupils were particularly affected. I provided a writing frame and an information card, and asked pupils to write a newspaper article on what would happen if an earthquake hit our school.

They also used a digital camera to pose taking part in drills and what happened to them during the earthquake. A pile of boxes helped to recreate buildings collapsing.

I got some creative, science-crammed pieces of work that looked great in a display.

Laura Seabright teaches at Deptford Green School in Lewisham, London.

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