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About the Earthquakes Lesson

A science lesson on earthquakes.

• Students will understand that the structure of the earth profoundly affects the people who live on it.

• Students will learn that geologic events like earthquakes and tsunamis result from movements of the earths plates.

• Students will learn how scientists measure earthquakes, and how those measurements help us understand the earth.

• Students will learn what causes damages in an earthquake and ways those damages can be minimized.

Suggested Grades
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade

Have you ever watched raindrops fall onto a lake? Each droplet forms ripples after it hits the water. The ripples move out from the center in all directions. Earthquake waves move in the same way.

An earthquake is a release of earths energy. It is caused by changes in pressure in the crust due to movements of the Earths tectonic plates. Rock movements cause the ground to vibrate. This energy moves out from the earthquake in waves, like the ripples on the lake.

An earthquake takes place at a point called the focus. This is a spot below the earth?s surface where the rocks move. The epicenter is a point on the surface directly above the focus. This is where the most violent shaking happens. The earthquake waves reach the epicenter first.




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