4th and 5th grade classes started a unit on Earthquakes this month. We started the unit by learning about the science behind an earthquake, including reviewing layers of the Earth. They worked on an interactive journal piece that shows the different layers of the Earth that they placed in their STEAM journals. We also watched a great clip from Bill Nye about Earthquakes.
After getting a good grasp on what causes an earthquake, we learned about how to measure earthquakes. Students made their own seismographs. We created them using a pretty simple technique- students taped a marker to a package of notecards (we used this as a weight, but many things would do the trick), then tied string around it and taped it to the top of a stool. The students made long strips of graph paper to place under the stools. When they were all set, one person slowly pulled the graph paper along the floor while another shook the stool with varying degrees of force.