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Life Along the Ring of Fire Grade Level: Middle School Curriculum Connections: Science, Language arts Required

Software: Microsoft Encarta Reference Library 2004, Microsoft Word What's in this Lesson:

Teacher Guide (including How to Begin) Student Activity, Step-by-Step: Step A: Explore the Ring of Fire Step B: Research Societies That Inhabit the Ring of Fire Step C: Compare Societal Responses

Teacher Guide Summary: Students gain an understanding of the geological forces that create the Ring of Fire and its effect on distinct cultures.

Objectives: Explore plate tectonics and allow students to prepare reports that describe how natural disasters have influenced societies. Time Allotted: Approximately two or three class periods How to Begin: 1. Go to the article Plate Tectonics in the Encarta Reference Library 2004 and show the students the short video Magma Upwelling. Have the class read the caption that describes how magma is released as plates move apart out loud. 2. Brainstorm recent incidents of volcanic activity and earthquakes and point out that most of these occur along the Ring of Fire. Explain that in this activity the students will each assume the role of an anthropologist and compare how life on the Ring of Fire has influenced two distinct societies.

Extensions:

Have students study how the Richter scale measures earthquake activity and compare the effects on different societies from earthquakes that measured five, seven, and nine on the Richter scale.

Student Activity Description: You will create a multimedia report describing what creates the Ring of Fire and comparing how seismic events have influenced the culture of two distinct societies that live along the Ring of Fire.

Step A Explore the Ring of Fire 1. Start Encarta and click Articles. Read the articles Stratovolcano and Plate Tectonics in the Encarta Reference Library 2004. 2. Review some of the societies that live along the Ring of Fire. This will be a good starting point for picking the cultures you will research. Step B Research Societies That Inhabit the Ring of Fire 1. Select two distinct societies that live along the Ring of Fire. 2. Use Encarta to research the effect of seismic events on these societies: What hazards do they face? How do they cope? How has the threat of disaster influenced their cultures? Use Encartas Dynamic Browser to research related entries, multimedia, and Web sites suggested by the articles. (Hint: Use the Encarta World Atlas found in the Maps tool to explore your subjects region.)

Step C Compare Societal Responses 1. Gather information from all appropriate articles, sidebars, media features, and Web sources. Compare how these societies have been influenced by the threats posed to them by living along the Ring of Fire. 2. Use the Encarta Researcher in the Homework Center to help you organize your information and outline your report. Make sure to include examples of art, architecture, and engineering that demonstrate a societal response to the threat of natural disasters.