You are on page 1of 4

Lesson Plan: Plate Tectonics and their relationship to Earthquakes and Volcanoes

Preamble: With the recent earthquake activity in Honshu, Japan and Christ Church, New Zealand, there
is a real-world opportunity for students to investigate and understand the relationship between plate
tectonic boundaries/motion with respect to earthquakes. This lesson will have the following objective:

Objective:

To breakdown any misconceptions that students have regarding the source or earthquakes
and volcanoes. Students will be able to understand the relationship between Plate Tectonics
and Earthquakes/Volcanoes.

This objective will assist students meet the following BC Prescribed Learning Outcome for the
Science 10 curriculum:

P.L.O.

Relate the following to plate tectonic theory:- the world distribution of volcanoes,
earthquakes, mountain belts, trenches, mid‐ocean ridges, and rift valley

Target Grade: 10

Pre-requisites

Location and Equipment:

 Students must have access to personal computers or the lesson could be run in a computer lab.
 Internet Access
 Access to Google Earth

Prior to the lesson:

 Students must create a Google account.


 Download Google Earth

Lesson: Online

Hook: Have students watch news footage of the earthquakes in Christ Church, New Zealand and Honshu
Japan. (10 minutes)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU_Xyb5kC60 (Christ Church)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odMF4YhfZCc&feature=related (Japan)

Have students log onto Google Doc page following the video have them enter terms/images etc that
represent what they know about the following terms: plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes. (10
minutes)
Teacher to monitor contributions of students.
Students should post answers to the following question on the Input page of the Google Site.

Question:

Given that the coast of British Columbia lies on the edge of a number of tectonic plates and is on the
opposite side of the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand and Japan, do you think there should be concern
regarding earthquake activity in this region? Explain your answer.

Students complete the following stations once they have answered the previous question:

Students create a Google Doc to take notes for each of the station. Questions have been included
to guide their note taking. The teacher should be invited to view the page.

Station 1: Location of Plate Boundaries

Instructions/questions:

Download the http://earthquake.usgs.gov/regional/nca/virtualtour/kml/Earths_Tectonic_Plates.kmz


following file:

 Maneuver the globe and have a look at the plate boundaries that exist.
 Do the majority of boundaries occur on land or in the ocean?
 Which type of boundaries occurs in the ocean?
 Which type of boundaries occurs on land?
 If you look at the key for this overlay in Google Earth you will notice that there are three different
colours for the different boundaries. Based on the key what three types of boundaries exist on the
earth?
 Which types of boundaries occur near Japan, Christ Church, and West Coast of British
Columbia?

Station 2: Types of Plate Boundaries

Instructions/questions:

Visit the following pages:

http://geology.com/nsta/convergent-plate-boundaries.shtml
http://geology.com/nsta/divergent-plate-boundaries.shtml
http://geology.com/nsta/transform-plate-boundaries.shtml

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ajsH4sDGjgw Plate boundary video

http://earthguide.ucsd.edu/eoc/teachers/t_tectonics/p_subduction.html (convergent boundary)

Describe the three types of convergent boundaries. Provide a location of each using the Google Earth
kml file used in Station 1.
Describe a divergent plate boundary. Provide a location of a divergent boundary using the Google Earth
kml file used in Station 1.
Describe a transform plate boundary. Provide a location on a transform boundary using the Google
Earth kml file used in Station 1.
Go to the following site:
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/poster/2011/20110311.php (Honshu Summary)

Describe the similarities between the type of plate boundaries that exist between coast of Japan and the
South coast of BC.

Station 3: Tying it all together

Instructions/questions:

Visit the following site:


http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/qed/ (Earthquakes in the last 8-30 days)

After looking at the site above do you notice any pattern?

Download 2011 http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/epic/kml/


9-9.9, 8-8.9 and
4-4.9 KML files
from:

Looking at the coast of BC, Japan, and South America using Google Earth what do you notice about the
pattern of earthquakes in relation to the types of plate boundaries that exist in these regions?

Download the http://www.volcano.si.edu/ge/GVPWorldVolcanoes.kml


following file:

Take a trip around the globe and make note of any patterns you find regarding the location of
volcanoes.

Are volcanoes more closely associated with particular plate boundaries? If so, which type of boundary
are you more likely to find active volcanoes?
Station 4: Wrapping up

For homework, students should complete their individual Google docs and alter their answer to the key
question posed at the beginning of the lesson.

Join Forces: Find a partner, discuss your individual Google docs (notes) with each other, and reflect on
what you have discovered during this lesson. Discuss the following two activities and jointly
develop a response to both questions. Once you have completed this task add your
combined response to the end of your individual Google Docs (notes), making sure your
classmates and teacher have access to the document (select the option ‘people with link’
have access).

Revisit your contribution to the Google Doc at the beginning of the lesson and the question asked
at the beginning of the lesson:

 With regards to the Google Doc, what would you change following what you have seen/learned in
this lesson?

Include keys terms (bolded below) in your answer to the question posed at the beginning of the
lesson:

 Given that the coast of British Columbia lies on the edge of a number of tectonic plates and is on
the opposite side of the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand and Japan, do you think there should
be concern regarding earthquake activity in this region? Explain your answer using the terms:
plate boundaries, convergent, divergent, transform boundary, earthquakes, and volcanoes
in relation to the interactions found at plate boundaries and their relationship with
earthquakes and volcanoes.

Add your responses at the end of your notes created in Google Docs.

Complete the following self assessment.