Resources for Teachers

Grade 3-5: Natural Hazards

Visual Glossary of Earthquake Terms- Background Information
Not only are earthquake terms explained, but photographs and other images are provided with each entry.

Earthquakes - For Kids- Activities
This Web site is rich with facts, information, coloring pages, and activities related to earthquakes. Includes links to teacher resources and much more...   

Bigger Faults Make Bigger Earthquakes- Activity
Use string or rope to demonstrate relationships between the length of a fault and the earthquakes that occur along it.

Earthquake Preparedness- Background Information
The key to earthquake safety is to be prepared and know what to expect. Use the many resources at this site to teach students how to react when an earthquake occurs. The Great Shakeout Drills website has classroom materials targeted to specific states.

Plate Tectonics- Activity
These lessons are based on Alfred Wegener's pioneering studies that demonstrated that the scattered distribution of certain fossil plants and animals on present–day, widely separated continents would form coherent patterns if the continents are rejoined as the pre–existing supercontinent Gondwanaland. 

Cascade Volcano Resources for Educators- Background Information
A list of resources that are mostly specific to the Cascades, but could be applied to other volcanic areas.

Map of Current Volcano Activity- Map
The newly revised USGS Volcano Hazards Web site now includes a real-time status map of volcanoes, Quick Links to popular volcano information, and an expanded Resource Page for Educators!Volcano Photos and Webcams
View and download free photos of volcanoes in the United States.

Photo Glossary of Volcano Terms- Photos
Brief descriptions and illustrative photographs of over 60 volcano terms.

Regional Volcano Observatories
News and consolidated information about volcanic activity in several regions around the U.S.

Living with a Volcano in your Backyard- Activities
Activities address volcanic processes and hazards, community safety, and the impact of volcanoes on our culture and history. These are structured around (but are not limited to!) the Cascade Range volcanoes.

Eruptions in the Cascade Range During the Past 4,000 Years- Background Information
Download a pdf file of this 20 inch x 24 inch poster showing a timeline of eruptions in the Cascade Range. The poster can also be ordered for free through the USGS Store ($5.00 handling fee). Product number 208284.

Mount St. Helens Eruption - 30th Anniversary- Background Information
On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens Volcano exploded violently, causing the worst volcanic disaster in the history of the U.S. Explore materials about the eruption, including a poster: 30 Cool Facts about Mount St. Helens (free through the USGS Store). Watch a fascinating video in which USGS scientists recount their experiences during the eruption, and see how the eruption has triggered a growth in volcano science and volcano monitoring. 

Alaska Volcanoes Guidebook for Teachers- Background Information
Over a third of Alaska's 140 volcanoes have been active in the last 300 years. This online-only book covers the tectonic setting, rocks, eruption styles, landforms, community impact, effect on climate, and monitoring of Alaska's volcanoes. Each chapter has 3-4 detailed classroom activities for grades 6-12 and a large amount of supplemental materials. Some lessons can be applied to other locations!!!

Caldera Demonstration Model- Video
What is a caldera and how does it form? In this video, a USGS scientist performs a simple demonstration using flour, a balloon, and bicycle pump that can be also used in the classroom. Explore more USGS information about calderas here.