Resources for Teachers

Grade 6-8: Natural Hazards

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.

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. 


Size and Occurrence of Floods- Activity
Students use macaroni or beans to calculate the statistics of floor recurrence (see back side of poster).


 For region-specific information, explore the USGS websites for:

Living with a Volcano in your Backyard- Lesson
A three-unit guide that provides science content and inquiry-based activities about volcanoes of the Cascade Range for middle-school students, with an emphasis on Mount Ranier. Includes more than 30 activities, a field guide, glossary, and supplementary information.

Eruptions in the Cascade Range During the Past 4,000 Years- Poster
Download a pdf file of this 20" x 24" 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.

30 Cool Facts about Mount St. Helens (free through the USGS Store).- Background Information

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 publication has chapters covering 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 many supplemental materials. Many of these activities can be applied to volcanoes in other locations!