In this activity, students take on the roles of seismologists and vulcanologists, using maps to look for patterns in the worldwide distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes.

By the end of this activity, students should:

  • see patterns in the worldwide distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes and develop an understanding of the idea of a dynamic Earth
  • understand that New Zealand’s location on a plate boundary explains why the country has so many earthquakes and volcanoes
  • understand that specialists collaborate to provide evidence to support their ideas.

Download the Word file (see link below) for:

  • introduction/background
  • what you need
  • what to do
  • part 1 – seismologist instructions
  • part 1 – vulcanologist instructions
  • part 2 – specialists working together instructions
  • world map for vulcanologists
  • world map for seismologists
  • world map showing main tectonic plates

I use the Earthquakes resources and the World of quakes student activity. It was a superb collaborative task and ultimately reinforced how tectonic plate boundaries affect our Earth - in particular New Zealand. The students were motivated to share their ideas. A great observational activity, too.

Patsy Hindson, teacher

Acknowledgment

This activity was developed for the Earthquake Commission (EQC) and has been kindly provided for use on the Science Learning Hub.

    Published 17 November 2009, Updated 5 February 2013