Sunday, 30 September 2007

New ELI activity - Tsunami through the window

Ask your pupils what they might see and feel if a major tsunami wave hit the view they can see outside through the window or doorway. How big would it be, how fast would it be moving, is it carrying anything, what would you do, what caused it? These are just some of the suggested questions you could ask.

This new 'thought experiment' activity is available now on the Earthlearningidea website. Please try it out and let us have your comments.

If you have access to YouTube, there are a number of videos of the terrible tsunami that struck South East Asia on December 26th 2004. However, some are not suitable for the classroom. This one, Tsunami hits Thailand and South East Asia, lasts for 7 minutes and this one, Tsunami shows the ensuing devastation in Banda Aceh and lasts for 52 seconds.


Jurassic Mike said...

An excellent activity that highlights the affective dimension of learning about tsunamis. Asking the students to “feel” the tsunami would galvanize them of the reality of the threat.

We had a typhoon-volcanic-eruption-induced severe flooding last year that caused destruction of properties and death. As if these were not enough, at the height of the calamity, there were even tsunami scares in the coastal areas. Perhaps we could also include in this activity the question on how to respond if a well-meaning individual shouts “Tsunami!”. Is immediate action the thing to do or should one have a bit of skepticism and delay the action until more info is at hand? What do you think? From our recent experience, the tsunami scare brought so much panic and heart attacks!

Earth Learning Idea said...

Thanks for your comment Mike. If sirens to warn of impending tsunamis are put in place then inevitably there will be some panic but, hopefully, many lives would be saved.

Anonymous said...

There is no reason why a typhoon should be associated with a tsunami. If a coastal volcano collapses (or is thought to be at risk of collapse, which could be brought on, I suppose, by excessive rainfall) or if there is a shallow submarine earthquake then you should certainly take tsunami warnings seriously -IF they come via the responsible local authorities.
However, I agree that it can be counterproductive to 'cry "wolf" ' too often. This is a problem that affects many areas of risk management associated with natural phenomena.