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National Geographic Education: Earthquakes 101 Video

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer(s), Internet access, projector, and speakers (for class presentation)

Activity Description

Students take an online quiz to see what they know about natural disasters around the world and watch a video from the Web site on earthquakes and answer questions. As a follow-up activity, students can be assigned to use the Internet to gather information and write a paragraph about how to survive a particular natural disaster.


  1. Copy and paste the questions from the site for the video into a word-processing program.
  2. Print and make photocopies for students.
  3. Alternatively, you can show the questions to students in a Web browser by opening the website and selecting "Questions" and asking students to write the questions.
  4. You may choose to add more focused listening questions, as well, and/or a listening/note-taking form to guide and focus students' listening.
  5. You may want to copy and paste the vocabulary, located on the Vocabulary tab, onto a handout, as well.
  6. Make sure that the site is not blocked at your school before using it and that necessary plug-ins are installed for playing the video.


  1. Introduce the topic of natural disasters. Ask students to name natural disasters they have heard of recently in the news. Tell students that they are going to test their knowledge of natural disasters. Distribute the handout "Natural Disasters Quiz Questions and Earthquakes 101 Video Questions." Tell students to answer the natural disasters quiz questions by making their best guesses. Open the Web browser to and select students' answers and provide students with the quiz answers. Tell students that they are going to practice listening by watching a video about one particular type of natural disaster, earthquakes. Ask students the Web site's background questions to activate prior knowledge:
    • Earthquakes happen all the time, and can be barely noticeable or terribly devastating. What causes them? What can we do to be prepared?
  2. Preview the vocabulary by opening the website example link above. and selecting the Vocabulary tab below it.
  3. Tell students that they are going to watch a video titled "Earthquakes 101" and answer questions.
  4. Play the video (2 minutes, 38 seconds) as many times as needed, pausing at points during which the questions are addressed in the video.
  5. Have students check their answers with a classmate or in small groups, and then follow up with a final listening/viewing of the video, as needed.
  6. Select the Questions tab then select Show Answer so students can check their answers, as a whole class.
  7. Suggested follow-up activities/projects:
    • Give students a definition of a natural disaster: "A hazard which occurs naturally, that is a disaster that is not brought about by acts of human beings." Ask students to brainstorm a list of natural disasters. Have students collaborate/share their lists in small groups. Record all students' ideas on the board.
    • Have students answer the quiz questions online or on paper and then check the class answers at Have students do the listening exercise about Earthquakes 101 (video link provided on Natural Disasters Quiz and Listening handout). Tell students to choose one natural disaster of interest. Have students use the Internet to do research, in pairs, groups, or individually, to find information about the natural disasters they choose, take notes, and write a paragraph. This can be followed up with students presenting orally, in writing or even about or making videos (individually or in small groups) about causes and how to prepare for and survive the natural disaster they researched and wrote on. See the files for prompts for the paragraph and video.

Teacher Tips

If you have students do a follow-up activity (paragraph and video), provide a sample paragraph. Another useful site for finding information on natural disasters is Students can browse to the site, select a natural disaster, and then select the tabs for information on what to do before, during, and after the selected natural disaster.

More Ways

  • The site includes interactive multimedia, including photos, videos, illustrations, diagrams, and cartoons.
  • The site's mapping tools include interactive maps with thematic data layers, customizable black-and-white outline maps, and FieldScope—a Web-based mapping, analysis, and collaboration platform designed to engage students as citizen scientists investigating real-world issues.



  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (2.3) Understand concepts of time and weather

Basic Communication

  • (5.2) Understand historical and geographical information
  • (5.7) Understand issues related to science and ethics

Basic Communication

  • (7.7) Demonstrate the ability to use information and communication technology
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.