Classroom Activities

Activity # 14


Examining geographic phenomenon

The natural world is full of the unexpected -- phenonomen that can be amazing and beautiful or wild and dangerous. These dramatic situations can make for fascinating stories and images and writing about them can help your students understand the complexities of nature and its impact on the world we live in.

Extreme weather
When was the last time your community or province was hit by a tornado, a hurricane, a major blizzard, a flood or an avalanche? Visit the library and check out old newspapers for accounts of the incident. What impact did it have on the people and the land? Has the landscape been changed forever by this weather phenomenon? What do the experts say about the extreme weather? Is there a pattern or was this a complete surprise? Interview people in your community about what it was like to live through the last big weather event.


Rumbling earth
Imagine living in a place where the earth can shift and tremble without warning, where your home could be demolished and your life put at risk in a matter of seconds. That's the reality for people who live in earthquake zones around the world -- places like Southern California, southeastern Hawaii, Turkey, Taiwan, Iceland and the India-China border. But it's also a possibility that people in other parts of the world must consider -- even here in Canada, where places have been hit with small earthquakes.

Find out the story behind an earthquake. What causes the earth to move in such dramatic ways? Pick a region in the world and find out about its earthquake history. What are the scientists saying about the potential for future quakes in that area? How have the quakes shaped the land and its people? Try to find a e-mail pen pal in the region to get some first-person accounts of life in the earthquake zone.


Unearthing the past
What does the land we live on today tell us about the past? That's what archaeologists are trying to find out when they dig and sift through the soil. Archaeology is the study of the artifacts that were left behind by previous generations of people. By studying these ancient and more recent items, scientists can piece together clues and figure out who inhabited the land and how they used it. Meanwhile, scientists have also discovered clues to our country's pre-history that were left behind by nature -- in the form of fossils and dinosaur bones. What has been dug up in your part of Canada? Your students could visit a site and bring back their own eye-witness account of the site, complete with interviews with the people who made these discoveries.



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