Magnitude 7.2 Eastern Turkey Earthquake

Learning Objectives

Students will read a recent science news article and discuss the content.
Depending the on the article, students may be asked to draw connections to current events or other classroom exercises.

Standards Addressed

Depending on the article, one of these standards may be most appropriate:

Subject Area - 1: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

     Standard Area - 1.3: Reading, Analyzing, and Interpreting Literature - Fiction and Non-Fiction

          Grade Level - 1.3.6: GRADE 6

               Standard - 1.3.6.A: Read, understand, and respond to works from various genres of literature

                    Assessment Anchor - R6.A.2: Understand nonfiction appropriate to grade level.

Preparation Time Needed

<30 minutes, enough time to read the article and associated questions, answer the questions, and possibly come up with more that are relevant to recent class exercises. 

Activity Description

(Part of the PAESTA In The News - Current Events in Earth and Space Science Series. This series compiles current resources and background materials for recent scientific events in the news. Questions are provided with each topic, written across Bloom's Taxonomic Scale, and can be used for classroom discussion and/or as a writing prompt at the beginning/middle/end of an instructional unit.)

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck 12 miles northeast of the city of Van in eastern Turkey on Sunday, October 23, 2011. The earthquake occurred at a depth of 12.4 miles and caused strong shaking throughout a broad area, causing significant damage to Van and neighboring towns.

IRIS – Teachable Moment Presentation, Animations and Visualizations

Articles to Share with Students

General Information

Questions for Classroom Discussion

  • What is an earthquake? Where are earthquakes most common?
  • Describe the difference between the magnitude (Richter Scale) and intensity (Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale) of an earthquake. Why are both of these scales important for learning about an earthquake event?
  • How do scientists study earthquakes? Who else is involved in studying and reporting on earthquakes besides scientists?
  • Where was the most recent earthquake in the United States? In the world? Which recent earthquake was the closest to you? (*use the website to answer this question)
  • Are earthquakes common or rare in Eastern Turkey? Explain why.
  • Could an earthquake occur in Pennsylvania? Explain why/why not.
  • Why do you think earthquakes are so difficult to predict?
  • Should people be able to live in an area where earthquakes occur? Why/why not?

Compiled October 24, 2011, by L.A. Guertin. Teachers are encouraged to search for more recent articles and related discoveries.

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