Disaster Project Outline

Disaster Project

Directions: As a culmination of your learning about Earth’s changes, volcanoes, and earthquakes, you will develop a written timeline of events about an earthquake or volcano.  Specifically, you will research and present your findings for an earthquake or volcano that has occurred.


Step 1:  Choose a volcanic eruption or an earthquake that interests you.  Look at the list of major earthquakes and volcanoes below.  You may choose one of the following disasters to study.





 Choose your disaster!


Volcanoes                                           Earthquakes

Mount Vesuvius (79 AD)                  San Francisco (1906)

Krakatau/Krakatoa (1883)               Alaska (1964)

Mount Pelee (1902)                           Tangshan, China (1976)

Mount St. Helens (1980)                   Mexico City/Michoacan (1985)

El Chinchon (1985)                           San Francisco/Loma Prieta (1989)

Nevada del Ruiz (1985)                     Iran (1990)

Mount Pinatubo (1991)                     Kobe, Japan (1995)

                                                            Izmit, Turkey (1999)



The volcano/earthquake I choose is: _____________________________.


Step 2:  You will need to gather information on your earthquake or volcano.  We will use the mobile lab research for three days only. You may have extra time during 9th period to use the computer lab for online research.  If you miss a day of research because you are absent from school, have a lesson, or participate in ACT, it will be up to you to complete research on your own time or after school.  Please refer refer to the included project timeline to plan your project.  


Through your research, you will need to gather information (factual data) on your earthquake or volcano.  Search through almanacs, encyclopedias and the internet (beneficial for recent disasters).  

 Be sure to record the bibliographic information for your sources as well.


F   Facts to Look For:


  • Date
  •  Place (City and Country) 
  •  Description of the location
  • Magnitude or size 
  •  Physical features (kind of volcano) 
  •  Observations from survivors
  • Other interesting details



Step 3:  Next, you will need to begin organizing your information.  You may find it useful to create a timeline of events or organize the information in some other useful way. 


The assignment is to write a timeline, journal, or other chorological piece from the first person-perspective of what it may have been like during your disaster.  Reading other survival accounts may help give you ideas for your own.  You need to have 8 “times” included in your timeline.  Each part (time) that you write about should include factual information regarding your event.  Be creative and support any factual information with a fictional story line.  Remember, your story should match your setting (time and place).




Step 4: Your final written projects should be very neatly presented, creative, include at least two illustrations, and be free of spelling and grammar errors.  Please refer to the included rubric for more information on how the written portion will be assessed.  The written portion of the project is individual and may not be done as a group project.


Extra Credit: This may not be started in class until the timeline is completely finished As an extra credit component of this project, you can create a visual component to accompany your written project.  Ideas for a visual product include, but are not limited to, a poster, a model, a video, a brochure, a news report, a skit, an interview, etc.  Be creative!  This portion of the project may be done individually or in a group of no more than four students total. 


Step 6: Both the written project and the extra credit product will be shared in class. Both the written project and the visual product are due Monday, January 26, 2009 






This project will require you to do some work outside of class.  No additional science homework will be assigned during the duration of this project.  It is expected that some work may need to be done after school or at home, especially if you miss a class.


We will tentatively follow the schedule below:


Class Activity

Thursday 1/15

Introduce project, pick topics start research

Friday 1/16

Continue research

Tuesday 1/20

Continue research, start timeline

Wednesday 1/21- Friday 1/23


9th period

  • work on project
  • possible research in computer lab


Monday 1/26

Project due


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