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Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience > Cooperative Learning > Examples > 2004 Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Project
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2004 Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Project

Char Bezanson, Eastview High School, Apple Valley, Minnesota

This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection

Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

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This page first made public: Nov 16, 2006

This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project

Summary

Students are employees of a unit of the United Nations responsible for coordinating disaster relief after a major disaster (the 2004 Asian Earthquake and Tsunami) occurs. The agency needs to understand the situation in each country so that it can coordinate the work of various governments and NGO (nongovernmental organizations) working in the affected area.

Learning Goals

Context for Use

Audience: High School (9-12), College - Lower (13-14)
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered: None.
How the activity is situated in the course: Flexible.

Teaching Materials

This is a problem-based learning (PBL) group jigsaw activity. The scenario is:
Students are employees of a unit of the United Nations responsible for coordinating disaster relief after a major disaster (the 2004 Asian Earthquake and Tsunami) occurs. The agency needs to understand the situation in each country so that it can coordinate the work of various governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working in the affected area.

Students are divided into Expert Groups (related to academic specialties such as Economics, Medicine, Political Science, Earth Science, etc.) and spend several days researching their topics. Students are then reassigned to one of seven or eight Country Groups, based on the countries most affected by the disaster. Each country group needs someone representing each expert group. In the scenario, these groups correspond to task forces that must determine what the situation is in each country and try to assess the current need for international assistance.

Students research their country, using internet resources, especially the CIA World Factbook and ReliefWeb, the information coordination website of the United Nations. At a large-group roundtable discussion, each group presents what it has found about its assigned country. As a final product, each student writes an individual report summarizing findings and making recommendations for disaster assistance.

Teaching Notes and Tips

2004 Tsunami Unit Summary - Instructor Notes (Acrobat (PDF) 76kB Jan24 05)

Assessment

References and Resources

Articles Used in the Exercise

References


Subject

Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes, Coastal Hazards:Tsunami, Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Hazards, Geoscience:Geology, Oceanography

Resource Type

Activities:Project, Classroom Activity:Jigsaw, Activities:Writing Assignment

Inquiry Level

Guided Inquiry

Special Interest

Visualization, Hazards

Grade Level

College Lower (13-14), :Introductory Level, High School (9-12)

Ready for Use

Ready to Use:Tested

Earth System Topics

Surface Processes:Coastal Processes, Solid Earth, Oceans, Solid Earth:Earthquakes, Human Dimensions:Natural Hazards

Topics

Ocean, Human Dimensions/Resources, Solid Earth

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