Did You Feel It?

Jennifer Witter, Alaska Pacific University and Anchorage School District
Author Profile
Initial Publication Date: February 16, 2022 | Reviewed: August 4, 2022


Did You Feel It (DYFI) is a collaborative on-line program hosted by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) that collects information from people who felt an earthquake. Reported experiences of shaking and damage are compiled on maps, helping to visualize the unique effects of earthquake ground motion across a broad area within a short period of time. In this activity, learners can report an earthquake event, and/or browse data reported by others to better understand earthquake intensity.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications



This activity can be done with introductory geoscience learners from late elementary through secondary and even early college.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Learners should be familiar with what earthquakes are.

How the activity is situated in the course

At any time an earthquake happens, report your experience! Alternatively, use this data portal when you introduce earthquake intensity, and how it is measured.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Learners will:

  • Understand how earthquake intensity data is gathered for the Modified Mercalli Index
  • Identify the DYFI portal as a place to contribute information about experienced earthquakes
  • Articulate the importance intensity data for describing the severity of an earthquake event

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

  • Interpreting spatial information

Description and Teaching Materials

As an instructor, you can encourage students to take their own experience of earthquake shaking to an important USGS collaborative on-line program that seeks to better understand and map the unique effects of earthquake ground motion across a broad area within a short period of time.


See attached file for instructor notes, NGSS alignment, and links to supporting resources.
Did You Feel It Activity (Acrobat (PDF) 1.2MB Feb16 22)

Supporting Presentation/Audiovisual

Teaching Notes and Tips

How you can use Did You Feel it with your learners:

  • Report an earthquake as a class after an earthquake occurs
  • As a research project which could include shake maps, etc.
  • As a way to describe the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale
  • As a way to describe how partnerships work to increase scientific understanding of seismic events
  • As a way to describe the relationship to shake maps which use information from DYFI reports as a verification tool.


There is no formal assessment for this activity. It is really intended more for engagement at the start of learning about earthquakes, magnitude, and intensity or anytime there is an earthquake that is felt by the leaners.

References and Resources