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 Volcano's Deadly Warning Ideas from Teachers

(Gr. 9)
Objective
To identify the different patterns exhibited by volcano seismic waves by sketching the wave patterns.

To describe how each wave pattern may be used to predict an eruption.

To recognize that complex waves can be represented as the sum of simpler waves, so scientists can analyze complex wave patterns by identifying their simpler components.

Materials

Procedure
Create the teacher-made worksheets. The worksheet should be in four sections:

1. volcano-tectonic event
2. long-period event
3. tremor
4. hybrid

Each section should include a rectangular box with a horizontal baseline into which the wave pattern can be sketched by the student. Each section should also ask the student to record information about:

1. cause of the wave
2. frequency of the wave pattern
3. predictive significance of the wave pattern

Once the worksheets have been created and distributed to students, have students access NOVA's "Volcano's Deadly Warning" Web site.

Students should utilize the Seismic Signals interactive to observe the four wave patterns depicted there. Students are to sketch an accurate example of each pattern onto their teacher-made worksheet. They should also read about each wave pattern and record information about:

1. cause of the wave
2. frequency of the wave pattern
3. predictive significance of the wave pattern

Completing this work prepares students to better understand Bernard Chouet's work when they view the NOVA program.

View the first 30 minutes of the program, up to where Stanley Williams is introduced and the stage is set for each scientist's hypothesis to be tested.

Begin working on the Sine Wave Science student handouts, adding Sine Wave 1 and Sine Wave 2 together to produce the Complex Sine Wave.

Finish viewing the video.

Assessment
Student results on the worksheet can be assessed. As these lessons were the culmination of a unit, the lessons were followed by a quiz on volcanos.

Classroom Tips
We operate in 55-minute periods. I completed these lessons over three periods. The first lesson was visiting the NOVA Web site and gathering information on the complex wave patterns. The second and third lessons combined half of the video followed by time spent on the Sine Wave Science worksheets.

Editor's Note: To read an extended description of this idea, see Featured Teachers.

Sent in by
Bob Henry
Jackson Hole High School
Jackson, WY