Geography KS1/KS2: Earthquakes

A short animation for KS2 pupils on the causes of earthquakes and what can be done to lessen their impact.

It explores the causes of earthquakes and illustrates the plate boundaries of the Earth, how these are constantly moving, and how earthquakes occur when these boundaries more past, into or away from each other.

It also looks at the different precautions people can take to minimise the damage caused by earthquakes and, in this way, illustrates to pupils the link between physical and human geography.

Teacher Notes

This short film introduces pupils to earthquakes and plate boundaries. It looks at the impact of earthquakes and the precautions that can be taken to minimise their impact.

It can be used to introduce a unit of study on earthquakes or to review the key concepts behind them.

You can use the film to prompt discussion and an investigation about the causes of earthquakes and human into responses to earthquakes.

Points for discussion:

  • What are the causes of earthquakes?
  • What are the three types of plate boundary?
  • How might the plates move at each type of plate boundary?
  • How do people living in earthquake-prone regions respond to the threat of earthquakes?
  • What precautions can be taken to lessen the impact of earthquakes?
  • Are there any positives to living in an earthquake-prone region?

Suggested activities:
After watching the film, you could work with pupils to further explore the structure of the Earth.

Pupils could investigate which plates are moving fastest and which parts of the world are the most earthquake prone.

You could also explore volcanoes with pupils and investigate the link between volcanoes and earthquakes.

You could initiate a more in-depth study of tectonic plates and the hazards of living in regions where they occur.

Curriculum Notes

Suitable for teaching geography at KS1 and KS2 in England and Wales, Early and 1st and 2nd level in Scotland and Foundation and KS1 in Northern Ireland.

More from this series:

Cities, towns and villages
The United Kingdom
The world
The seasons
The water cycle