Earthquake Emergency Kit

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SWBAT design an emergency kit to be used in an earthquake.

Big Idea

Students will design an emergency kit to be used in an earthquake and explain why they have selected the items to be used.


1 minutes


14 minutes

To begin this lesson, I remind my students that plate tectonics is the shifting of the plates on which the Earth sits.  Plate tectonics is a major cause of earthquakes. I inform my students that we will begin this lesson by building on our knowledge of earthquakes by watching a short Brainpop video on "Plate Tectonics."  (Click here to watch video.)  Afterwards, we will take the short comprehension quiz in order to check our understanding.  (Teacher facilitates the quiz as a whole group and students show answers using sign language - a, b, c, d.)

I pose the guiding question of my students of what do they think they would do in the event of an earthquake where we live.  Some of their responses include:  seek shelter, look for family members and friends, try to help people who are hurt, etc.  I tell them that these are all great ideas to do after an earthquake occurs.  Now, in this lesson, we will try to be proactive to prepare for an earthquake before it occurs.

Design an Emergency Kit

25 minutes

Next, I ask my scholars to think about preparing for an earthquake.  What 10 items would they deem to be most important to have in an Earthquake Emergency Kit?  What is the reason they selected each item?  I, then, ask them to work with a partner in order to collaborate and create a list of 10 items and reasons they selected these items for an Earthquake Emergency Kit (see attached resource).

Whole Group Sharing

15 minutes

After my students have worked together to create an Earthquake Emergency Kit, I ask each group to share their list of 10 items and the reasons they selected those items.  Students selected items like a cell phone, first aid kit, blanket, water, can goods, etc.  The whole group sharing time allowed scholars an opportunity to evaluate the lists of their classmates.  Some students questioned whether or not a cell phone would be useful because it may not be able to be used if cell phone towers have been destroyed or if their is no electricity to charge the cell phone battery.  All agreed that a first aid kit, blanket, water, and can goods would be useful items to have in an Earthquake Emergency Kit.


5 minutes

To close the lesson, I had students complete a quick write to write about anything they learned or remembered from the lesson, any questions they still had, and anything they still yearned to learn.