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Turning an Earthquake into Learning

We had an earthquake here in New Hampshire tonight!  I know we've had plenty of tremors in this part of the world, but this was a 4.5!  We don't typically experience this stuff!

I have a funny feeling the kids are going to want to talk about the earthquake tomorrow! I'm thinking perhaps I should try to find a way to make it work for me!

I think it might be a good opportunity to share some Informational Texts!  I might be able to round up a few of the books I've found on Amazon.  (I really like the looks of the the Let's Read and Find Out Science book above!)  I also know I have the Magic Tree House book (Earthquake in the Early Morning) and luckily, I don't have a chapter book going right now!

I also think this is a great opportunity to work on writing narratives, specifically, this Common Core Standard: W.2.3.  Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, including details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order and provide a sense of closure.

I've always find that in order for children to write a narrative, they need to be able to tell a narrative.  Telling the story first helps the child get his/ her thought organized in order to sit down and write the story. I've also found that graphic organizers help the children get their thoughts ready for telling the story.

Here's my plan:
  1. After talking about their experiences, I will model using the graphic organizer to record the main events of my own experience.
  2. Then I will model how to use the graphic organizer to guide the retelling of my experience in an organized fashion.  As I tell my story, I will make it clear how I was feeling during the experience, as I know the brain connects to feelings.
  3. I will have the children fill in a word or two (or a picture) for the graphic organizer, indicating the order of events for their experience.  
  4. Children will share, using the organizer as a guide, with 2 or 3 different partners.
  5. After retelling their stories a few times, the children are now ready to sit down and write their recount of the earthquake.
I'll be sure to mention my cat, Mia.  As most children, they love animals, and always enjoy hearing about my fuzzy cat, Mia.  She stayed in hiding for a couple of hours after the earthquake!  I think I'll make that my closure... that will leave an impression on them!


  1. I just wanted to stop by and say hello. I just started my own blog a couple of weeks ago and I am your new follower! The "blogging world" seems like a happy and encouraging place to be and I'm excited to be a part of that. Thanks for all your wonderful ideas on your site. Take Care..

    Stephanie Ann
    Sparkling in Third Grade

  2. Super cute and happy to be linked up with you again!

    Learning With Mrs. Leeby


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