There's a Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On!

Jeri Faber
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Lesson/Lesson Plan
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be "fully aligned," the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.



This is Lesson 9 of a twenty-one -lesson unit on Earth’s Changes by Jeri Faber. This lesson focuses on information from a variety of sources in order to plan for a student led-inquiry about earthquakes. Students research three questions they have about earthquakes using books and a video.

Intended Audience

Educational Level
  • Grade 2
Access Restrictions

Free access with user action - The right to view and/or download material without financial barriers but users are required to register or experience some other low-barrier to use.

Performance Expectations

2-ESS1-1 Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.

Clarification Statement: Examples of events and timescales could include volcanic explosions and earthquakes, which happen quickly and erosion of rocks, which occurs slowly.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include quantitative measurements of timescales.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
The main activity for students in this lesson is a great way to have students use a variety of texts like books, maps, charts, graphs, videos, etc. to research their questions.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Be sure to view the video from Dragonfly. Students get to observe children doing simulations and demonstrations of how an earthquake occurs which may answer some of their questions. The children also need to be able to connect their learning of reading informational books and text features with their research questions. Because the students will not have time to read the whole book or article, encourage the students to scan to find the answers they need by using the table of contents, index, photographs, charts, or tables.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Build upon the prior lessons and student experiences about events that happen slowly like types of erosion in order to connect to the new learning about how some events happen very quickly like earthquakes.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Provide a variety of sources for students to use for locate answers to their questions. Sources such as articles, books, videos, secure internet sites, experts, and so on should be used. It is also suggested that this lesson be followed up with resources such as pictures, or on-line video of erosion over time in order to reinforce the Crosscutting Concept of Stability and Change.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: Students are generating and investigating their own questions about earthquakes as part of learning about processes that shape the world slowly or quickly. This resource meets the Performance Expectation by engaging students in the process of obtaining information from a variety of sources. The provided question stems help students who have trouble asking questions to engage in the Practice.

  • Instructional Supports: Teachers are provided with helpful tips or video clips of student learning to assist with the implementation of the lesson. All resources and video links work. A question stem assists ESL students. The lesson provides opportunities for a student-led inquiry about earthquakes. Research and videos allow students to collect answers to their questions. Classroom discussions provide students with opportunities to share their ideas and respond to peer and teacher feedback orally and/or in written form to further support the student’s three‐dimensional learning.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The student worksheet tracks student learning and their ability to create questions and locate answers. Students work with partners to locate the answers. The lesson is engaging and provides students with opportunities to write and report orally.The teacher could have the partners grouped by ability levels to assist each other instead of the clock buddies as stated in the lesson. Formative and summative assessments would need to be created. A Question Stems poster (provided) assists visual learners develop research questions.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: The students do not interact with technology directly, however, the students are interpreting information from a video about earthquakes to determine if any of the answers for their questions are within the video.