Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nonfiction Picture Books: Earthquakes and Tsunamis

It's hard to miss the many news media reports about the extreme devastation surrounding the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan. As newscasts continue to report 24/7 on the disaster, teachers are seeking resources for connecting current events with the science curriculum and making the most of teachable moments. has an excellent collection of resource links for teachers about earthquakes and tsunamis as well as multiple lessons on the topic. You can check out Thinkfinity's resources on Earthquakes and Tsunamis here. Below are some excellent children's books about earthquakes and tsunamis that will help answer questions about what causes these natural disasters in an age appropriate way. I have included a picture book, Elephants of the Tsunami by Jana Laiz, which is based on a true story. This particular text would be a great read aloud for younger children to spark discussion about the recent earthquake in Japan. After learning of the devastation in Japan, students (and teachers) will likely want to know how they can help in relief efforts. Time Newsfeed lists several ways we can help.
Earthquakes by Editors of Time for Kids
(2006)  Grades K-2

Earthquakes by Seymour Simon
(2006) Grades 4-6

Earthquakes by Franklyn Branley
(2005) Grades K-3

Tsunami: The True Story of an
 April Fool's Day Disaster
by Gail Langer Larwoski and John MacDonald
(2006) Grades 4-7

Elephants of the Tsunami by Jana Laiz
(2007) Grades K-2
*Based on a true story.

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