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Japan On Our Minds

Like you, we woke up to the devastating news of the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. It’s hard enough for adults to fathom this kind of natural disaster.  But what about kids? Whether it’s on television or the radio, online, or in the papers, they’re hearing about it – and that means they’ve got questions. So how do you explain it to them? How do you make it seem a little less scary?

Hopefully, we can help a little bit.  We’ve made our Tsunami resources free for the next few weeks.  We also encourage you to check out our related resources as you address these difficult headlines with the kids in your life. Turn to topics including, Earthquakes, Natural Disasters, and Plate Tectonics; and, for K-3, Fast Land Changes. Take a look at a Natural Disasters lesson plan presented by our own Dr. Kari Stubbs at the NSTA regional conference in Kansas City, Missouri last year.

Then, there are many ways to broach the subject: assess what kids already know using our quizzes.  Reinforce the concepts with our typeable Activity Pages. Delve deeper with the FYI features and print them out so students can share with their families. Start a discussion around the movies – ask the class to envision how the earthquake and tsunami might impact life in Japan, or how they might feel if they ever experienced something like this. Brainstorm about ways to help in the coming weeks – and share your ideas right here.

In the meantime, the people of Japan are very much in our thoughts.