The Great San Francisco Earthquake (4/18/1906)

The Great San Francisco Earthquake (4/18/1906)
Grade Level:
Social Sciences
Prepared By:
Dr. Sharon Richert
Overview & Purpose
100 years before Hurricane Katrina flooded the Gulf coast . The quake and the resulting fires were one of the
most devastating natural disasters in United States history. Recent estimates place the death toll from the
quake at close to 3,000, far more than the original tally of around 300. The physical devastation to the city
itself was immeasurable, in great part due to the lack of structural reinforcements that we take for granted
SS.K.A.1.2, SS.1.A.1.2,
SS.2.A.1.2, SS.3.A.1.2,
Teacher/Student Guide
(Specify skills/information that will be learned.)
Content Purpose: Learn about the Earthquake of 1906.
Language Purpose: Use terms such as earthquake, plates and fault when discussing the
San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
Social Goal: Honor each student’s participation.
Lesson Procedure
Modeling thinking: The earth is like a giant puzzle with pieces that fit together. But these puzzle pieces keep
(Give and/or demonstrate necessary
slowly moving around, sliding past one another and bumping into each other. We call these puzzle pieces
plates, and the edges of the plates are called the plate boundaries. The plate boundaries are made up of many
faults, and most of the earthquakes around the world occur on these faults. Since the edges of the plates are
rough, they get stuck while the rest of the plate keeps moving. Finally, when the plate has moved far enough,
the edges unstick on one of the faults and there is an earthquake. . The San Francisco Earthquake started
along the San Andreas fault. (you can demonstrate using real puzzle pieces)
Just for you:
Model/”You Do it” Show them how
Guided Instruction/ “We do it” Get
them Started
Collaboration/” They work together”
Independent/”They do it alone”
Guided Instruction:
Show the following video 3min3sec to group
Ask, what causes an earthquake? What is a fault? Where is the San Andreas Fault?
Use the interactive map on Google to locate the San Andreas Fault and San Francisco.
Google Map showing San Francisco and the San Andreas Fault
Collaboration: For 3-5 Give each student the story of the San Francisco Quake, have them read it together
(Describe the independent activity to reinforce
this lesson)
and answer the All about Numbers Questions. For K-2, read the story to them and ask them the questions, they
may confer with others at their table and earn points for the best listeners.
story of the earthquake
comprehension activity (All about Numbers)
Independent Practice: Learn about other Natural Disasters with Tim and Moby (Flash Animation)
Background information on lesson
Time Allowance (15-45min)
One Suggested format:
5-15 minutes to read/discuss the story,
5-15 minutes for activity,
5-15 minutes for checkout
Note: use a little or a lot of this plan, make
it your own
This resource was produced by the U.S. Geological Survey.
What is an earthquake
What causes and earthquake
Aerial View of City taken by kites, 5 weeks after the Earthquake.
Using google earth to look at San Francisco today
Eyewitness Account of the Quake
Materials Needed
Books about earthquakes
Print out of the PDF’s for the
Collaborative Activity
Other Resources
The Virtual Museum of the City of San
Actual footage, some of the earliest known of a
You tube video featuring the story in song and
Online Activities and Printables