Tsunamis are large and powerful ocean waves that can cause major damage to coastal areas. They can be caused by a variety of events; most commonly earthquakes, and are most common in the Pacific Ocean. While it’s important to learn about the dangers of tsunamis and how to stay safe in the event of one, it’s also possible to explore this natural phenomenon through crafts and activities. From creating origami wave sculptures to designing tsunami-proof homes, these 23 activities are sure to keep kids entertained for hours.
1. Tsunami Teaching Resource
In this hands-on activity, students use poster board, markers, and crayons to illustrate the five steps of how a tsunami is formed and write short explanations next to each picture. They also draw a large wave and title for display.
Learn More: Crayola
2. Tsunami Model in a Bottle
Fill a 2-liter plastic soda bottle with water and small gravel, leaving some space at the top. Next, use an empty 16 oz water bottle to create a wave in the soda bottle by squeezing it and releasing it. This experiment is a great visual introduction to discuss with students how this wave represents a tsunami and the impact it can have on shorelines.
Learn More: Shake Out
3. Tsunami Powerpoint
In this engaging and visually appealing presentation, children will learn all about tsunamis – what they are, how they form, and their devastating effects. Accompanying worksheets provide an opportunity for them to apply their knowledge and reinforce learning.
Learn More: The Ginger Teacher
4. Tsunami Word Search
This fun word search can help them learn about tsunamis and their causes. It can also improve their vocabulary and spelling skills while promoting cognitive development and concentration. Additionally, it can foster an interest in the natural sciences.
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5. Basic Tsunami Science Video
This colorfully animated BrainPOP video features Tim and his robot sidekick Moby, who explain the mechanics of tsunamis, how they differ from tidal waves, and how they can travel vast distances without creating a single ripple.
Learn More: Brain Pop
6. Origami Tsunami Craft Instructions
Making a tsunami origami model can help kids learn about natural disasters while developing their artistic skills. It can also improve their concentration, dexterity, and problem-solving skills as they use their creativity to model a real-life tsunami.
Learn More: Jeremy Shafer Origami
7. Tsunami Scenario Writing Prompts
These writing prompts encourage students to demonstrate their understanding of tsunamis and reflect on how they can help in the aftermath of such a natural disaster. They can be customized to suit students’ abilities and interests while serving as a tool to improve writing skills and critical thinking.
Learn More: ABC Teach
8. Tsunami Crossword
A crossword is a fun and engaging way to develop vocabulary and spelling skills while strengthening their knowledge of natural disasters and promoting critical thinking skills. Why not use it to test understanding at the end of a natural disaster unit?
Learn More: Word Mint
9. Video on Destructive Tsunamis
This educational and informative video teaches kids about the science behind tsunamis, their impact on communities, and how to prepare for them. It features provoking discussion questions and a quiz to test student understanding.
Learn More: TED
10. Learn About a Real Catastrophic Tsunami Event
“I Survived the Japanese Tsunami” is a book that recounts the harrowing true story of a young boy named Ben, who must use his wits and bravery to survive the devastating tsunami that struck Japan in 2011. This supplemental resource features reading comprehension questions to further student understanding of this tragic event.
Learn More: Judy Newman at Scholastic
11. Make a Tsunami Model With Craft Supplies
This STEM Challenge allows students to design and construct their very own tsunami-resistant houses! Students design, build and test three sets of village houses using only the materials provided. This a great opportunity for students to use critical thinking, engineering, and problem-solving skills.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
12. Study How Earthquakes and Ocean Waves Contribute to Tsunamis
This worksheet explains how tsunamis are formed with pictures and simple language for kids to understand. It covers the causes of tsunamis including earthquakes or volcanic eruptions under the sea, how they travel across the water in huge waves, and the devastating effects they can have.
Learn More: Education
13. Study One of the Deadliest Tsunamis in History
This writing resource helps students identify the author’s perspective on the 2004 tsunami, and develop their own opinions on the event. The passage enables learners to practice their analytical skills and comprehend different viewpoints. It’s an excellent tool for enhancing students’ critical thinking and reading comprehension abilities.
Learn More: Education
14. Scavenger Hunt Featuring Instructions With Photographs
This scavenger hunt activity offers an exciting and interactive way for students to learn about tsunamis and their scientific aspects, including vocabulary and known facts. With 24 colorful picture cards placed around the classroom, students are challenged to complete the game by finding the answers to the questions.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
15. Quizlet Questions Based on a Tsunami Video
This tsunami Quizlet is based on a comprehensive History channel video about tsunamis. The Quizlet features questions that test students’ knowledge of what a tsunami is, how it is formed and its warning signs. It also includes questions about the impact of tsunamis and the ways to be prepared in case of an emergency.
Learn More: Quizlet
16. Make a Tsunami Model
This craft activity involves making a 3D tsunami model using cardboard. The activity requires cutting out cardboard waves and attaching them to a cardboard base to create a realistic representation of a tsunami. It is a fun and creative way to learn about this natural disaster and its devastating impact.
Learn More: How To Funda
17. Tsunami and Surf Waves Venn Diagram
This interactive Venn diagram allows students to explore the similarities and differences between tsunamis and surf waves. Students can move the labels to where they think they belong and check their answers. The activity aims to help students better understand the concepts of waves and energy transfer and to encourage citizen science.
Learn More: Science Learn
18. Study Interesting Tsunami Facts From Third-Party Sources
This article presents the top 10 fascinating tsunami facts for kids of all ages, including information about what causes tsunamis, how they form, and the impact they can have on people and the environment. Students can choose a fact and extend their learning through paragraph writing and research.
Learn More: Mom Junction
19. Tsunami Files: Extreme Weather Series
With colorful illustrations and easy-to-understand language, this non-fiction book takes readers on a journey through the science of tsunamis, including how they form, how they travel across the ocean, and how they can cause widespread destruction when they reach land. From the terrifying accounts of historical tsunamis to the latest technology used to monitor and predict these events, it’s packed with fascinating facts and real-life stories that will capture the imagination of young readers.
Learn More: Amazon
20. Tsunami Waves Art
Based on a famous Japanese painting, kids draw and paint their own version of the great wave. With a great emphasis on color theory and personality, the lesson starts with breaking the drawing into the foreground, middle ground, and background. Children then draw the waves, whitecaps, and horizon lines before using cake tempera paint to complete the painting.
Learn More: Deep Space Sparkle
21. Tsunami Coloring Page
Tsunami coloring pages can be a fun and educational way to teach children about the dangers of natural disasters. By providing visual aids and encouraging creativity, they can better understand how tsunamis occur and how to prepare for them. Coloring is a wonderful mindfulness activity for reducing anxiety and promoting a sense of calm in the classroom.
Learn More: Coloring Only
22. Read a Fictional Account About Tsunamis
This is a non-fiction account of a catastrophic tsunami that struck a small town in Sri Lanka in 2004. The story is told through the eyes of a family who survived the disaster and the aftermath, highlighting the resilience and strength of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable tragedy. It makes for an excellent novel study and cross-curricular connection with a science unit on tsunamis.
Learn More: Amazon
23. Read Tsunami Facts and Try a Quiz
In this online resource, students learn how giant ocean waves can cause serious damage to coastal areas before testing their knowledge with a comprehensive quiz about tsunamis.
Learn More: Ducksters