"An earthquake is the way the Earth relieves its stress by transferring it to the people who live on it."
...on a door at Santa Monica College

Large earthquakes are a source of stress to all of us who live through them and children are no exception ? but to the children of Paula Rao's 2nd and 3rd grade class in Pasadena, California, the Northridge earthquake of January 17, 1994 was the source of more than stress ? it was a real-life example of our most recent school project.

Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist with the U. S. Geological Survey, is a parent of one of the students in the class and had been coming to give weekly earth science lessons. Our most exciting lesson was when a film crew from the Discovery series of the ABC television network filmed a 2 hour lesson with Dr. Jones that was used in their special program, "Earthquakes: The Terrifying Truth." The big earthquake hit only three days later!

The Northridge earthquake was a special opportunity to live our lessons. Although Dr. Jones's visits were curtailed for the next 2 months, we continued our studies to better understand what we had experienced. When it was time to share what we had learned with our parents, we decided to use an alphabet book format as a way organizing our information. The children generated lists of words they associated with earthquakes and sorted them into three groups: fact words, feeling words, and preparedness words. Each child selected words to illustrate and define. Later the text was typed, pictures were pasted up and a copy was bound for each child to take home. This edition is a copy of that first book.

Copyright Information

The content of this web site is protected by copyright. License is granted to educators to print selected individual pages as is for classroom use, but if the entire work is desired, we would appreciate it if you ordered an inexpensive hard copy.

Hardcopy Availability

This book can be purchased from the publisher, Sirius Productions in La Canada. See the Sirius web page for special school pricing and further information.

This is a non-profit effort with royalties going to the San Rafael Elementary school.