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Summary Page: Canterbury Earthquakes - lessons for New Zealand
Term 2 starting 16 May 2012.



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In preparation for this field trip you will learn about the moving crust , earthquakes, the Canterbury earthquakes, the Greendale Fault, the Port Hills Fault, earthquake effects, aftershocks, monitoring earthquakes, the earthquake commission (EQC), emergency plans. During the field trip you will learn from experts about what caused these earthquakes. You will visit urban and rural places which show the extent of the land movement and hear stories from local people about their experience of the earthquake and their responses since. You will use earthquake measuring devices to collect and analyse data, you will make simple models to see the effect of different earthquake waves and see liquefaction happening. After all that you will be able to see if your home is 'quake safe' and know what to do during and after an earthquake.

Where you will go

New Zealand is nicknamed The Shaky Isles as it lies on a plate boundary and earthquakes are common. Historic records show that on average, New Zealand can expect several magnitude 6 earthquakes every year, one magnitude 7 every 10 years, and a magnitude 8 every century. Since 2010 Canterbury has experienced a series of major magnitude 6 and 7 quakes, including the Darfield earthquake of 4 September 2010 and the Christchurch Earthquake of 22 February 2011. In September 2010, some land moved 4 metres sideways in less than a second and shaking was intense but incredibly no-one died. In February 2011, ground acceleration was amongst the highest recorded in an urban area anywhere in the world resulting in abrupt, violent shaking - 185 people died. Many landmark old buildings in the city such as churches were destroyed. A number of modern multi-storey buildings like hotels survived but are being demolished. Many houses were severely damaged and are now uninhabitable. Liquefaction caused havoc in certain areas. Although it will take years, the rebuild of Christchurch is underway.

Learning Areas/Levels

Science: Planet Earth and Beyond Levels 2-8, Nature of Science Levels 2-8, Earth and Space Science Levels 7-8; Social Sciences: Social Studies Levels 2-5, Geography Levels 6-8

More Curriculum

Covers Achievement Standards from Earth and Space Science (ESS) within the Planet Earth and Beyond Strand such as Science 1.16: Investigate an astronomical or Earth science event (In particular AS90955 - Assessment Resource 1.16B When Christchurch Shook); ESS 2.3: Investigate geological processes in a New Zealand locality; ESS 2.5: Demonstrate understanding of extreme Earth events; ESS 2.7: Demonstrate understanding of physical principles related to the Earth System; ESS 3.3: Demonstrate understanding of the evidence relating to geological events.

  • Vision, Values, Key Competencies, Principles, Literacy and Numeracy

    By their nature, LEARNZ field trips integrate with the higher levels of the NZ Curriculum. Participation encourages development of the Key Competencies around Thinking, Using language, symbols and text, Managing self, Relating to others, and Participating and contributing. Teachers indicate this in testimonials. LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Literacy, with opportunities to develop skills in Listening, Reading and Viewing and in Speaking, Writing and Presenting. More about LEARNZ as a Reading Resource and student writing opportunities with LEARNZ. Select LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Numeracy, encouraging the development of skills in Number and Algebra, in Statistics and in Geometry and Measurement.

  • ESOL

    As well as providing visual and audio material and access to real experiences, LEARNZ links well to ESOL Principles, especially Principle 3 Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes? Principle 4 Begin with context embedded tasks which make the abstract concrete. How can I put these concepts into a concrete context?

  • What's in a Field Trip

    Every LEARNZ field trip has its own newly-built, self-contained web site ready for integration into your teaching and learning programme. Teacher Support has curriculum integration, resources, newsletters, support and evaluation. Prepare Students provides opportunities for student inquiry on two sets of image-rich background pages at reading levels 2 years apart, (students can click to have those pages read to them out loud), online interactive and other activities to check students' understanding, and a glossary. During the field trip there are live tweets on twitter, and daily additions such as a diary, video clips, profiles of the experts (ideal careers education), a photo gallery, and ambassador (mascot) page updates. Live web conferences via Adobe Connect enable teachers to managed students putting prepared and spontaneous questions to experts (recorded for replay). After the field trip, teachers are encouraged to take further action with their class in the community or to go on a related field trip, or to invite a guest speaker, or to present what they have learned to a wider group. Teachers also fill in an online evaluation (more about reflective practice), the field trip prize winner is drawn, and the final newsletter is sent. Content remains online for continued use.

  • How teachers use LEARNZ

    View teacher comments in testimonials and in the LEARNZ Group on the VLN. There are two main ways teachers use a LEARNZ virtual field trip with their class. Firstly, a LEARNZ field trip is ideally an immersive, engaging, synchronous, online learning experience with real-time components and a myriad of opportunities for teachers and students. Secondly, and less ideal but still effective, a LEARNZ field trip can be used as a retrospective experience where the resources such as photos, text, activities, videos and audioconferences/web conferences comprise a unique collection of authentic, contemporary New Zealand teaching and learning material.

  • What Now

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Introductory video for this field trip: Watch, embed or share on Vimeo or click below to watch here.



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Shelley the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Shelley, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

Inquiry Topics: Canterbury, disasters, earthquake research, earthquakes, emergency management, faults, geographic issue, geohazards, geology, geomorphology, hazards, liquefaction, planning for earthquakes, plate tectonics, seismic monitoring

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