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What are Earthquakes?

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Level 1 Earthquakes

L1 Earthquakes textbookL1 Earthquakes

What are earthquakes and other information about earthquakes is answered in our Level 1 Earthquakes textbook. It includes twelve lessons with information about what are earthquakes. Lesson topics include Earthquake Waves, Earthquake Zones, Mercalli Scale, Tsunami Waves and Great Quakes.  Each lesson contains 2-3 pages of written material of facts about earthquakes, a quiz and an elementary science activity.

Myrna Martin introduces each lesson in the textbook on a video that can be purchased with our packages and courses. Myrna covers not only the main points in the lesson she also includes extra information on the topic that is not contained in the written material.

The kids science activities are fun and easy to do in this textbook. Kids science activities include Can You Hear That Wave, Up and Down Fault Blocks , Make Your Own Seismograph, and Intensity Booklet.

IN SE L1 Earthquakes Options

Student Edition eBook link
Level 1 Earthquakes textbook

Teacher Edition eBook link
Level 1 Earthquakes textbook

IN TE L1 Earthquakes Options

Teacher’s Edition Textbook

The teacher’s textbook is an exact copy of the student textbook. It includes the answers to the quizzes on each quiz page. A Teacher’s Notes page is located before each lesson with the following information

1. Lesson Content
2. Lesson Objectives
3. Activity information and materials needed
4. Vocabulary and definitions
5. Correlation with the National Science Standards

What are earthquakes?

The crust of the Earth is in constant motion. Large crustal plates are moving in different directions around the Earth at about the speed our fingernails grow. Earthquakes on the edges of these plates. Approximately 800,000 earthquakes occur each year that are very small. Once every five to ten years a great earthquake occurs that can level an entire city.

Why do earthquakes happen?

Earthquakes are caused by crustal plates moving around the Earth. Some plates slip sideways past another plate. The San Andreas Fault that runs through California is a transform fault that formed when the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate began slipping past each other. This fault produces large and small earthquakes as the rocks break part due to the moving plates.

Normal and Reverse Faults

Continental plates often pull apart stretching the land or they compress due to plate movement. In the Basin and Range area of the United States normal and reverse faults due to these two types of plate movement. Fault movement creates earthquakes waves when a rupture occurs and the rocks break apart releasing energy stored in the rocks.

Alaska 1964 earthquake

The Alaska 1964 earthquake occurred when the North American Plate slipped over the Pacific Plate in a subduction zone. The two plates lock together as the Pacific Plate moves northward in that area. When enough pressure builds the rocks fracture along the subduction zone create a large earthquake over a long distance along the fault line.

The North American Plate moved approximately 9 meters during the rupture and affected 100,000 square miles (250,000 km2). Most of the people killed as a result of the earthquake died when tsunamis swept over low-lying as far away as Hawaii.

More Level 1 Textbook Links

Level 1 Textbooks

Earth Science

Igneous Rocks

Sedimentary Rocks

Metamorphic Rocks


Rock & Mineral ID Field Guide

Rock Cycle



Course 1

Course 2

Kids Science

Level 2 Textbooks

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  • More Charlotte Mason Education - A Home Schooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levison

All of our science materials have been used by homeschooling families throughout the United States since 1998.

Recommended by AFMS Junior Chair

Ring of Fire Science materials were recommended by Jim Brace-Thompson of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies.  He found our materials contain a wealth of information for the junior members of the society. He wrote that our books are beautifully designed and illustrated with easy-to-follow instructions for kids.

Cambridge Who's Who named Myrna Martin their Science Textbook Publishing Professional of the Year. She is the author of all of our textbooks.  Read more about our family business.

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