Activities for Grades K-2

  • By using the real life story of Kamome, a boat whose travels across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to California began with the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, a concrete example is provided for students to explore, better understand, and prepare for these geologic events through the participation in classroom lessons designed to articulate with The Extraordinary Voyage of Kamome.    This activity is meant to augment California’s ShakeOut Drop Cover and Hold On Drill, held every year on the third Thursday in October.  It will take a minimum of one 30 minute classroom session but can be expanded for up to three 50 minute classroom sessions.

    View ShakeOut Activities Grades K - 2 »

  • Students are introduced to the Japanese art of origami by creating a folded paper boat and a gull. This activity provides students with a concrete experience of creating a part of the story of Kamome.  Allow 15 minutes to read the Kamome story and an additional 15 minutes for each origami figure.

    View Folding Origami Grades K - 2 »

  • This activity introduces the concept of earthquake size by breaking pieces of dry spaghetti.   You will use a single strand of spaghetti to illustrate a moderate earthquake (magnitude 5), a bundle of 30 spaghetti strands for a large earthquake (magnitude 6) and 900 strands to illustrate a major earthquake (magnitude 7).   By observing with their eyes, hands, and ears, students develop a qualitative feel for different sizes of earthquakes.  Plan on taking 50 minutes of class time to complete the activity and 60 to 90 minutes of preparation.

    View Pasta Quake Magnitude Grades K - 2 »

  • This activity introduces young children to the concept of units (distance, time, speed) and become familiar with the geography of the Northern Pacific basin. Students learn about waves and currents and estimate speeds of various common activities such as walking, driving in a car and flying and compare these speeds to that of seismic waves, tsunami waves and ocean currents through the story of Kamome.   One to two 50-minute class periods depending on the detail you choose to explore.

    View Seismic Waves, Tsunami Waves, and Currents Grades K - 2 »

  • A coloring book with 27 black and white versions of the illustrations in the Kamome story allows younger students to directly engage with the story of the little boat through coloring and adding to the illustrations.  It also provides a safe and non-frightening way to talk about what to do in an earthquake, tsunami awareness and how to make a student emergency kit.

    View My Kamome Coloring Book Grades K - 2 »

  • An 8-minute video tells the story of a young Japanese boy and his grandfather.  When an earthquake occurs, the grandfather sets the rice fields on fire to draw the villagers away from the coast and saves them from a tsunami.  This traditional folktale introduces young children to the culture of Japan and emphasizes the message of “go to high ground” after feeling an earthquake in a non-threatening way.   Discussion questions encourage children to make conclusions based on their observations.

    View The Wave A Japanese Folktale Grades K - 2 »

  • This alphabet book allows young children to practice alphabet skills, introduce vocabulary associated with earthquakes and tsunamis, allow students to experience the story of Kamome through word association, and learn age-appropriate preparedness information.

    View ABCs with Kamome Grades K - 2 »

  • Even young children can save other people when they understand what to do in an earthquake or tsunami.  This activity introduces young children to Tilly Smith, the ten-year-old British School girl who is credited with saving the lives of 100 people in Thailand because she recognized the changes in the ocean that indicated a tsunami was on its way.

    View Tsunami Heroines and Heroes Grades K - 2 »