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Fragile Earth

Over the course of this term, we will be looking at a variety of Natural Disasters that affect our planet, these will include: 

  • Volcanoes 
  • Earthquakes
  • Tsunamis 
  • Tropical Storms 
  • Flooding
  • Drought


We learnt all about volcanoes and how they erupt. Firstly, we learnt about the different layers of the Earth. Then, we learnt that under the Earth's crust is magma (melted rock). Volcanoes erupt when the pressure in the mantle becomes too great, this causes the magma to force itself through the crust - creating a volcano. We had lots of fun learning about volcanoes and layers of the Earth. Read on to find out more information about our project: 


Image result for volcano diagram

(from the BBC)

Mount Vesuvius 

Sycamore class have been learning about Mount Vesuvius and have used this learning to help us write a newspaper report. In our Writing lessons, we have learnt that:

  • Mount Vesuvius erupted on 24th August 79AD
  • It erupted in Pompeii, Italy
  • It is 17,000 years old


Sycamore class then learnt how to write a headline and a standfirst. Then we completed a variety of drama - where we explored Pliny (a 18 year old who was the only living eye-witness); wrote questions to understand the characters feelings and then hot-seated different residents. 


We also planned the events of Mount Vesuvius as part of our recount before having the opportunity to write a newspaper report. In our computing lessons, we then spent time typing up our newspaper reports to make them look professional! 



During our topic of Fragile Earth, we learnt about Earthquakes, here are a few interesting facts: 

  • Earthquakes are caused because of the plate movement in the Earth's crust 
  • Earthquakes are a very dangerous natural disaster and can cause serious destruction
  • The epicentre is the exact pin point of were the earthquake hits - it is also the most powerful part of the natural disaster
  • In order to stay safe during an earthquake, you must: 
    • Duck under a strong table 
    • Stand between a door frame 
    • Stand or sit under your bed and remember to cover your head and neck with you arm


Earthquake waves travel through and across the ground in 4 different ways - these are all different types of seismic waves: 

  1. Primary Waves - stretch and squeeze the ground (occurs in every earthquake)
  2. Secondary Waves - shake the ground from side to side (occurs in every earthquake) 
  3. Rayleigh Waves - move in ripples up and down across the surface (occurs in larger earthquakes)
  4. Love Waves - travel across the ground moving the Earth side to side (occurs in larger earthquakes)

Image result for earthquake diagram

(From the BBC)


This is the Japanese word for 'Harbour Wave'. We learnt that tsunamis are formed when plates move under the ocean. Interestingly, we spent time researching a tsunami that occured on Boxing Day 2004 - this tsunami was caused by a plate being pushed underneath another one and caused 40 feet of sea bed to suddenly rise; displacing the water above. It created a giant ripple that travelled across the ocean, gaining both momentum and speed as it travelled. This causes indescribable damage to the regions hit. Due to its force, it managed to travel around world 3 times!


During our topic, Fragile Earth, Sycamore class learnt about tornadoes.


An interesting fact about tornadoes is they pick up anything that is in their way and drop them as they are travelling across the horizon. We learnt about the structure and how it can effect: objects, places and people. If you ever see a tornado, you will be able to see the dust coming up from the ground and the debris it is carrying. It is highly dangerous - if you are in a tornado's path, it can pick you up and spin you around (along with other things). Tornadoes are caused by pressure differences in the atmosphere which pushes the air upwards and round.