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BellaOnline's Preschool Education Editor

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Earthquake Experiment!

Guest Author - Alissa Moy

Preschoolers love science, especially the hands on experiments! Here is a wonderful experiment that is easy and exciting for your weather unit, specifically earthquakes.

Cracker Collapse

Goal:

To teach the students how earthquakes effect buildings and structures.

Supplies Needed:

Graham or Saltine Crackers, 1 box, with perforations

Peanut Butter or Cream Cheese

Directions:

1. First have your preschoolers break the graham crackers along the perforated lines into single square crackers.

2. Next, the students should place the two pieces back together, making sure they are touching.

3. Now, move one piece away from you and one piece toward you, while still keeping the edges touching.

4. Have the children do step #3, lightly however.

5. Have your preschoolers take a break now and write or draw their observations in a science journal.

6. Be sure to have the children observe and note how there are tiny crumbs that form as they move side by side. These crumbs would represent rocks breaking off the edges of two plates along a fault.

7. Now break one of the halves into two pieces and observe the condition of the cracker. Compare with your preschooler the edge of the crackers, and how it is not smooth like the crackers that remain unused, and the ones first started with.

8. Put the broken edges back together like you did with the first broken set now. Discuss with your preschoolers how the broken edges are not completely touching any longer.

9. Now repeat the experiment again, noting how the two crackers no longer move as easily this time. This represents the tension that builds up along a fault before an earthquake. Continue moving the two cracker halves until small and large pieces break off. This now represents a very much larger earthquake than the first time.

10. Lastly, after recording all observations in their science journals, have the students put the larger cracker pieces back together, using either the peanut butter or cream cheese as glue. (*Check with everyone as to peanut allergies before using peanut butter.)

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Content copyright © 2014 by Alissa Moy. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Alissa Moy. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Amy Tradewell for details.

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