A New Landslide on Whidbey Island, Washington

Learning Objectives

Students will read a recent science news article and discuss the content.
Depending the on the article, students may be asked to draw connections to current events or other classroom exercises.

Standards Addressed

Depending on the article, one of these standards may be most appropriate:

Subject Area - 1: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

     Standard Area - 1.3: Reading, Analyzing, and Interpreting Literature - Fiction and Non-Fiction

          Grade Level - 1.3.6: GRADE 6

               Standard - 1.3.6.A: Read, understand, and respond to works from various genres of literature

                    Assessment Anchor - R6.A.2: Understand nonfiction appropriate to grade level.

Preparation Time Needed

<30 minutes, enough time to read the article and associated questions, answer the questions, and possibly come up with more that are relevant to recent class exercises. 

Activity Description

(Part of the PAESTA In The News - Current Events in Earth and Space Science Series. This series compiles current resources and background materials for recent scientific events in the news. Questions are provided with each topic, written across Bloom's Taxonomic Scale, and can be used for classroom discussion and/or as a writing prompt at the beginning/middle/end of an instructional unit.)

A landslide occurred near Coupeville, Wash. on Whidbey Island, 4AM Wednesday, March 27, 2013. The slide severely damaged one home and isolated or threatened more than 30 on the island, about 50 miles north of Seattle in Puget Sound. No one was reported injured.

Articles to Share with Students

General Information

Questions for Classroom Discussion

  • Describe what triggers and landslide and what happens during a landslide.
  • What tools and pieces of technology can geologists use to study landslides?
  • Why does Whidbey Island keep having landslides?
  • Do you think landslide activity will increase, decrease, or remain the same into the future? Explain your reasoning as to why you think so.
  • Should humans be allowed to continue to live in an area under the threat of a landslideoccurring? What might be some human and environmental consequences if people are allowed to live in a landslide-prone area?
  • What might be some of the impacts of warming temperatures you may witness where you live?
  • Can humans ever prevent a landslide of occurring? How, or why not?

Compiled March 28, 2013, by L.A. Guertin. Teachers are encouraged to search for more recent articles and related discoveries.

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