"When the Earth rumbles": the pedagogical module

The following translation is graciously provided by ISTIC.

The pedagogical module "When the Earth rumbles" is available online (hereafter). It is also available in printed form, as a book published by Le Pommier eds. (in this book are proposed scientific and pedagogical overviews: they are not available online).


Several possible courses

The project “When the Earth Rumbles” is (deliberately) long, but is not designed to be carried out thoroughly. It is rather an “à la carte” module, which can be browsed in several ways. Here are three suggestions:

  • Study of one or more “geological” natural risk(s)

It is a multi-curricular task which includes a large proportion of science through the study of the volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis. The class can study 1, 2 or 3 of these phenomena, depending on the time which can be set for this project. Earthquakes and tsunamis are closely related and are naturally linked (it would be a shame to treat one without the other).
The point, besides including this set of themes in the programs, is to enable an understanding of social phenomena as natural disasters are often shown in the media. In the absence of a reasoned speech and study, this can become a source of anxiety. This is the purpose of the session 1, 2, and 3.

  • Study of a natural “local” risk

It is not a work of science, but rather of civics education and geography, for which we provide the groundwork, a methodology to be tailored to the local context, according to the risk to which the community is exposed (flood, storm, fire, avalanche…).The point is of course to focus on the locality and the daily life of the pupils. This is the purpose of the session 4.

  • “A little of both”

The most interesting way of getting involved in such a project is undoubtedly to mix a little of the two possibilities which are outlined above (study of one of the risks among volcano, earthquake and tsunami, and study of another risk which is more locally focused).
If it is not possible to devote the necessary time to all the sessions among the first three and the 4th session, some choices can be made. For example, to devote 2-3 sessions (the first ones of sequence 4) to the study of a local risk, in order to identify general concepts around major risks (hazards, stakes, risks, disasters)… before going on to study volcanoes, earthquakes and/or tsunamis (the choice can sometimes be dictated by recent news).The same thing can be done in reverse order: start with the study of a geological risk, and reinvest what was learned for the study of a local risk.

Summary table of the Sequences and sessions

This module falls into 4 independant sequences. Each of them includes class activites described step by step, documentary sheets to download and print, as well as additional resources (videos, complements...) usable in class.




Sequence 1 : "volcanoes"



Sequence 2 : "earthquakes"




Sequence 3 : "tsunamis"




Sequence 4 : "my county in the face of the risk"


Project partners

La main à la pâte Foundation ESA