Trade Book: Tsunami


Summary from Amazon:

Ojiisan, the oldest and wealthiest man in the village, doesn’t join the others at the rice ceremony. Instead he watches from his balcony. He feels something is coming. Something he can’t describe. When he sees the monster wave pulling away from the beach, he knows. Tsunami!

But the villagers below can’t see the danger. Will Ojiisan risk everything he has to save them? Can he?

How to Use Tsunami in the Classroom:

  • Research tsunamis and its causes.
    • Students understand that tsunamis are not caused by winds.
  • Compare and contrast a hurricane to a tsunami.
  • Identify natural disasters and where in the country (and/or the world) they are likely to happen.
  • Create a tsunami safety plan. We always have plans and drills for natural disasters. Many kids aren’t familiar with safety and plans for disasters that do not happen in their region. For example: My students are well aware of tornado safety, but they know nothing of earthquake safety. It’s good for students to understand the challenges people face outside of their community.
  • Use collage art, the art technique used in the book, to illustrate a natural disaster. Natural disasters could include volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes…
    • I always collected scraps of everything for this activity. I asked student and teachers to bring old scraps of clothes, paper, yarn, craft stuff, and anything else that could be repurposed for this art project. I also used stuff like cotton balls left over wrapping paper.


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