Musical Plates

Enrichment Lesson 1: Letter to the President

Students will revisit the story that they read before they began the project and they will demonstrate their understanding of the relationship between earthquakes and tectonic plates by presenting the information in the form of a letter to the president.

 Students will:
  • Use language to clarify observations and to summarize information.
  • Convey information to others in written form.

One 45 minute class period.


Teacher Preparation
  • Read the Preliminary Activity before beginning this project.

  1. Direct the students back to the Preliminary Activity: Read the Story! in the Student Activities section.
  2. After the students have completed their Letters to the President, you may submit them to Musical Plates for publication. Please refer to the guidelines for how to publish student work online before submitting student work.  These guidelines can be found in the Student Gallery.

Assessment Suggestions

Student Activity

The following instructions for Enrichment Lesson One are printed in the Student Activities section of this web site.
 Letter to the President


NOTE: Your teacher will tell you to record your answers in your 'Musical Plates' journal/notebook OR on a separate piece of paper or computer document.

Now is the time to complete your mission and write a Letter to the President. If you need to reread your mission assigned by the president, you can return to the Preliminary Activity. You may also find it helpful to compare your answers to the hypotheses that you previously wrote either in your Musical Plates journal / notebook or on the student worksheet for the preliminary activity.

Your letter should include:

  • Where the most recent earthquakes are occurring and if they are more likely to occur in certain locations.
  • Whether or not there is any way to determine what parts of the world are most prone to them.
  • If there is there is a relationship between earthquakes and volcanoes.
  • What is causing the earthquakes.

NOTE: After completing this activity, you can publish your Letter to the President to the Student Gallery of this project. Ask your teacher for directions, and if your report is accepted for publication, you will be awarded an "Earthquake Expert" certificate.



Copyright 2007 Stevens Institute of Technology,
Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) All Rights Reserved.