A tsunami is a series of waves in the ocean that can cause great destruction. Tsunami also means "Harbor Wave" in Japanese and is commonly referred to as a tidal wave. Tsunamis are often caused by earthquakes as was demonstrated by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan in March 2011.

However tsunamis can also be caused by volcanic eruptions, underwater explosions, large chunks of glaciers falling off and underwater landslides. Any disturbance that displaces a large volume of water can cause a tsunami.

Teaching about Tsunamis and Other Natural Disasters

Because tsunamis are related to geologic events like earthquakes and volcanoes studying this natural disaster may be a good addition to your geology unit or a unit on weather and natural disasters. Teacher Planet offers lesson plans and units on tsunamis. You can also find hands on activities. Imagine how excited your students would be to create a tsunami in class.

Worksheets, clip art and additional teaching resources are available to help you engage all the young minds in your classroom.