Flood & Landslide Defense

Name of Activity



Emma Coltoff, Rebecca Larson


natural disasters, non-LEGO


Building/EDP, Earth Science

Grade Level

4, 5


1 Hour Total

Brief Description

Students will see how liquefaction affects their structures’ ability to stand.

Lesson Objectives:

To challenge the students to build structures that will withstand disruption by (or last as long as possible) in a situation involving liquefaction.

Materials Needed:

*sand (gravel can work but is not recommended)

*water + small container to pour it out of

*large boxes


Preparation and Set Up:

Pour the sand/gravel into a large box. Then, pour enough water into the box that the sand is saturated, but there is no pooling on top.

Knowledge Background

Floods & Liquefaction basic info (see powerpoint link)


1) Have the students build their initial cities (in a previous activity or prior to introducing the natural disaster) 2) Instruct students to modify their buildings so that they do not tip over or sink in the sand 3) When the students are ready to test, place their buildings in the center of the box and tap the edge of the box with the hammer to simulate liquefaction

Reference 1


Online Reference(s)


Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)

Natural Disasters

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