Restless Earth

From OER in Education
How would you respond? Using maps to model disaster support and recover exercises.

About. Simulating how maps are used by Disaster Recovery Agencies to support the rescue and recovery effort. Delivered as a workshop that supports both Edexcel and AQA Physical Geography modules entitled The Restless Earth, specifically the following key ideas:

  • Earthquakes occur at constructive, destructive and conservative plate margins: features of earthquakes – epicentre, focus, shock waves.
  • The effects of earthquakes and responses to them: primary and secondary effects; immediate and long term responses.
  • Tsunamis are a specific secondary effect and can have devastating effects in coastal areas: a case study of a tsunami – its cause, effects and responses.

Pedagogical content. This is a free workshop offered by the British Cartographic Society (BCS). Students are assigned roles for group work(ta) tasks to represent various disaster recovery agencies. Learning and teaching focuses around small group work, co-inquiry(ta), exploring ideas alongside negotiation, enquiry-based learning as well as a final whole class(ta) dialogue(ta). The overall aim of the workshop is for each group to produce a map suitable to meet the needs of the various disaster recovery agencies.

BCS organise and supervise the event on the day. They run the workshops throughout the year at a variety of locations. Schools can host their own event or attend an organised one elsewhere. The only proviso is that BCS have access to a large hall with Internet available.

If you would like to host or attend a Restless Earth workshop please contact the British Cartographic Society via the following link: (edit)

Resource details
Title Restless Earth
Topic [[Topics/Maps|Maps]]
Teaching approach

[[Teaching Approaches/Dialogue|Dialogue]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Whole class|Whole class]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Group work|Group work]],  [[Teaching Approaches/Inquiry|Inquiry]]

Learning Objectives

By the end of this workshop students should be able to:

  • Understand how different roles in disaster mapping have conflicting needs and how suitable resolution requires problem solving skills,
  • Appreciate that team work is crucial in disaster recovery including sharing knowledge and resources,
  • Describe the basic elements of good mapping for disasters.
Format / structure

The materials provided are a sample of those used in an organised workshop delivered by the British Cartographic Society (BCS), the Defence Geographic Agency (DGA) and MapAction. The scenario is based on the Sendai region of Japan.


[[Resources/Teacher Education|Teacher Education]],  [[Resources/Cross-curricular|Cross-curricular]]

Age of students / grade

[[Resources/Secondary|Secondary]],  [[Resources/Higher|Higher]],  [[Resources/Year 10|Year 10]]

Additional Resources/material needed


Other (e.g. time frame)
Files and resources to view and download

Details for the event and what it is about can be viewed as WikiText here