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Activity: Tsunami Warning System Poster
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas


  • Poster board, bulletin board paper, and markers or computer design program and printer for making a poster
  • Access to library, books, or internet for research
  • Assortment of target audiences and access to relevant locations for displaying student posters (optional)



  1. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Weather Service, and the Tsunami Warning System are some of the government agencies responsible for educating people living in coastal areas about destructive waves and helping to ensure their safety in the event of destructive waves. Refer to the information in this unit and the information provided by these agencies when researching tsunamis.
  2. Choose your final product. You can develop either an informational sign or a flyer.
    1. If you are going to make an informational sign, choose a location where it will be displayed. This location can be close to your school, at the beach, or in a location near the coast with a lot of people (e.g., a popular store).
    2. If you are going to make an informational flyer, choose an audience who will receive the flyer (e.g., 3rd graders, tourists, politicians).
  3. When designing your informational poster or flyer consider the following:
    1. your target audience, including age or group
    2. where your poster will be displayed or how you will distribute your flyer
    3. the size of the poster or number of pages in the flyer
    4. what information to include, based on the goal of keeping people safe from destructive waves
    5. how to get people’s attention and provide important information (e.g., pictures, diagrams, numbers, graphs)
  4. Share your poster or flyer with your class and/or friends and family. Ask them what they learned from viewing your poster.


Activity Questions
  1. What is the most important thing to do if you are on land and a tsunami is coming? What if you are in the water?
  2. Why is it important to consider your audience when you are making a public information poster or flyer?
  3. After looking at other posters or flyers, what would you change if you did this activity again to make your poster more effective?
  4. What other methods could you use to inform the public about tsunamis? What information could some of these methods include?
Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.