The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake


The California earthquake of April 18, 1906, ranks as one of the most significant earthquakes of all time. Your task is to follow this esheet on a tour of this famous event.


Go to the “What do you already know?” section of your Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Response Journal and list any facts you already know about this quake.

Next, go to the Introduction for The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake site. Once you've read the first page, answer the next two questions on your Response Journal.

Spend 20 minutes exploring the following links on The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake site. Jot down notes of interest as well as answers to the questions in your response journal, paying particular attention to details that you find interesting.

If you finish early, go to and analyze this photo taken five weeks after the quake. List features in the photograph you think show lasting evidence of the devastation from both the fire and the earthquake.

Recording Earthquakes
In this part of the lesson, you will record earthquake activity over a two-week period using your Earthquake Recording Sheet. Record only those quakes that are a 4.0 magnitude or higher. To get the information about earthquake activity, go to the USGS Latest Earthquakes site. The map shows the latest earthquakes all over the world. But, when you first get to the page, you just see the United States. To see the rest of the world, you should adjust the zoom by clicking on the "–" button at the top right of the page until you can see the whole world on the page.

Once you have recorded the information on the sheet, use the longitude and latitude coordinates to plot the quakes on a world map provided by your teacher. When you plot the quakes, you should use this color code:

Color Code Individual Maps
4.0 - 4.9 Yellow
5.0 - 5.9 Blue
6.0 - 6.9 Green
7.0 - 7.9 Red
< 8.0      Black

Understanding Plate Motions
Now you will look at definitions of plate boundaries.

Go to Understanding plate motions to read definitions and explanations of plate boundaries. Also look at the Main Types of Plate Boundaries image. Use these definitions and image to help you complete the Plate Boundary Flipbook.

This esheet is a part of the Earthquakes lesson.

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