Teacher’s Questions for Ahead of the wave


Before reading:

  1. Describe what you know about tsunamis.
  2. Explain why the force of even a small wave is enough to knock you over at the beach. (Hint: Think about the mass of water. One liter of water has a mass of one kilogram.)

During reading:

  1. What do waves carry?
  2. Explain the link between earthquakes and tsunamis.
  3. What happens to a tsunami as it enters shallow water?
  4. How did the 2004 earthquake in Indonesia kill people as far away as East Africa?
  5. Describe the steps in forecasting a tsunami.
  6. How does an invisibility cloak work?
  7. List four types of waves an invisibility cloak could redirect.
  8. Explain the role wind plays in developing a seiche.
  9. When the wind stops and a seiche wave first rolls back, what force is pulling on the water?

After reading:

  1. If you cannonballed into a swimming pool, would your splash create a tsunami or a seiche? Explain your answer.
  2. In 1954, a three-meter (10-foot) wave struck the Chicago lakeshore. The wave swept away and drowned eight people who had been fishing off a pier jutting into Lake Michigan. Based on your reading of this article, what was the likely source of this wave?


  1. Would Sébastien Guenneau’s tsunami cloak concept be practical? Why or why not? Explain your reasoning.
  2. How would you protect a coastal area and its inhabitants from the threat of a tsunami?