Setting the Stage
Ask students if they can list some major earthquakes that have struck the world in the past 10 years. Some include:
- In 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake struck Sumatra, Indonesia, which caused a devastating tsunami along the coastlines of the Indian Ocean.
- In 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti causing 316,000 deaths and 1 million people to become homeless.
- In 2011, on the east coast of Tohoku, Japan, a 9.03 magnitude earthquake struck the east coast of Tohoku, Japan—one of the top five largest earthquakes in the world—that claimed more than 15,000 lives and collapsed hundreds of thousands of buildings.
Introduce the photo essay by telling students they will view photographs taken after the April 28, 2015, earthquake that struck Kathmandu, Nepal. Show students a map of the area, highlighting Kathmandu and its relationship to Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. Ask students: Did you hear about the earthquake that struck Kathmandu? If so, how? (Some answers may include the following: TV, online media, social media, or from a friend or family member.)
Explain to students that many of Nepal's cultural artifacts were destroyed during the earthquake. A cultural artifact can be defined as an object that reveals information about the society that used and created it. Anything which provides more evidence about the religious, social, and economic aspects of a society could be considered a cultural artifact. Some examples include books, tools, clothing, statues, etc.
Ask students: What would be a modern cultural artifact? (One example would be the smartphone.) How do you relate to this object throughout your daily lives? What story would this artifact tell the future about our society today?