Pinterest: Mr C
Note: this video has no sound, you aren't going deaf!
I constructed this as part of a tsunami investigation for Year 4. This was the test run, and I flmed it and slowed it down so the children would be able to see exactly what happened. It is excellent at demonstrating drawback, so links well to 'signs of a tsunami'. I used gravel, sand and soil for the 'land' with a flowerpot to represent the mountains of Chile, articicial foliage, Monopoly houses, and bricks (from childrens building block set) to represent city buildings and skyscrapers. The key, though, is a flat piece of wood with a string in one end that you can pull to lift the wood. This of course replicates a tectonic plate.
It works really well in showing the damage is worse near the coast, and how stronger buildings fare better, as well as causes and impacts of tsunamis. To get the full effects, let the children throw a bucket of water over it at the end - they'll love it!