Plate Tectonics Animation Module 4 Homework

Overview

According to the theory of plate tectonics, Earth's crust is composed of a number of individual plates that change shape and position over time. Geophysical evidence indicates that the face of Earth's surface has changed significantly since its initial formation and that the plates on which the continents are located are in constant motion. The movement of the plates is responsible for the formation of ocean basins, mountain ranges, islands, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Important concepts in the theory of plate tectonics include the following:

  • The ocean floors are continually moving — spreading from the center, sinking at the edges, and being regenerated.
  • Convection currents beneath the plates are responsible for plate movement.
  • The source of energy responsible for generating the heat and convection currents that move the plates is most likely radioactivity deep in Earth's mantle.

In this lesson, students are introduced to the theory of plate tectonics and explore how the theory was developed and supported by evidence. Through class discussion, videos, and activities, students seek connections between tectonic activity and geologic features and investigate how the theory of plate tectonics evolved.

Objectives

  • Understand how Earth is dynamic and how moving plates form ocean basins, mountain ranges, islands, volcanoes, and earthquakes
  • Identify the three general categories of plate boundaries recognized by scientists: convergent, divergent, and transform
  • Understand how the theory of plate tectonics was developed and supported

Grade Level: 6-8

Suggested Time

Two class periods

Multimedia Resources

Use these resources to create a simple assessment or video-based assignment with the Lesson Builder tool on PBS LearningMedia.

Materials

Before the Lesson

If possible, arrange computer access for all students to work in pairs. Make copies of the World Map With Shorelines and Continental Shelf Boundaries PDF Image to distribute to students. Just before class, have the first two media resources ready: Tectonic Plates, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes Flash Interactive and Plate Tectonics: An Introduction QuickTime Video.

The Lesson

Part I: Introduction to the Theory of Plate Tectonics

1. Discuss how Earth is physically changing and ask students for their ideas about why it changes. Write the term plate tectonics on the board and ask if anyone has heard of this theory. Record class comments on the board and save for later.

2. Show students the locations of earthquakes around the world using the Tectonic Plates, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes Flash Interactive. Switch to the display of volcanoes. Do not show the plate boundaries at this point. Then ask:

  1. What do you notice about the distribution of earthquakes?
  2. What do you notice about the distribution of volcanoes?
  3. Do you see any correlations or patterns?
  4. Can you think of a possible explanation for the patterns you see?

3. Show the Plate Tectonics: An Introduction QuickTime Video. After viewing the video, return to the Tectonic Plates, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes Flash Interactive and now show the overlay of all three views: earthquakes, volcanoes, and plate boundaries. Point out the Ring of Fire. Ask students to interpret why the active areas are located where they are and to relate their interpretations to their previous comments and possible explanations.

4. Allow time for students to further explore the subject individually or in pairs. Distribute copies of the World Map With Shorelines and Continental Shelf Boundaries PDF Image and have students cut out the continents (following the continental shelf lines) to see how they fit together. At the same time, have students work with the Mountain Maker, Earth Shaker Flash Interactive to learn about the different types of boundaries. During this activity, have students write a list of relevant vocabulary words in their science journal. Encourage students to write the definitions in their own words, but to use the textbooks/computer to verify them.

5. Show the Plate Tectonics: The Scientist Behind the Theory QuickTime Video. Ask:

  1. Why was Wegener's original idea about continental drift referred to as intuition and not science?
  2. What did Wegener find that he believed was evidence to support his theory?
  3. Why didn't others think that his findings constituted evidence?

Part II: Evidence for Plate Tectonics

6. Remind students about the scientific process and discuss the importance of evidence for a scientific theory. Show the Plate Tectonics: Further Evidence QuickTime Video and the Plate Tectonics: Lake Mead, Nevada QuickTime Video. Ask:

  1. How did the new information about the ocean floor support Wegener's theory?
  2. How do the rocks at Lake Mead support the theory of plate tectonics?
  3. What other evidence would help convince you that the theory of plate tectonics was real?

7. The discovery that the ocean floor has a massive ridge running down the middle, that the oldest rocks are farthest from the ridge, and that the banded rock has preserved a record of periodic magnetic reversals are key pieces of evidence for plate tectonics. Have students work in groups to devise a demonstration of how the Atlantic Ocean was formed by sea-floor spreading. You may want to help students get started by discussing ways to represent the spreading apart of the ocean floor and the resulting appearance of the new sea floor. After the students have shown their demos, you may wish to show this effective demonstration:

  1. Align two desks with their edges just touching — the gap is your mid-ocean ridge.
  2. Place two pieces of paper vertically into the gap between the desks. Leave just enough of the papers sticking out so that there is something to hold onto.
  3. Slowly pull the papers out from the gap, spreading the papers apart onto the desks as you go. Make sure that both papers are pulled at the same rate.
  4. Have a student use a marker to draw a stripe of color on both pieces of paper at the ridge. This stripe of color represents the new rock that is formed at the ridge. As you continue to pull the papers, have the student draw more stripes in alternating colors to represent subsequent time periods. Just make sure each new stripe extends on both sides of the ridge (on both pieces of paper).
  5. The result should be a mirror-image set of colored stripes, representing how the new ocean floor spreads from the ridge. The discovery of symmetrical rock formations on the Atlantic floor provided strong evidence for the sea-floor spreading theory - the identical patterns showed younger rock near the ridge and contained a record of Earth's changing magnetic polarity through time.

8. Check students' understanding of plate motions by showing the Tectonic Plates and Plate Boundaries Flash Interactive with the color-coded and defined boundaries. Have students indicate which direction the plates are moving at the different types of boundaries. What geologic features could be seen at each boundary?

9. Have students watch the Plate Tectonics: The Hawaiian Archipelago QuickTime Video. Discuss the following:

  1. What is a hot spot?
  2. What does it mean to say that a volcano is dormant?

10. Have students work in small groups to simulate the formation of the Hawaiʻian Islands. Distribute the following materials to each group:

  1. An aluminum pan with about an inch of cornstarch covering the bottom.
  2. A candle or some other heat source

Have students add small amounts of water to the pan until the cornstarch reaches a pasty consistency. Instruct students to hold one edge of the pan over the candle until bubbles form in the cornstarch. Then tell them to very slowly move the pan across the flame. As the pan moves, they should notice the row of bubbles that is created. Discuss the following:

  1. What does the candle represent?
  2. What does the pan represent?
  3. What does the cornstarch represent?
  4. What do the bubbles represent?
  5. The bubbles are similar to a volcano that forms over a hot spot. How do volcanoes form islands?
  6. Which islands are the oldest?
  7. Why aren't all of Hawaiʻi's volcanoes active?

11. Revisit the information about plate tectonics that you recorded on the board in Step 1, and update it as needed.

Check for Understanding

Have students discuss the following:

  1. Why do we call Earth an "active" planet? What does this mean?
  2. How does the theory of plate tectonics account for earthquakes? Volcanoes? Mountains?
  3. Hawaiʻi's hot spot doesn't display the typical relationship between volcanoes and plate boundaries, yet it does provide evidence of plate tectonics. How?
  4. Why was Wegener's theory of continental drift not accepted when he first proposed it? What evidence revealed to scientists that continents could be moving apart from each other?

The Digital Library for Earth System Education (www.dlese.org) offers access to additional resources on this topic.

The activities we have selected are congruent with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and are arranged to build upon one another. Therefore, to follow the storyline we recommend that teachers complete the activities in the order provided. To open an activity in a new tab or window, right click the activity link and select the preferred option.

Plate Tectonics

View Activity
http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/Plate-Tectonics/

This interactive website produced by the Geologic Society of London introduces students to the "Pioneers of Plate Tectonics," takes them through "What is a Plate" and "Plate Margins," to "Plate Tectonics in the UK."

Instructional Strategies: Inquiry

Resource Type: Classroom learning activity

Time Required: 150 minutes

Standards:ESS TEKS: 1.C, 2.C, 2.E, 2.H, 6.D, 9.A, 9.B, 10.A, 10.B, 10.C, 10.D, 10.E, 10.F ES Literacy: 1.2, 1.6, 1.7, 2.4, 2.7, 3.2, 3.4, 3.7, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science (TEKS) 112.36-- Earth and Space Science

1.C use the school's technology and information systems in a wise and ethical manner.
2.C know that scientific theories are based on natural and physical phenomena and are capable of being tested by multiple independent researchers. Unlike hypotheses, scientific theories are well-established and highly-reliable explanations, but may be subject to change as new areas of science and new technologies are developed;
2.E demonstrate the use of course equipment, techniques, and procedures, including computers and web-based computer applications;
2.H use mathematical procedures such as algebra, statistics, scientific notation, and significant figures to analyze data using the International System (SI) units
6.D evaluate the evidence that Earth's cooling led to tectonic activity, resulting in continents and ocean basins
9.A evaluate heat transfer through Earth's subsystems by radiation, convection, and conduction and include its role in plate tectonics, volcanism, ocean circulation, weather, and climate
9.B examine the chemical, physical, and thermal structure of Earth's crust, mantle, and core, including the lithosphere and asthenosphere
10.A investigate how new conceptual interpretations of data and innovative geophysical technologies led to the current theory of plate tectonics
10.B describe how heat and rock composition affect density within Earth's interior and how density influences the development and motion of Earth's tectonic plates
10.C explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic processes and features, including sea floor spreading, ocean ridges and rift valleys, subduction zones, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain ranges, hot spots, and hydrothermal vents
10.D calculate the motion history of tectonic plates using equations relating rate, time, and distance to predict future motions, locations, and resulting geologic features
10.E distinguish the location, type, and relative motion of convergent, divergent, and transform plate boundaries using evidence from the distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes
10.F

Earth Science Literacy Principles

1.2 Earth scientists use a large variety of scientific principles to understand how our planet works.
1.6 Earth scientists construct models of Earth and its processes that best explain the available geological evidence.
1.7 Technological advances, breakthroughs in interpretation, and new observations continuously refine our understanding of Earth.
2.4 Earth’s crust has two distinct types: continental and oceanic.
2.7 Over Earth’s vast history, both gradual and catastrophic processes have produced enormous changes.
3.2 All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and mass cycling within and between Earth’s systems.
3.4 Earth’s systems interact over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales.
3.7 Changes in part of one system can cause new changes to that system or to other systems, often in surprising and complex ways.
4.1 Earth’s geosphere changes through geological, hydrological, physical, chemical, and biological processes that are explained by universal laws.
4.2 Earth, like other planets, is still cooling, though radioactive decay continuously generates internal heat.
4.3 Earth’s interior is in constant motion through the process of convection, with important consequences for the surface.
4.4 Earth’s tectonic plates consist of the rocky crust and uppermost mantle, and move slowly with respect to one another.
4.5 Many active geologic processes occur at plate boundaries.
4.6 Earth materials take many different forms as they cycle through the geosphere.
4.7 Landscapes result from the dynamic interplay between processes that form and uplift new crust and processes that destroy and depress the crust.

Geoworld Plate Tectonics Lab

View Activity
https://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/guided_discovery/examples/geoworld.html

Students analyze the tectonics of a flat world (called Geoworld) that features continents with ancient mountain ranges, oceans (complete with magnetic "stripes" and a hotspot volcanic chain), an island arc and a trench. Analyses lead to some counter-intuitive conclusions, guiding students toward a deeper understanding of fundamental plate tectonic concepts.

Instructional Strategies: Inquiry

Resource Type: Laboratory investigation, experiment or demonstration

Time Required: 150 minutes

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science (TEKS) 112.36-- Earth and Space Science

2.I communicate valid conclusions supported by data using several formats such as technical reports, lab reports, labeled drawings, graphic organizers, journals, presentations, and technical posters.
10.A investigate how new conceptual interpretations of data and innovative geophysical technologies led to the current theory of plate tectonics
10.C explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic processes and features, including sea floor spreading, ocean ridges and rift valleys, subduction zones, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain ranges, hot spots, and hydrothermal vents
10.E distinguish the location, type, and relative motion of convergent, divergent, and transform plate boundaries using evidence from the distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes

Earth Science Literacy Principles

4. Earth is continuously changing.

Solomon Islands Regional Tectonics

View Activity
http://www.iris.edu/hq/programs/education_and_outreach/animations/30

This narrated animation from IRIS focuses on the convergence of the Indo-Australian with the Pacific Plate in the region around the Solomon and Vanuatu island nations. The region is marked by a complicated arrangement of tectonic micro plates crushed between the greater Pacific and Indo-Australian Plates.

Instructional Strategies: Lecture

Resource Type: Visualization (static visualization, animation, simulation)

Time Required: 5 minutes

Standards:ESS TEKS: 10.C, 10.E, 11.B ES Literacy: 1.2, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.4, 3.2, 3.4, 3.6, 3.7, 4.4, 4.5, 4.7, 8.4, 8.5, 8.8

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science (TEKS) 112.36-- Earth and Space Science

10.C explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic processes and features, including sea floor spreading, ocean ridges and rift valleys, subduction zones, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain ranges, hot spots, and hydrothermal vents
10.E distinguish the location, type, and relative motion of convergent, divergent, and transform plate boundaries using evidence from the distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes
11.B explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic surface processes and features, including folds, faults, sedimentary basin formation, mountain building, and continental accretion

Earth Science Literacy Principles

1.2 Earth scientists use a large variety of scientific principles to understand how our planet works.
1.5 Earth scientists use their understanding of the past to forecast Earth’s future.
1.6 Earth scientists construct models of Earth and its processes that best explain the available geological evidence.
1.7 Technological advances, breakthroughs in interpretation, and new observations continuously refine our understanding of Earth.
2.4 Earth’s crust has two distinct types: continental and oceanic.
3.2 All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and mass cycling within and between Earth’s systems.
3.4 Earth’s systems interact over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales.
3.6 Earth’s systems are dynamic; they continually react to changing influences.
3.7 Changes in part of one system can cause new changes to that system or to other systems, often in surprising and complex ways.
4.4 Earth’s tectonic plates consist of the rocky crust and uppermost mantle, and move slowly with respect to one another.
4.5 Many active geologic processes occur at plate boundaries.
4.7 Landscapes result from the dynamic interplay between processes that form and uplift new crust and processes that destroy and depress the crust.
8.4 Hazardous events can be sudden or gradual.
8.5 Natural hazards can be local or global in origin.
8.8 An Earth-science-literate public is essential for reducing risks from natural hazards.

Using Fossil Corals to Understand Tectonic Activity

View Activity
http://www.txessrevolution.org/CoralTectonicsIntro

This activity conveys the knowledge that Earth is dynamic and that plate tectonics is an active, ongoing process. Students use radiocarbon dates for the raised coral reefs from the New Georgia Islands (Solomon Island Group). in combination with measurements of the elevation of these fossil reefs above current sea level to calculate rates of tectonic uplift. Students then develop a conceptual model to explain the pattern of uplift for the last 10,000 years that emerges from the data.

Instructional Strategies: Inquiry

Resource Type: Classroom learning activity

Time Required: 150 minutes

Standards:ESS TEKS: 1, 2.G, 2.I, 3.A, 3.B, 7, 10.C, 11.B, 11.D ES Literacy: 1.2, 1.4, 2.4, 2.7, 3.6, 4.5, 4.7, 8.4

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science (TEKS) 112.36-- Earth and Space Science

1 The student conducts laboratory and field investigations, for at least 40% of instructional time, using safe, environmentally appropriate, and ethical practices.
2.G organize, analyze, evaluate, make inferences, and predict trends from data;
2.I communicate valid conclusions supported by data using several formats such as technical reports, lab reports, labeled drawings, graphic organizers, journals, presentations, and technical posters.
3.A in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student;
3.B communicate and apply scientific information extracted from various sources such as current events, news reports, published journal articles, and marketing materials
7 The student knows that scientific dating methods of fossils and rock sequences are used to construct a chronology of Earth's history expressed in the geologic time scale. The student is expected to
10.C explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic processes and features, including sea floor spreading, ocean ridges and rift valleys, subduction zones, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain ranges, hot spots, and hydrothermal vents
11.B explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic surface processes and features, including folds, faults, sedimentary basin formation, mountain building, and continental accretion
11.D interpret Earth surface features using a variety of methods such as satellite imagery, aerial photography, and topographic and geologic maps using appropriate technologies

Earth Science Literacy Principles

1.2 Earth scientists use a large variety of scientific principles to understand how our planet works.
1.4 Earth scientists must use indirect methods to examine and understand the structure, composition, and dynamics of Earth’s interior.
2.4 Earth’s crust has two distinct types: continental and oceanic.
2.7 Over Earth’s vast history, both gradual and catastrophic processes have produced enormous changes.
3.6 Earth’s systems are dynamic; they continually react to changing influences.
4.5 Many active geologic processes occur at plate boundaries.
4.7 Landscapes result from the dynamic interplay between processes that form and uplift new crust and processes that destroy and depress the crust.
8.4 Hazardous events can be sudden or gradual.

Hotspots: Mantle Thermal Plumes

View Activity
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dynamic/hotspots.html

This short reading from the USGS's online edition of "This Dynamic Earth" discusses the concept of hotspots and the hotspot theory developed by J. Tuzo-Wilson, which helped to develop the Theory of Plate Tectonics. There is a note giving updated information on the hotspot model.

Instructional Strategies: Reading

Resource Type: Scholarly article

Time Required: 30 minutes

Standards:ESS TEKS: 9.C, 10.C, 10.E, 11.B, 11.D ES Literacy: 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 1.7, 3.4, 3.6, 3.7, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 4.6, 4.7, 8.1

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science (TEKS) 112.36-- Earth and Space Science

9.C explain how scientists use geophysical methods such as seismic wave analysis, gravity, and magnetism to interpret Earth's structure
10.C explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic processes and features, including sea floor spreading, ocean ridges and rift valleys, subduction zones, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain ranges, hot spots, and hydrothermal vents
10.E distinguish the location, type, and relative motion of convergent, divergent, and transform plate boundaries using evidence from the distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes
11.B explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic surface processes and features, including folds, faults, sedimentary basin formation, mountain building, and continental accretion
11.D interpret Earth surface features using a variety of methods such as satellite imagery, aerial photography, and topographic and geologic maps using appropriate technologies

Earth Science Literacy Principles

1.2 Earth scientists use a large variety of scientific principles to understand how our planet works.
1.3 Earth science investigations take many different forms.
1.4 Earth scientists must use indirect methods to examine and understand the structure, composition, and dynamics of Earth’s interior.
1.6 Earth scientists construct models of Earth and its processes that best explain the available geological evidence.
1.7 Technological advances, breakthroughs in interpretation, and new observations continuously refine our understanding of Earth.
3.4 Earth’s systems interact over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales.
3.6 Earth’s systems are dynamic; they continually react to changing influences.
3.7 Changes in part of one system can cause new changes to that system or to other systems, often in surprising and complex ways.
4.1 Earth’s geosphere changes through geological, hydrological, physical, chemical, and biological processes that are explained by universal laws.
4.3 Earth’s interior is in constant motion through the process of convection, with important consequences for the surface.
4.4 Earth’s tectonic plates consist of the rocky crust and uppermost mantle, and move slowly with respect to one another.
4.6 Earth materials take many different forms as they cycle through the geosphere.
4.7 Landscapes result from the dynamic interplay between processes that form and uplift new crust and processes that destroy and depress the crust.
8.1 Natural hazards result from natural Earth processes.

IRIS: What is a hotspot?

View Activity
http://www.iris.edu/hq/programs/education_and_outreach/animations/21

On this IRIS animations page, two narrated animations are presented to explain how hotspots form and how a single island in a hotspot chain evolves over time.

Instructional Strategies: Lecture

Resource Type: Visualization (static visualization, animation, simulation)

Time Required: 5 minutes

Standards:ESS TEKS: 9.B, 10.C, 11.A, 11.B ES Literacy: 1.6, 2.4, 2.7, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4, 3.7, 4.4, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 5.1, 5.3, 5.6

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science (TEKS) 112.36-- Earth and Space Science

9.B examine the chemical, physical, and thermal structure of Earth's crust, mantle, and core, including the lithosphere and asthenosphere
10.C explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic processes and features, including sea floor spreading, ocean ridges and rift valleys, subduction zones, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain ranges, hot spots, and hydrothermal vents
11.A compare the roles of erosion and deposition through the actions of water, wind, ice, gravity, and igneous activity by lava in constantly reshaping Earth's surface
11.B explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic surface processes and features, including folds, faults, sedimentary basin formation, mountain building, and continental accretion

Earth Science Literacy Principles

1.6 Earth scientists construct models of Earth and its processes that best explain the available geological evidence.
2.4 Earth’s crust has two distinct types: continental and oceanic.
2.7 Over Earth’s vast history, both gradual and catastrophic processes have produced enormous changes.
3.1 The four major systems of Earth are the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.
3.2 All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and mass cycling within and between Earth’s systems.
3.4 Earth’s systems interact over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales.
3.7 Changes in part of one system can cause new changes to that system or to other systems, often in surprising and complex ways.
4.4 Earth’s tectonic plates consist of the rocky crust and uppermost mantle, and move slowly with respect to one another.
4.6 Earth materials take many different forms as they cycle through the geosphere.
4.7 Landscapes result from the dynamic interplay between processes that form and uplift new crust and processes that destroy and depress the crust.
4.8 Weathered and unstable rock materials erode from some parts of Earth’s surface and are deposited in others.
5.1 Water is found everywhere on Earth, from the heights of the atmosphere to the depths of the mantle.
5.3 Water’s unique combination of physical and chemical properties are essential to the dynamics of all of Earth’s systems.
5.6 Water shapes landscapes.

Exercise to Introduce Google Earth and Geologic Landforms

View Activity
http://csmres.jmu.edu/Geollab/Whitmeyer/web/visuals/exercises.html

This website, belonging to Dr. Steven Whitmeyer of James Madison University, contains a collection of download links and overlay files to several Google Earth Exercises and Labs.

Instructional Strategies: Challenge or problem-solving

Resource Type: Classroom learning activity

Time Required: 250 minutes

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science (TEKS) 112.36-- Earth and Space Science

1.C use the school's technology and information systems in a wise and ethical manner.
2.E demonstrate the use of course equipment, techniques, and procedures, including computers and web-based computer applications;
2.I communicate valid conclusions supported by data using several formats such as technical reports, lab reports, labeled drawings, graphic organizers, journals, presentations, and technical posters.
10.C explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic processes and features, including sea floor spreading, ocean ridges and rift valleys, subduction zones, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain ranges, hot spots, and hydrothermal vents

Earth Science Literacy Principles

1.6 Earth scientists construct models of Earth and its processes that best explain the available geological evidence.
1.7 Technological advances, breakthroughs in interpretation, and new observations continuously refine our understanding of Earth.
2.7 Over Earth’s vast history, both gradual and catastrophic processes have produced enormous changes.
4.7 Landscapes result from the dynamic interplay between processes that form and uplift new crust and processes that destroy and depress the crust.

For this unit we have selected one lab:

  • Hot Spot/Plate Motion Exercise - The Advanced Version

This exercise Dr. Steven Whitmeyer of James Madison University shows learners how to use Google Earth to determine latitude, longitude, elevation, and distance between locations, as well as work with geophysical data.

Instructional Strategies: Challenge or problem-solving

Resource Type: Classroom learning activity

Time Required: 45 minutes

Yellowstone - Breathing Volcano

View Activity
http://www.unavco.org/education/resources/educational-resources/lesson/gps-yellowstone/gps-yellowstone.html

In this activity, students learn about volcanism in Yellowstone National Park by focusing on its signs of volcanic activity -- history of eruption, recent seismicity, hydrothermal events, and ground deformation. They learn how scientists monitor volcanoes, using Mount St. Helens as an example, and then apply that knowledge to a identifying a hypothetical Yellowstone research site.

Instructional Strategies: Inquiry

Resource Type: Classroom learning activity

Time Required: 170 minutes

Standards:ESS TEKS: 1.C, 2.E, 2.F, 2.G, 2.H, 2.I, 3.A, 3.D, 9.A, 10.C, 10.D, 10.F, 11.B, 11.D, 11.E ES Literacy: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 2.1, 2.7, 3.4, 3.6, 3.7, 4.1, 4.4, 4.7, 8.1, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6, 8.8

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science (TEKS) 112.36-- Earth and Space Science

1.C use the school's technology and information systems in a wise and ethical manner.
2.E demonstrate the use of course equipment, techniques, and procedures, including computers and web-based computer applications;
2.F use a wide variety of additional course apparatuses, equipment, techniques, and procedures as appropriate such as satellite imagery and other remote sensing data, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning System (GPS), scientific probes, microscopes, telescopes, modern video and image libraries, weather stations, fossil and rock kits, bar magnets, coiled springs, wave simulators, tectonic plate models, and planetary globes;
2.G organize, analyze, evaluate, make inferences, and predict trends from data;
2.H use mathematical procedures such as algebra, statistics, scientific notation, and significant figures to analyze data using the International System (SI) units
2.I communicate valid conclusions supported by data using several formats such as technical reports, lab reports, labeled drawings, graphic organizers, journals, presentations, and technical posters.
3.A in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student;
3.D evaluate the impact of research on scientific thought, society, and public policy
9.A evaluate heat transfer through Earth's subsystems by radiation, convection, and conduction and include its role in plate tectonics, volcanism, ocean circulation, weather, and climate
10.C explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic processes and features, including sea floor spreading, ocean ridges and rift valleys, subduction zones, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain ranges, hot spots, and hydrothermal vents
10.D calculate the motion history of tectonic plates using equations relating rate, time, and distance to predict future motions, locations, and resulting geologic features
10.F
11.B explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic surface processes and features, including folds, faults, sedimentary basin formation, mountain building, and continental accretion
11.D interpret Earth surface features using a variety of methods such as satellite imagery, aerial photography, and topographic and geologic maps using appropriate technologies
11.E evaluate the impact of changes in Earth's subsystems on humans such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, flooding, and storm surges and the impact of humans on Earth's subsystems such as population growth, fossil fuel burning, and use of fresh water

Earth Science Literacy Principles

1.1 Earth scientists find solutions to society’s needs.
1.2 Earth scientists use a large variety of scientific principles to understand how our planet works.
1.3 Earth science investigations take many different forms.
1.4 Earth scientists must use indirect methods to examine and understand the structure, composition, and dynamics of Earth’s interior.
1.5 Earth scientists use their understanding of the past to forecast Earth’s future.
1.6 Earth scientists construct models of Earth and its processes that best explain the available geological evidence.
1.7 Technological advances, breakthroughs in interpretation, and new observations continuously refine our understanding of Earth.
2.1 Earth’s rocks and other materials provide a record of its history
2.7 Over Earth’s vast history, both gradual and catastrophic processes have produced enormous changes.
3.4 Earth’s systems interact over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales.
3.6 Earth’s systems are dynamic; they continually react to changing influences.
3.7 Changes in part of one system can cause new changes to that system or to other systems, often in surprising and complex ways.
4.1 Earth’s geosphere changes through geological, hydrological, physical, chemical, and biological processes that are explained by universal laws.
4.4 Earth’s tectonic plates consist of the rocky crust and uppermost mantle, and move slowly with respect to one another.
4.7 Landscapes result from the dynamic interplay between processes that form and uplift new crust and processes that destroy and depress the crust.
8.1 Natural hazards result from natural Earth processes.
8.4 Hazardous events can be sudden or gradual.
8.5 Natural hazards can be local or global in origin.
8.6 Earth scientists are continually improving estimates of when and where natural hazards occur.
8.8 An Earth-science-literate public is essential for reducing risks from natural hazards.

UNAVCO GPS Velocity Viewer

View Activity
http://www.unavco.org/software/visualization/GPS-Velocity-Viewer/GPS-Velocity-Viewer.html

UNAVCO's Google-Maps based viewer shows the motion of Earth's crust as GPS geodesy station velocities overlaid on maps of the Earth's tectonic plates, USA active faults, earthquake locations, and volcanoes.

Instructional Strategies: Challenge or problem-solving

Resource Type: Visualization (static visualization, animation, simulation)

Time Required: 30 minutes

Standards:ESS TEKS: 2.E, 2.F, 2.G, 2.H, 10.C, 10.D, 10.E, 11.B, 11.D ES Literacy: 1.2, 1.3, 1.6, 1.7, 3.4, 3.6, 3.7, 4.4, 4.5, 4.7

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Science (TEKS) 112.36-- Earth and Space Science

2.E demonstrate the use of course equipment, techniques, and procedures, including computers and web-based computer applications;
2.F use a wide variety of additional course apparatuses, equipment, techniques, and procedures as appropriate such as satellite imagery and other remote sensing data, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning System (GPS), scientific probes, microscopes, telescopes, modern video and image libraries, weather stations, fossil and rock kits, bar magnets, coiled springs, wave simulators, tectonic plate models, and planetary globes;
2.G organize, analyze, evaluate, make inferences, and predict trends from data;
2.H use mathematical procedures such as algebra, statistics, scientific notation, and significant figures to analyze data using the International System (SI) units
10.C explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic processes and features, including sea floor spreading, ocean ridges and rift valleys, subduction zones, earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain ranges, hot spots, and hydrothermal vents
10.D calculate the motion history of tectonic plates using equations relating rate, time, and distance to predict future motions, locations, and resulting geologic features
10.E distinguish the location, type, and relative motion of convergent, divergent, and transform plate boundaries using evidence from the distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes
11.B explain how plate tectonics accounts for geologic surface processes and features, including folds, faults, sedimentary basin formation, mountain building, and continental accretion
11.D interpret Earth surface features using a variety of methods such as satellite imagery, aerial photography, and topographic and geologic maps using appropriate technologies

Earth Science Literacy Principles

1.2 Earth scientists use a large variety of scientific principles to understand how our planet works.
1.3 Earth science investigations take many different forms.
1.6 Earth scientists construct models of Earth and its processes that best explain the available geological evidence.
1.7 Technological advances, breakthroughs in interpretation, and new observations continuously refine our understanding of Earth.
3.4 Earth’s systems interact over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales.
3.6 Earth’s systems are dynamic; they continually react to changing influences.
3.7 Changes in part of one system can cause new changes to that system or to other systems, often in surprising and complex ways.
4.4 Earth’s tectonic plates consist of the rocky crust and uppermost mantle, and move slowly with respect to one another.
4.5 Many active geologic processes occur at plate boundaries.
4.7 Landscapes result from the dynamic interplay between processes that form and uplift new crust and processes that destroy and depress the crust.

Field Trips

Studies that examine how geologists think and learn about the Earth point to the value of field experiences in helping students develop practices that constitute geologic reasoning. We encourage teachers to take students into the field as much as possible. To this end, we include ideas for virtual and actual field trips. The former recognizes the limitations of the K-12 classroom setting. Field learning provides a chance to encourage the ability to see features that are important to professional practice. Indeed, many geoscientists report that fieldwork was a key factor influencing their choice of geoscience as a career.

Virtual Field Trip

The PALEOMAP Project sells an app for the iPad/iPhone, Ancient Earth: Breakup of Pangea.

This 2015 article by Stein et al. on the Midcontinent Rift explains the spectacular scenery around Lake Superior resulting from the 1.1 billion year old Midcontinent Rift System and gives park interpreters and educators an opportunity to discuss some of the most important processes that shape our planet and influenced the region's settlement and growth.

Stein, Seth , Carol A. Stein, Eunice Blavascunas, and Jonas Kley, 2015, INTERPRETIVE PRIMER: Using Lake Superior parks to explain the Midcontinent Rift, Park Science, Summer 2015, Volume 32, Number 1, pp. 19-29.

Scaffolding Notes

Teachers must develop their own individual plan for how they will teach the unit.The learning activities and educational resources in this unit are intended to complement other instructional activities led by the teacher. Many of the selected learning experiences provide links to excellent background preparatory materials, additional hands-on resources, teaching tips, and cross-curricular connections.

Teachers will need to create their own multimedia presentations, deliver lectures and assign ancillary work to their students in order to set the stage for effective use of the learning activities contained herein. Therefore, it is imperative to allocate time to review the activities and background material prior to using the learning experiences in this unit and to probe students for their prior knowledge before starting an activity.

In addition, although some activities may incorporate assessments, teachers may need to create their own assessments to ensure that are appropriate for the students they teach.

Asterisks (*) indicate teacher resource and background information recommendations for activity support.

_________________________________________________________

*The unit also encourages students to examine modern data obtained from instruments that monitor tectonic processes.

Plate Tectonics, developed by the Geological Society of London, is a very useful interactive website taking one through the concept of plate tectonics. Have students first work through the "Pioneers of the Plate Tectonics," which discusses the history and development of Continental Drift theory and the Theory of Plate Tectonics. It is recommended that the teacher create guiding questions for this activity in conjunction with the jig-saw approach with the follow-up discussion.

Then have students interact with the world map which has toggles that can show volcanic and earthquake distributions, tectonic plates, direction of motion and types of plate boundaries. The student activity worksheet Using the world plates map takes students on a scavenger-hunt using the world map and familiarizes them with vocabulary and .

The additional tabs allow students to explore "What is a Plate" and "Plate Margins." It is recommended that students have guided questions over the content or keep journal entries on the information found on the site. Under "Teacher Zone" there is a student activity worksheet for calculating sea floor spreading and an image to print out to model a triple junction. Also included is a tab where students can take assessments over the topics. Plate Tectonics sets the background and review of plate tectonics in order to facilitate the next activity.

Within the Teacher Zone is the article, "Volcanoes, molten magma, ...and a nice cup of tea!", by Pete Loader, which provides teachers with an explanation of how does the Earth produce so much molten rock, where does it come from and why volcanoes are confined to certain well-defined zones, as well as ideas for simulating what processes are occurring at plate boundaries.

Geoworld Plate Tectonics Lab gives students the opportunity to analyze and identify the tectonic settings found on Geoworld. They will also determine the offset on transform faults, calculate plate motion using relative and absolute rates, and will draw lithospheric cross-sections, and creating reconstructions depicting past and future plate configurations. The purpose of this in-depth exercise is to guide students into a deeper understanding of fundamental plate tectonic concepts, particularly the difference between relative and absolute plate motion.

For the narrated animation, Solomon Islands, teachers may want to have set of guiding questions for students to discuss.

Using Fossil Corals to Understand TectonicActivity is included to demonstrate how proxy data can be used to infer plate motion in one of the most tectonically active regions of the world, the southwest Pacific. Students must be familiar with the basic biology and ecology of reef-building corals, atoll development, radioisotope dating, specifically C14 dating and radioactive decay, in order to do the activity. The "teacher materials" provides this background information. To create a conceptual model, students must be able to invoke their understanding of faulting, uplift, subduction, and volcanism at plate boundaries. The teacher should review all material before presenting to students. The activity offers a chance to collaborate with the chemistry and biology teachers, and demonstrates the integrative nature of geoscience.

The USGS reading, Hotspots: Mantle Thermal Plumes, and IRIS: What is a Hotspot? narrated animation set the foundational and background information for the next two activities. Teachers may want to assign these activities as homework, or as an in-class jig-saw activity. Guided questions could be created to go along with the reading and the video.

The World Tectonic Mapping Activity is a good activity for teachers to use as a formative assessment and to reinforce concepts taught previously. It sets the stage for deeper and more meaningful exploration and understanding embodied in the next activity.

* If time did not permit including Hot Spot Activity before this point in the sequence it can be assigned here. The activity takes about 30 minutes to complete and helps students understand plate motion over time. It addresses hot spots that occur under oceanic plates, but students need to understand that there are also continental crust hot spots such as the Yellowstone location.

Taking the Pulse of Yellowstone's "Breathing" Volcano: Problem-Based Learning in America's First National Park requires that students assume the roles of either seismologist, volcanologist, or hydrothermal expert, and upon research of these characteristics of Yellowstone NP, share information with collaborative teams to determine the best place to build a research station. The teacher will want to preview all material before presenting to students. There is a PowerPoint presentation included to share with students that has introductory information but also has the research needed for each group of experts to use in the activity. There are supplemental videos to use for student engagement, as well as a supplemental "Flour Box Volcano" demonstration. All Google Earth overlay files are available for download at the lesson weblink. This assignment can be used as a capstone assessment for this unit on plate tectonics as it relies on the students' overall understanding. The presentation at the end can be a formative or formal assessment by means of a video/slide/poster presentation. Note that the activity fits best after other activities on divergent, convergent and transform plate boundaries.

0 thoughts on “Plate Tectonics Animation Module 4 Homework”

    -->

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *