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This hands-on activity demonstrates the abrasive power of glaciers carrying rocks and sand. Its purpose is to illustrate the concept that glaciers change the Earth's surface through the processes of erosion and deposition. Students construct model glaciers by freezing water with sand and pebbles at the bottom to represent the rock fragments carried by a real glacier. They then rub their 'glacier' ... Full description.
Grade level: Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5), Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Cryology, Geology
 
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Users can choose a time in geologic history, select the link, and see what the Earth looked liked in the far distant past. Each map features a brief written description of the events occurring at that time, and a link to additional information on the geologic era or period being shown. There are also maps that show what the Earth might look like in the future, 50, 100, and 150 million years from now. ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Map, Ref. material
Subject: Geologic time, Geology
 
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This isoseismal map shows shows regions of different intensities according to the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale. These zones were defined using the felt reports from the Charlevoix-Kamouraska earthquake of February 1925, which occurred in central Quebec, Canada. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Map
Subject: Geology, Geophysics
 
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This isoseismal map shows the distribution of Modified Mercalli values compiled from questionnaires distributed after the largest shock of the January 1988 Tennant Creek earthquake, which occurred in Northern Territory, Australia. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Map
Subject: Geology, Geophysics
 
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In this exercise, students will study the three types of faults, investigate the association between faults and earthquakes, and examine the relationship between earthquakes and plate tectonics. There is a set of animations that illustrate the types of seismic waves, an exercise in which students determine the location of an earthquake epicenter using arrival times of P and S waves, and an exercise ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Computer activity, Visualization - scientific
Subject: Geology, Geophysics
 
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In this activity, students gather data and compare the shaking intensities of the 1906 San Francsico and 1989 Loma Prieta earthquakes. They compare shaking intensity maps from the two earthquakes using the Modified Mercalli Shake Intensity, examine the lengths of fault ruptures, and examine seismograph traces from each earthquake. Links to additional information and to lesson plans that use these ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Geology, Geophysics
 
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This interactive feature provides an introduction to the theory of plate tectonics. Topics include the history of ideas on plate tectonics, some evidence that the continents were once connected to each other, what happens when plates move and collide, and a description of the internal structure of the Earth. Interactive illustrations and animated maps are included to help reinforce these concepts. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Illustration - scientific, Map, Ref. material
Subject: Geology, Paleontology
 
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In this activity, students will learn why and how rock layers are folded and faulted and learn how to represent the structures in maps and cross sections. They will layer four colors of playdough to represent a horizontally layered rock mass with the oldest layer on the bottom. By pushing on the playdough block from two opposite sides, the students apply a compressive stress resulting in the folding ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geology, Structural geology
 
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In this activity, students create paper models to represent simple faults and illustrate some of the landforms associated with faulting of the Earth's crust. To make the models more realistic, some of the fault scarps are cut by gullies and are eroded in ways indicative of an arid landscape. All of the paper models show displacement on the fault by the use of arrows and by the offset of a marker bed ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity, Guide for instructor
Subject: Geology, Structural geology
 
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This interactive rock cycle shows students how all rock types are recycled into other types, and how the cycle progresses. Materials include the definitions of each rock type (igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic), how they change over time, and how tectonic movements help to drive the process. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Photograph, Visualization - scientific, Ref. material
Subject: Geology, Mineralogy or petrology
 
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