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Discovering Plate Boundaries is based on 5 world maps containing earthquake, volcano, topography, satellite gravity, and seafloor age data. The novel aspect of the exercise is the "jigsaw" manner in which student groups access the maps and use them to discover, classify, and describe plate boundary types. The exercise is based only on observation and description, which makes it useful at a wide variety ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14), College (15-16)
Resource type: Classroom activity, Map, In-situ dataset, Modeled dataset, Remotely sensed dataset
Subject: Physical geography, Geologic time, Geology, Geophysics, Structural geology, Natural hazards
 
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Educational standards associated with this resource:
National Science Education Standards (NSES): Read
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DLESE Community Collection (DCC)    Browse collection
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This Starting Point webpage describes a ConcepTest question that asks students to review a map of tectonic plates and predict which pair of locations is moving closer together as a result of plate tectonics. The website includes the question and references and topics covered by the question. Full description.
Grade level: College (13-14), Graduate / Professional
Resource type: Assessment / Evaluation, Guide for instructor
Subject: Geology
 
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This brief tutorial and activity will provide younger students with some idea how earthquakes occur. The text explains how strain builds up along a fault until the rock breaks, releasing energy in the form of seismic waves. This concept is reinforced by a simple experiment in which the students break a foam rubber block in half and then try to slide the broken halves past each other. Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5), Middle (6-8)
Resource type: Classroom activity, Tutorial
Subject: Geology
 
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This tutorial provides instruction on the use of a field notebook. Topics include setting-up the book before fieldwork begins, daily information to be included, specific information to be included for every site, and post-field work review. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Geology
 
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This collection of animations provides elementary examples of fault motion intended for simple demonstrations. Examples include dip-slip faults (normal and reverse), strike-slip faults, and oblique-slip faults. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Illustration - scientific
Subject: Geology
 
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This page discusses the definitions of the terms 'weathering' and 'erosion' and explains the difference between the two processes. It also points out when it is appropriate to use the two terms. Links to additional information are included. Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Ref. material
Subject: Geology
 
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This set of lessons provides teachers with ideas on how to turn their schoolyards into a rich geologic experience that students will find familiar, easily accessible, and personally relevant. The three lesson plans feature materials on mapping, rock descriptions and geologic interpretations, ages of rocks, and dinosaur tracks. Lesson 1, "Map Your Schoolyard," teaches students what maps are, what they ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Lesson plan
Subject: Geology, Mineralogy or petrology, Paleontology
 
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In this activity, students plot earthquake hypocenters along a cross-section in an attempt to create an image of a fault deep beneath the surface. The hypocenters they will be using come from the aftershock sequence of the magnitude 5.6 North Palm Springs earthquake that occurred in 1986. The students will learn that accurate positioning of earthquake hypocenters can produce a rough image of a fault, ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geology, Geophysics, Structural geology
 
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National Science Education Standards (NSES), National Geography Standards: Read
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Since large fault ruptures require the build-up of a great deal of stress, many years pass between repeated surface ruptures on a single fault. The average time between such ruptures, known as the recurrence interval of that fault, is a useful measurement for assessing both the slip rate of the fault and the risk the fault presents. This activity contains three exercises. In the first, students study ... Full description.
Grade level: Middle (6-8), High (9-12), College (13-14)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geology, Structural geology, Natural hazards
 
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In this activity, students observe what happens to filled land when an earthquake shakes it up. They will fill a pan with sand, add water and place a brick in it to simulate a building, then tap the pan with a mallet and see what happens. A materials list, instructions, and background information are included. Full description.
Grade level: Intermediate (3-5), Middle (6-8), High (9-12)
Resource type: Classroom activity
Subject: Geology, Geophysics, Natural hazards
 
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