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Discovering Plate Boundaries DLESE Reviewed Collection
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 of levels; it has been used successfully in 5th grade classes, as well as in non-major earth science classes. The exercise is based on a set of wall maps that are not consumed during the exercise. Other inexpensive materials required include two 11x17 black and white copies per student and colored pencils. Because the exercise is not based on student access to the web, it is not dependent on classroom technology equipment. The exercise takes three 50-minute class periods to complete, and involves the students in making presentations to one another in small groups as well as to the whole class. The students come away from the exercise with knowledge of the key features of each type of plate boundary and a sense of why each looks and acts the way it does.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
  • College (15-16)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
  • Visual:
    • Map
  • Dataset:
    • In-situ
    • Modeled
    • Remotely sensed
Subject:
  • Geographical Sciences:
    • Physical geography
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geologic time
    • Geology
    • Geophysics
    • Structural geology
  • Natural hazards
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
May be used in an educational setting as long as credit to Dale S. Sawyer is given.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-001-762
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Structure of the earth system
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Natural hazards
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
        • Origin and evolution of the earth system
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Natural and human-induced hazards
Related resources:
This resource contains 'Downloads Page'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Dr Dale S. Sawyer
Rice University, Department of Earth Science