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Teaching Activities

This collection contains activities submitted by workshop participants as well as activities from other Cutting Edge and Teach the Earth projects related to the Deep Earth.




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Testing plate tectonics in the Gulf of California part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
This is a simple exercise to use real-world data from recent large earthquakes so that students can "test" for themselves if plate tectonics "works" in the Gulf of California.

The Woodlark Basin as a Natural Laboratory for the Study of the Geological Sciences part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
This activity guides the students through a set of geological problems related to the Woodlark Basin, Papua New Guinea.

Profiling Earth's Surface using GeoMapApp part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
In this exercise, students relate large-scale features on Earth's surface to lithospheric plates, the underlying asthenosphere, earthquakes, and volcanoes. After creating a cross section showing elevation using GeoMapApp, students add additional features by hand.

Seafloor Spreading and Magnetic Anomalies part of Cutting Edge:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
Students use seafloor maps of magnetic anomalies to compare and establish the spreading rates in the Atlantic and the Eastern Pacific Oceans.

Introduction to Plate Tectonics part of Cutting Edge:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
Uses maps created in Google Earth to explore concepts of plate tectonics including locations of plate boundaries, age of the sea floor, and distribution of earthquakes

Using physical observations to guess the interior of a globe part of Cutting Edge:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
This activity introduces students to the need for geophysics and the application of several geophysical methods commonly employed. Students are given a hollow globe that contains various objects and asked to infer ...

Driving forces of plate tectonics and the importance of inertia part of Cutting Edge:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
Simple in class calculations showing that inertia or momentum is completely unimportant in considering the driving forces of plate tectonics

Connecting Cross-Sectional Data from the Red Sea to Plate Tectonics part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Students will use map views and cross-sectional profiles across the Red Sea to determine plate tectonic processes in the region. Google Earth is a technological tool used to facilitate the investigation.

Hotspot Lesson: Hotspot Theory and Plate Velocities part of ERESE:ERESE Activities
This activity provides the students with a data set of ages of some of the Hawaiian Volcanoes and seamounts and how far they are from the active volcanism (considered to be the location of the hotspot). By plotting the data on a graph and fitting the data with a line of best fit, the plate velocity can be estimated by taking the slope of the line.

Concept Test: Mid-Ocean Ridges part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
Single item multiple choice questions, based on mid-ocean ridge bathymetric data, suitable for using in the middle of a lecture to assess students' learning of basic plate tectonic concepts.

Volcanoes Around the Globe part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
Undergraduate non-majors use the Arcview geographic information system (GIS) to explore volcanic hazards and the geochemistry of volcanic rocks. Students explore geochemical data from the GEOROC global database and ...

Discovering Plate Boundaries part of Cutting Edge:Urban Geology:Activities
Discovering Plate Boundaries is a classroom activity designed to introduce students to the process of observing and classifying data, in addition to the fundamentals of plate tectonics.

Subduction Zone Earthquakes part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students manipulate a hands-on, physical model to better comprehend several characteristics of subduction zone earthquakes. -

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Earth Materials and Ancient Cultures part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students investigate properties of earth materials through the lens of art and archeology. It allows ties to other required core curriculum courses (particularly classics and art history), and integrates the use of ...

Metamorphism and Continental Collision part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is an exercise designed to help students link metamorphism and other geologic processes in context of the plate tectonic theory.

Mercalli Earthquake Activity part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
A jigsaw process that allows students to analyze first person descriptions of earthquakes and assess several earthquake features.

Plate Motions part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are asked to removed the last 40 Ma of ocean crust from an isochron map and then put the plates back together. This exercise helps students see that plates and plate boundaries canNOT be stationary through ...

Rock-Tectonics synthesis lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This lab aims to draw together rock identification and plate tectonics as well as relative age relationships. It gets students to "be" geologists...looking at rock suites and trying to see how they fit ...

Earthquakes part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity uses geoinformatics to understand the world around us with an emphasis on earthquakes.

Tsunami assignment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students read reports about potential sources for tsunamis on the US east coast and compare them with previously discussed dangers for the west cost.



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