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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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Adopt a Blob part of Cutting Edge:Deep Earth:Activities
Blobs are everywhere in the deep Earth! Students will adopt a "blob" and develop the various associated observable anomalies for it (tomography, gravity, etc). There could also be a potential for students ...

What does the core/mantle boundary look like? part of Cutting Edge:Deep Earth:Activities
This activity explores how earth scientists infer what materials are present at the core mantle boundary and what this boundary might look like. It provides students with the opportunity to contribute to the ...

Seafloor Ages Lecture Tutorial part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students work on this Lecture Tutorial worksheet on seafloor ages in pairs during lecture. It directly confronts misconceptions students have about the age of the seafloor, and it guides students to more complex ...

The Floating Lithosphere - Isostasy part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students are asked to numerically and then analytically determine the relations governing the depth of compensation.

The Earth's Shells - Thicknesses and Densities part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This module explores the combination of densities and shell thicknesses that produce an aggregate density of the Earth of 5.5 g/cm3.

Density of the Earth - How to Solve It part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This module addresses the real problem of determining the density of the Earth and invites the student to figure out how to solve the problem.

Exploring the Bay Area part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
This assignment is a do-it-yourself field trip. Students are given the opportunity to visit a local geologic feature and learn something about the origins and evolution of that site.

Plate Tectonics writing assignment suitable for Calibrated Peer Review part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Peer Review:Examples
This is an example of a writing assignment focussed on the use of data to support the theory of plate tectonics. -

GEO-Logic: Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students are asked to match up lecturers with what day and time they teach, and how many students they have based on clues given from several different perspectives. In the second part of the activity, students are asked to learn more about the historic figures mentioned in the activity by doing reading and web research.

Chemical Inputs and Outputs at Subduction Zones part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
In this exercise students utilize data from geochemistry databases to analyze inputs and outputs associated with arc volcanism.

Hotspot Lesson: Samoan Hotspot part of ERESE:ERESE Activities
This lesson discusses the similarities and difference between Samoa and Hawaii. Both Samoa and Hawaii are island chains in the Pacific and thought to be the result of hotspots.

Plate Tectonics Jigsaw part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students participate in a jigsaw activity to learn about types of plate boundaries, becoming an expert in one of five global datasets - earthquakes, volcanoes, seafloor age, topography, and gravity - and then ...

Ocean Crust Ages Lecture Tutorial part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching Methods:Lecture Tutorials:Examples
Students work on this Lecture Tutorial worksheet on ocean crust ages in groups during lecture. It directly confronts misconceptions students have about the patterns of ages of the ocean crust, and interpretations that can be made.

Margin Morphology: Does Form Follow Function? part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Students will use GeoMapApp to investigate variations in the geomorphology of continental margins both Passive and Active at various sites of the North American and South American continents. They will ...

News Flash: MARGINS Discovery Student Presentations part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Students describe MARGINS research results in a two to four minute oral class presentation. The assignment is appropriate for any class that covers topics related continental margins.

Sediment production and distribution across the margins part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
This activity is an exploration of the relationship among tectonics, sediment production, and sediment dispersal from watersheds to the continental margins. Students will examine data on a suite of watersheds and make measurements and observations in Google Earth or GeoMapApp.

From Ocean Topography to Flexural Rigidity part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Students will use the available bathymetric datasets to test the utility of a flexural rigidity model of oceanic crust.

Proposing Questions for the Upcoming Midterm Exam part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This in-class activity involves groups of 2-3 students who review assigned sections of course material to generate exam questions (including answers), in one of several assigned formats. They then trade results and ...

Geologic Cross Sections part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Geology majors construct a geologic/structural cross section across any number of major plate boundaries/geologic features.

Tectonics, Earthquakes, Volcanoes part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is a two-part homework exercise. In the first part, students use on-line courseware from California State University, Los Angeles to investigate seismograph records. In the second part, students complete a ...



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