Activities for teaching about the Early Earth
This collection of activities contains materials used to teach about earth's history, evolution and extinction, geologic timelines, and methods used to date geologic events. We are seeking teaching materials that address early earth topics. Do you have a favorite teaching activity you'd like to share? Please help us expand this collection by sharing your own teaching materials.
You may also find useful information about references and resources for teaching about the early earth and ideas for creating early earth teaching activities.
Results 1 - 20 of 114 matches
Hotspot Lesson: Mantle Plumes part of ERESE:ERESE Activities
This lesson introduces the theory of mantle plumes and possible ways of finding evidence to support the theory.
Determining Earthquake Recurrence Intervals from Trench Logs part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
Trench logs of the San Andreas Fault at Pallett Creek, CA are the data base for a lab or homework assignment that teaches about relative dating, radiometric dating, fault recurrence intervals and the reasons for uncertainty in predicting geologic phenomena. Students are given a trench log that includes several fault strands and dated stratigraphic horizons. They estimate the times of faulting based on bracketing ages of faulted and unfaulted strata. They compile a table with the faulting events from the trench log and additional events recognized in nearby trenches, then calculate maximum, minimum and average earthquake recurrence intervals for the San Andreas Fault in this area. They conclude by making their own prediction for the timing of the next earthquake.
Fossil Identification Board Game part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
The instructor uses a series of games to help students identify and answer questions about fossils. The game grows more complex over time as the instructors add rules and phyla to identify. -
Using Melting Ice to Teach Radiometric Decay part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students are challenged to a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery in which they construct their own decay curves of melting ice to determine time-zero.
JiTT - Geologic Dating part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) How are zircons formed? 2) Which of the following statements describes relative geologic dating? a) the Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex went extinct at the same time b) dinosaurs came later than horseshoe ...
Radiometric Dating part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This activity leads students through derivations of the equations associated with radiometric dating.
Quantitative Classroom Exercises part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
The four exercises give students an opportunity to use their knowledge of graphs, algebra, and maps to solve simple geological problems.
Be the Block: Working the Geologic Block Diagram as an Inquiry Tool part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Activities
Working with data, students develop 3-D understandings of Earth structures using inference to construct a block diagram from a collection of 2-D information.
What can zircons tell us about the Early Earth? part of Activities
This image shows an array of Jack Hill zircons arranged on a piece of tape prior to casting in epoxy. Details Students create U-Pb concordia plots in Excel to experience the methods used to date the worlds oldest ...
Understanding Geologic Maps part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2011:Teaching Activities
Exercise in deconstructing a geologic map & writing a geologic history of the area.
Describe and Interpret Images: Folded Strata part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
In class, have students make a simple sketch of an outcrop shown in a slide (or computer projection) then discuss possible interpretations. -
Understanding Radioactivity in Geology: The Basics of Decay part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
PowerPoint module leading students through creation and manipulation of spreadsheet to forward model an example of exponential decayâthe number of remaining unpopped kernels of popcorn in a bag of popping popcorn.
Relative Dating of Geologic Materials part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Activities
This lessons allows students to constuct the basic principals used to understand relative geologic time and the skills used to construct the geologic time scale.
Relative Time Application and Synthesis Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This classroom activity is a formative assessment that explores the degree to which students can apply relative time principles and synthesize that information with concepts related to the rock cycle.
Relative Age-dating -- Discovery of Important Stratigraphic Principles part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students don't have to be passively taught the important principles geologists use to do relative age-dating of rocks and geologic events. By careful analysis and critical thinking about photos and ...
Earth History and Time: Sample Socratic Questions part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Socratic Questioning:Examples
Time and Earth History sample Socratic questions and answers. -
Starting Out With Earth History part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Distribute a blank geologic-history timeline to pairs or small groups of students at the start of an Earth History unit or course and ask them work together to fill it out as best they can. -
Jurassic Park Debate part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This role-playing exercise casts students as scientific specialists, assigned to a group either supporting or opposing the cloning of dinosaurs. Each group researches and presents its argument. -
Demonstration of radioactive decay using pennies part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
A demonstration (with full class participation) to illustrate radioactive decay by flipping coins. Shows students visually the concepts of exponential decay, half-life and randomness. Works best in large classes -- the more people, the better.
Using Popcorn to Simulate Radioactive Decay part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Popping popcorn in your class is an excellent way to illustrate both the spontaneity and irreversible change associated with radioactive decay. It helps students to understand the unpredictability of decay.