Activities for Introductory GeoscienceHere you will find a wide range of activities for teaching introductory geoscience courses. you can refine your search by selecting the topic or resource type, or by typing in search terms into the search box in the box below.
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Earth System Topics
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Learning Assessment #1 - Plate Tectonics part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of the basic concepts of plate tectonics.
Learning Assessment #5 - Geologic Time (2011) part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of the principles of relative age, absolute age and numerical age bracketing.
Learning Assessment #3 - Igneous & Sedimentary Rocks (2011) part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of igneous and sedimentary rocks and processes.
Learning Assessment #7 - Maps & Structures part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of geological maps and structures (faults and folds).
Learning About Marine Sediments Using Real Data part of Activities
This exercise set explores marine sediments using real core photos and composition data from the scientific ocean drilling programs DSDP, ODP, and IODP in an inquiry-based approach.
Florida River Project: Sedimentary and metamorphic rocks lab part of Activities
This fairly traditional rocks-in-boxes lab has been incorporated into a semester-long project. At the end of the lab, students apply their rock-identification skills to rocks from their study area.
Emergent Models in Google Earth part of Activities
This is one sample of a set of emergent models we are developing for use with Google Earth. Students use the Google Earth time-slider to lift 3D models of the subsurface into view. They can substitute their own ...
Testing the Fixed-hotspot-moving-plate model part of Activities
Students examine hot spot tracks, magnetic inclination data, and coral data from the Hawaii-Emperor Seamount Chain to test the hypothesis that hotspots are fixed. Most students have learned somewhere that hotspots ...
Relative Dating on Earth and Mars part of Activities
Students apply principles of relative dating to a cross-section, then to the surface of Mars.
Groundwater Lab part of Activities
This lab uses "ant farm" groundwater models to demonstrate groundwater flow and the behavior of wells. The lab is organized so that students have to predict the behavior of the model before observing it.
Physical Geology: Idaho Field Trip part of Activities
Optional field trip to local sites of geologic interest/relevance.
Weekly Reflections part of Activities
This is a weekly short writing assignment that forces students to summarize materials presented in class, to reflect on their own performance and understanding of the material, and to relate it to their individual ...
Groundwater Consulting Lab part of Activities
Students are given a real-world scenario in this lab exercise in which they must determine the extent of groundwater contamination while staying within a budget. They progressively request more information and ...
Porosity and Permeability part of Activities
Students explore the properties of porosity and permeability using everyday items and geological materials. This activity has several components to appeal to different learning styles.
The Scientific Method part of Activities
This assignment is designed to introduce the students to the idea and process of the scientific method. They are led to recognize that much of their own thinking is through the Scientific Method.
Ozone Pollution part of Activities
This lab exercise is designed to provide a basic understanding of a real-world scientific investigation. Students are introduced to the concept of tropospheric ozone as an air pollutant due to human activities. ...
Spring Break-Weathering Homework part of Activities
This short assignment gets students thinking about and looking for geology while on spring break. Students are asked to photograph a feature of weathering and they must be in the picture. Students must then do a ...
Earthquake Case Study part of Activities
This activity is a multiple case study analysis of different earthquakes that leads to student interpretation of claims, evidence and prediction/recommendations.
Hometown Geology part of Activities
This is an extra credit assignment for students to learn details about the geology of their hometown.
Observations and Measurements in Geology part of Activities
This exercise gives students an introduction to topics they will encounter throughout the semester, and future course work. It covers plate tectonics, weathering, and basic rock descriptions.