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Activities for Introductory Geoscience

Here 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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Fun with foam, demonstrating strike and dip in class part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Colorful foam sheets are used in a classroom or lab setting to introduce students to the concept of strike and dip. It is interactive, and the instructor or TA's can quickly see which students are ...

Soil Properties part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this activity, students determine soil texture and color using a "texture-by-feel" analysis and Munsell color charts. In addition to these basic tests, students also devise their own soil ...

Earthquake Machine Demonstration part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This classroom activity is a demonstration where students predict what will happen under various conditions. The "Earthquake Machine" shows relationships between stress, strain, friction along the fault ...

Identifying Plate Tectonic Boundaries for a Virtual Ocean Basin part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students observe an ocean basin and two continental margins to identify possible plate boundaries and predict where earthquakes and volcanoes would occur. They also draw the boundaries in cross section.

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.

Earth's Surface Features part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This Lecture Tutorial is designed for students to work on in groups after the students have learned about basic surface features and how they relate to planets in general. The tutorial is designed to help students ...

Carousel part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
The "carousel" is a classroom activity I use to assess how well students have absorbed the last week's material and/or how well prepared they are for an upcoming exam.

Simple Landslide Demo part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Demonstration of control of surface friction on slope stability. Simple analogue model uses a wooden board (the slope), a large rock (the landslide), and transparency and rough sand paper. Students anticipate how ...

Pop Bottle Hydrograph part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Create hydrograph and explore changes in physical parameters on form of hydrograph. Set up is easy: water is sprinkled into a model watershed (sand in pop bottle) and allowed to dribble onto cheap digital scale. ...

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 ...

Incomprehensibly Small and Incomprehensibly Large part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are asked to consider the length scales of the universe, from smallest to largest. Using a logarithmic scale in cm units, various distances are resolved ranging from the smallest meaningful length in ...

Temperature/Salinity/Density activity part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is an in-class activity designed to improve the students' understanding of the relationships between temperature and density, salinity and density, and density differences in driving vertical water ...

Historical Volcanic Eruptions part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are asked to individually research and write a paper on a historical volcanic eruption and then are formed into groups to create a 10 minute stand-alone PowerPoint presentation which is shown and discussed ...

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.

Using IF-AT Based Questions to Reinforce Lectures part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Short sets of multiple-choice questions with IF-AT scratch off answer keys are used to reinforce lecture by generating peer discussion and instruction.

Milky Way - Ductile and Brittle Demo part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Milky way candy bar is given to each student. They are told to bend it and write down what they observe. The activity takes an every day object and ties the geologic terms to something they have experience with.

Liquefaction Live! activity part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this activity, students are provided with equipment and instructions for creating a simulation of liquefaction. The activity is great for students because it first asks them to reflect of what they know about ...

Fun with Foam: Introduction to Strike and Dip part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is a hands-on activity designed to help students better visualize and become more familiar with the strike and dip of deformed beds.

Learning Assessment #2 - The Rock Cycle part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of the rock cycle.

Teaching Geoscience Concepts with Google Earth part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is an activity that was developed for a teacher development program to introduce the various ways Google Earth could be used to explore geoscience concepts.

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