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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To Teach is to Learn: Final Project in Envronmental or Intro Geology part of Activities
This assignment asks students to create their own geological educational activity or demonstration (and corresponding write-up) which all students then present/enact during a conference-style presentation session ...
Proposing Questions for the Upcoming Midterm Exam part of 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 ...
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.
Incomprehensibly Small and Incomprehensibly Large part of 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 ...
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.
Short Geology Research Paper part of Activities
Students are assigned to take a topic and research it in some depth, beyond the discussion in the class or in the book. The paper is 4-6 typed pages in length. Suggested topics include geologic hazards, geologic ...
Book Review of a Popular Science Book part of Activities
Students select a popular science book to read and then write a book review and give a short oral book review to their classmates.
Homework assignments for Intro Geology part of Activities
These homework assignments consist of vocabulary and questions used as the basis for classroom discussion, guided reading, and as the basis for exams. Testing on these assignments rewards students for work already ...
Earth and Mars Core Sampling part of Activities
The activity focuses on sedimentology and core sampling here on Earth and makes comparisons with core samples from Mars to determine the composition of the material underneath the surface.
Solar System: Sample Socratic Questions part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Socratic Questioning:Examples
Solar system and Universe Socratic questions and answers. -
Exploration to Mars... or Not? An Exercise with Split-Screen Electronic Peer Review part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Peer Review:Examples
This is a split-screen electronic peer review exercise where students justify whether or not we should continue our exploration of Mars. -
Runaway Greenhouse Effect Exercise part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This site has a collection of role-playing exercises that provide the students with equations and data to use in collaborative problem-solving. -
See the activity page for details.
Gallery Walk Questions about the Solar System part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Gallery Walks:Examples
created by Mark Francek, Central Michigan University The following are potential questions that could be used in a gallery walk activity about the solar system. The questions are organized according to the ...
Analytical and Numerical Insight into Lava Flows and Cinder Cones on Earth, Mars and Venus part of Cutting Edge:Discoveries from Mars:Activities
This three part exercise introduces students to comparative planetary geology using volcanology as the subject and both analytical and (for visualization of cone-building processes) numerical methods. Material ...
MER (Mars Exploration Rover ) Landing Site Selection part of Cutting Edge:Discoveries from Mars:Activities
Via a jigsaw role-playing exercise in which students become geologists, astrobiologists and engineers, real data and available constrains are used to identify landing sites for the MER rovers. A debate format is ...
Using Lava Flows & Volcanic Structures on Mars to Introduce the Concept of Relative Dating in Introductory Courses part of Cutting Edge:Discoveries from Mars:Activities
To compare bodies of rocks in the same region and determine the sequence of events that led to the formation of these rocks, geologists use a few simple rules of observation to help determine the relative ages of ...
Mars Landing Site Selection: An exercise in reading geologic maps and other geologic data sets part of Cutting Edge:Discoveries from Mars:Activities
Students use available Mars data to select the next rover landing sites, given appropriate engineering, geologic and biologic constraints. -
Did it Rain on Mars? Analysis of Valley Networks on Mars in an Intro Geo Course part of Cutting Edge:Discoveries from Mars:Activities
Students investigate the question of whether it might have rained on Mars by doing an activity based on an article by Hynek and Phillips (2003). Students do a simple drainage basin analysis based on Hynek and ...
Mars Hydrologic Environments part of Cutting Edge:Discoveries from Mars:Activities
This activity examines the nature of streams and basins at three locations on Mars. Originally meant for users with access to ArcGIS, the exercise can also be used in introductory geology courses using images ...
Mars Impact Craters Teachers Guide part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Undergraduate Research:Examples
Teachers guide to the approach The following 5-point section of text describes the process most students will follow. Load each image into the image program of your choice and adjust the brightness and contrast so ...