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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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.
Rock cycle in chocolate lab part of Activities
This lab activity simulates the rock cycle with a piece of chocolate instead of actual rock. Students melt, crystallize, erode, lithify and metamorphose a single small block of chocolate. Along the way students ...
Who Polluted Surface and Groundwater in This Place? part of Activities
Students use water-well data and geology to determine which site caused groundwater and surface-water contamination.
Metamorphism and Continental Collision part of Activities
This is an exercise designed to help students link metamorphism and other geologic processes in context of the plate tectonic theory.
Study of the Horsepen Creek Stream System part of Activities
This is an in depth laboratory exercise that can be adapted to any stream system, and has been successfully implemented with classes composed primarily of non-majors. This field exercise allows students to go ...
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 ...
Florida River Project: Plotting discharge data part of Activities
This is part of a group of exercises used to prepare students for a group research project on a local river. In this exercise, students plot discharge data from a previous year.
Florida River Project: Semester-long group project part of Activities
This is a semester-long group research project that uses a local river to integrate several lab and field activities. The project covers topographic maps, rock and mineral identification, measuring data in the ...
Water flow in the subsurface part of Activities
Using an off-the-shelf mock-up of a hydrological system, students are asked to predict where water will flow. Dyed water is injected into various parts of the system so that the students can see the flow patterns.
Pop Bottle Hydrograph part of 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. ...
Stream Table Lab part of Activities
This is a lab activity in which students play with a stream table to learn about stream processes, how water and sediment interact, and to learn about basic stream-related calculations.
Discussing Earth part of Activities
Students are invited to hour-long discussions of controversial geologic topics on Sunday afternoons. Those who attend (about half the class) submit page-long essays through Vista for comments and assessment. A ...
Rock-Tectonics synthesis lab part of Activities
This lab aims to draw together rock identification and plate tectonics as well as relative age relationships. It gets students to "be" geologists...looking at rock suites and trying to see how they fit ...
Relative Time Application and Synthesis Exercise part of 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.
Delicious Differential Weathering part of Activities
In this activity students are exposed to the concept of both physical and chemical weathering while eating a Baby Ruth candy bar. This is compared to the weathering of a piece of granite. The strength of this ...
Using IF-AT Based Questions to Reinforce Lectures part of 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.
Metamorphic Rocks Lab part of Activities
Students describe rock characteristics and determine if a rock sample is metamorphic. If it is, they determine the parent rock. If not, they describe what it would change into as a metamorphic rock. The whole class ...
Sediment and Depositional Environments lab part of Activities
Students will investigate sedimentary materials and depositional environments utilizing microscopes, hand samples, and internet data.
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 ...