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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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Darwin and the Galapagos Islands part of Activities
In this assignment the students read the Chapter 17 "Galapagos Archipelago" from The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin, and they examine a website about the Galapagos Islands. The students answer two ...

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 ...

Evolution of Whales part of Activities
The students read two articles on the evolution of whales and search the web. The students' writing assignment requires them to outline the evolution of whales using major fossil finds. Students start with ...

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.

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 ...

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 ...

Evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This activity is intended to guide students to apply principles of evolution by natural selection to explain a real world biological phenomenon (the evolution of bacteria populations resistant to common ...

The Four-Winged Dinosaur part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
This is assignment is completed in two parts: It begins in class with a showing of the Nova documentary "The Four-Winged Dinosaur." It continues as a homework assignment in which students write a short ...

Illinois through time part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
This assignment serves as an introduction to geologic time, using Illinois as an example. It uses the Paleo Portal website to illustrate each geologic period.

Topographic Maps part of Cutting Edge:Career Development:Pursuing an Academic Career 2010:Teaching Activities
This geology lab is designed to teach students the basic skills needed to read, construct, and interpret topographic maps. The goal of this lab is to help students build direct connections between the topography ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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JiTT - La Brea Tar Pits part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) What is "tar" and how does it form? 2) List the animals that have been uncovered in the tar pits that you didn't know were native to North America. Why do you think these animals are now extinct? ...

JiTT - Neanderthals and Modern Humans part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) What are Neanderthals? How do they differ from modern humans? 2) Discuss some of the new ideas as to why early human ancestors dispersed from Africa. 3) What are DNA studies telling us about human migrations and ...

JiTT - The Big 5 Extinctions and Then Some part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) What are the three leading ideas for the cause of the Permian mass extinction? What is the evidence for and against each? 2) Why are tropical forest species going extinct the quickest? 3) What are the ...

JiTT - When "Modern" Human Behavior Appeared in Early Hominids part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) What is this controversy in regards to the emergence of "modern" human behavior? In your opinion, what do you think "modern" human behavior means? 2) How do beads symbolize modern human ...

JiTT - The Legs of Snakes and Whales part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) What are the adaptations needed to move from water to land (whether it be an arthropod or a "pioneering amphibian")? 2) Could snakes be linked to marine lizards? What your view and interpretations of ...

Driving Through Geologic Time - An analogy part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
An analogy of the Earth's history to a cross-country drive.

Genetic Drift part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Mathematical and Statistical Models:Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples
In this biology simulation, students use a mathematical simulation of genetic drift to answer questions about the factors that influence this evolutionary process. Students run a series of simulations varying ...

Calibrated Peer ReviewTM: Discovering Dinosaurs part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Peer Review:Examples
In this activity, students write an essay on the history of scientific discoveries in the field of dinosaur paleontology. -

Timeline of the Early Earth part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
Students assemble timelines of the early evolution of Earth's atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere by examining data from Archean rocks and minerals.

Science and Religion part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:Structured Academic Controversy:Examples
Evolution is a fundamental theory of modern geosciences and life sciences, yet it is one of the most controversial issues within science education. The origins of the controversy have both historical and ...