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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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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Solar System Socratic Questions part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Socratic Questioning:Examples
Solar system and Universe Socratic questions and answers. -
Collaborative Decision Making: NASA's Deep Impact Mission part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This is collaborative problem solving using data in which students role-play NASA and other personnel determining a good strategy for launching a probe to study a comet. -
Order It Up! part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
A think-pair-share activity which involves putting solar system bodies in order based on various statistics: escape velocity, distance from the sun, mass, etc. -
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. -
Reflection and Absorption of Light part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students use a microcomputer connected to a light sensor and temperature probe to explore the reflection and absorption of light. -
Wheel of... Geology! part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
This quiz game is intended to help students review for an upcoming exam. Topics of questions are randomly determined by spinning a wheel. Teams answer questions using electronic CPS handhelds. -
Sun Spot Analysis part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Introductory students use Excel to graph monthly mean Greenwich sunspot numbers from 1749 to 2004 and perform a spectral analysis of the data using the free software program "Spectra". -
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 ...
JiTT - Life on the Moon and Mars part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
1) Based on "Microbial Colony in US..." article, what are Archaea? 2) From the same article, which of the following is NOT evidence to support life on Mars? a) Mars' subsurface groundwater system b) ...
Phases of the Moon part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
This exercise has students use a simple physical model of the Earth, sun, and moon to understand why the moon changes phases from the perspective of Earthly observers. -