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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 ...

To Teach is to Learn: Final Project in Envronmental or Intro Geology part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

Hot spot volcanism in western North America part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students use real data on age of volcanism and ash thickness distribution to better understand hot spot volcanic activity.

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 ...

Ordering Geologic Events and Interpreting Geologic History: The Grand Canyon part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This activity is designed to have students re-examine rocks they looked at earlier in the semester and use them to interpret some of the geologic history of the Grand Canyon.

My Favorite Dead Thing part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This is a short writing assignment asking the students to write about their favorite extinct organism. This gives the students a chance to explore something that they find interesting and at the same time link it ...

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.

Evolution of Whales part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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.

Chemical Weathering part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This field trip assignment brings students to a local cemetery to collect data related to the age and extent of weathering of limestone and igneous tombstones. Students then analyze the data they collect using ...

Rock-Tectonics synthesis lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

Emergent Models in Google Earth part of Activities
This is one sample of a set of emergent models we are developing for use with Google Earth. Students use the Google Earth time-slider to lift 3D models of the subsurface into view. They can substitute their own ...

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Computerized Field Trip Preview of the Berkshire Mountains part of Activities
This is a computer (Windows, Macintosh) based exercise designed to take about two hours. Students use a 5 page short-answer study sheet with the Berkshire Field Trip Map, Guidebook and associated images of the ...

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Hometown Geology part of Activities
This is an extra credit assignment for students to learn details about the geology of their hometown.

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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.

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Paleotempestology Lab part of Activities
Paleotempestology Lab: this lab activity is designed to help students gain experience in relative and absolute dating techniques as well as a sense of how scientific investigations proceed.

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A LONG, LONG time ago: geologic timescales part of Activities
Students compare their pre-conceived impressions of events on the geologic time with the actual positions of these events on a 45.5' geologic timescale.

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Relative Age-dating -- Discovery of Important Stratigraphic Principles part of Activities
Students don't have to be passively taught the important principles geologists use to do relative age-dating of rocks and geologic events. By careful analysis and critical thinking about photos and ...

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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.

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The Scientific Method part of Activities
This assignment is designed to introduce the students to the idea and process of the scientific method. They are led to recognize that much of their own thinking is through the Scientific Method.

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