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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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Learning Assessment #8 - Concept Map (2011) part of Activities
An end of the term, in-class activity that challenges students to synthesize their understanding of the fundamental concepts taught over the course of the semester - plate tectonics, the rock cycle, geologic time ...

Learning Assessment #6 - Geologic Time (2010) part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of the principles of relative age, absolute age and numerical age dating.

Landslides and the Colorado Front Range Debris Flows of 2013 part of Activities
Students complete two background readings to answer a variety of questions about landslides

Introduction to Online Topographic Maps part of Activities
Students use geoPDFs and Google Earth topographic map layers to conduct a variety of measurements and answer questions

The Geologic Timescale and Paleoclimates part of Activities
This is a basic exercise in which students utilize a variety of online resources to answer questions about the geologic timescale, major theories in geology, and temporal scales of climate change.

Mineral Selfie part of Activities
Students identify minerals used in their everyday lives by taking a 'selfie' with the product and then sharing their photo with their fellow students on a class blog.

Density, Isostasy, and Topography part of Activities
Two students measure the density of different rock types by first measuring water displacement of the irregular pieces. Details In this activity, students develop an explanation for the bimodal topography of the ...

Plate Tectonics Jigsaw part of Activities
Students participate in a jigsaw activity to learn about types of plate boundaries, becoming an expert in one of five global datasets - earthquakes, volcanoes, seafloor age, topography, and gravity - and then ...

Plate Motions part of Activities
Students are asked to removed the last 40 Ma of ocean crust from an isochron map and then put the plates back together. This exercise helps students see that plates and plate boundaries canNOT be stationary through ...

Geologic Maps and Geologic Structures: A Texas Example part of Activities
Students work with geologic maps of Texas, learning details of Texas geology, and reinforce knowledge and use of geologic structures, stratigraphic sections, and geologic cross sections.

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 ...

The Silicate Structures: Chalkboard Demonstration part of Activities
This assignment is designed to introduce the silicate structures, and their significance to mineral properties, to undergraduate non-science majors in an introductory physical geology course. Magnetic ...

Coastal Management case study part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
After being presented with lecture material on coastal processes and engineering structures, students have small group discussions of a case study on whether a terminal groin should be built on a barrier island on ...

Discussing Earth part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

Delicious Differential Weathering part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

The JMU Mineral Museum - Observing Physical Properties of Minerals part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students have the opportunity to enjoy classic examples of minerals they will learn about in lab and reinforce visual observation of some phyisical properties.

Homework assignments for Intro Geology part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

Stream Table Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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.

Proposing Questions for the Upcoming Midterm Exam part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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 ...

Water flow in the subsurface part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses: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.