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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Classification of Igneous Rocks part of Activities
This is a Think-Pair-Share activity in which I show class photos of a range of igneous rocks in terms of composition and texture. After they complete the activity I fill in the voids in their knowledge with lecture ...
Introduction to County Soil Surveys part of Activities
Students use the Natural Resources Conservation Service's county-level soil survey to answer a series of questions about the soils their campus has been built on.
Soil Physical Properties and Profiles part of Activities
Students describe the color, structure, and hand texture of soil hand samples. Students also describe the profile for two soil cores.
Introduction to Topographic Maps part of Activities
This exercise introduces students to topographic maps and some of the information presented on them. Students must use basic map reading skills as well as algebra to work with map scale, measure distances, and ...
Mineral and Rock Identification part of Activities
Students are provided with a variety of rock and mineral samples and they use the sample properties and tables to accurately identify them.
Soil Field Methods part of Activities
Students collect a soil profile using a bucket auger and then describe the profile in the field.
Stream and River Water Quality part of Activities
Students visit a stream or river and conduct a site description and assess water quality using a variety of test kits and other field equipment.
Glacier Dynamics and Glacial Landforms part of Activities
Students use a computer model to simulate glacier dynamics and navigate to locations in Google Earth to identify glacial landforms and geomorphic processes.
Stratovolcano and Shield Volcano Morphology, Eruptions, and Seismic Activity part of Activities
Students compare and contrast the morphology, eruptions, and seismic activity of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption and the 1984 Mauna Loa eruption.
The Web Soil Survey part of Activities
Students use the brower-based Web Soil Survey to answer a variety of questions about the soils their campus has been built on
Playa-Lunette Systems: Environmental Barometers of the High Plains part of Activities
Part 1 - students answer questions based on assigned readings Part 2 - students answer questions based on topographic map analysis Part 3 - students create and interpret paleoclimate proxy record graphs
Introduction to the Geographic Grid part of Activities
This exercise introduces students to the latitude-longitude geographic grid by interpreting data presented on a globe and in an atlas.
Convection Demonstration part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Summary This demonstration uses ** How to set up the demonstration How to do the demonstration Ideas for discussing the convection demonstration in class References and resources
Buoyancy and Archimedes Principle part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Summary Buoyancy is based on Archimedes' Principle which states that the buoyant force acting upward on an object completely or partially immersed in a fluid equals the weight of the fluid displaced by the ...
The Elliptic Orbit part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Planet motion around a star - introductory activity with interesting animation. The activity allows the student to revile the connection between the kinematics of planet and energy of the planet along the orbit. -
Petroleum Depletion by Inquiry part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a draft of a guided inquiry activity to help students become aware of the problem of petroleum depletion or peak oil. Students use existing data to make projections of future discoveries and consumption. It ...
Climate Around the World part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This exercise is designed to provide students with an overview of regional climate variations around the world and promote discussion of factors that create differences in climate around the world. This assignment ...
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Mining - Least Cost lab part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is an exercise that simulates the basic cost of mining, transportation and manufacturing activities under the concept of Weber's least-cost theory.
Geologic Photo Field Trips to View Rocks, Geologic Structures, and Landforms in Introductory Physical Geology part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Field Experiences:Posters
Field photographs are used to enhance the instruction in teaching rocks, geologic structures, and landforms in Introductory Physical Geology lecture at East Carolina University. The field photographs are used to ...
Isostasy: Exploring why continents are high and ocean floors are low part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
A self-paced tutorial applies students' understanding of density in combination with analogies to apply principle of isostasy to explaining Earth's surface relief. The tutorial is bookended by online ...