These teaching activities have a strong spatial thinking component. Search the collection to find activities suitable for your classes.
Resource Type: Activities Show all Resource Type: Activities
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Investigating Earthquakes: GIS Mapping and Analysis (College Level)
Brian Welch, Saint Olaf College
This is a college-level adaptation of a chapter from the Earth Exploration Toolbook. The students download global quake data over a time range and use GIS to interpret the tectonic context. -
The Sleeping Mountain
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
In this role-playing scenario, students represent townspeople whose lives and livelihoods are endangered by an active volcano which may or may not erupt in the near future. -
See the activity page for details.
Oil Demand and Consumption
Steve Iona, University of Denver
Data modeling activity using oil reserve and consumption data. Students predict when oil reserves meet or exceed reserves.
The Pet Rock Project - Developing Professional Communication in a Petrology Course
Darrell Henry, Professor of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University
Energy Gallery Walk
Katharine Ellis, Front Range Community College
This is a cooperative learning activity using the Gallery Walk Strategy (strategy from the Starting Point Gallery Walk web pages) to enrich student understanding of the complex nature of solving our nation's ...
Energy and the Poor - Black Carbon in Developing Nations
Anne Hall, Emory University
In this activity, students will explore impacts of the use of wood, dung and charcoal in developing countries for fuel, producing black carbon. In-class discussion will generate a list of several broad topics, ...
Calculation of your personal carbon footprint
Scott Giorgis, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This worksheet walks the students through the steps for calculating their personal carbon footprint. Additionally it helps them consider options for reducing their carbon footprint and the potential costs of those ...
Earthquake Shaking and Damage
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
This student homework and problem set has students quantitatively earthquake hazard, shaking and damage.
Student Lead Discussions: Articles from the Literature and Final Writing Assignment
Dave Dempsey, San Francisco State University
This is a two-stage assignment. The first stage is a student-led discussion of a set of closely related articles selected by the instructors from the climate change literature. The second stage is an 8-12 page ...
Confirmation of the IPCC Prediction re: Increased Storminess
Robert Kuhlman, Montgomery County Community College
A two-part culminating activity for a meteorology/climatology unit in an Earth Science course centered upon data acquisition and analysis regarding the confirmation of the IPCC predicition regarding increased ...
Poleward Heat Transport Jigsaw
E. Christa Farmer, Hofstra University
Based on great plate tectonic exercise by Sawyer et al. (2005 JGE), this small-group exercise with maps of data about earth's energy balance helps students visualize poleward heat transport.
Exploring the Link between Hurricanes and Climate using GCM Results
Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado
This activity requires students to examine global climate model output available online and consider the potential impact of global warming on tropical cyclone initiation and evolution. As a follow-up, students ...
Emergent Models in Google Earth
Declan De Paor, Old Dominion University
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 ...
Florida River Project: Sedimentary and metamorphic rocks lab
Kim Hannula, Fort Lewis College
This fairly traditional rocks-in-boxes lab has been incorporated into a semester-long project. At the end of the lab, students apply their rock-identification skills to rocks from their study area.
Fluvial Geomorphology of the Upper Yellowstone River Drainage Basin: Using Google Earth to Analyze Rivers
Lindley Hanson, Salem State University
Students will learn how to make measurements and collect data using Google Earth and NIH ImageJ.
Computerized Field Trip Preview of the Berkshire Mountains
Chris Condit, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
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 ...
Downloading Earthquake Data from the USGS Earthquake Hazards Site for Anywhere in the World and Studying it Using ArcGIS
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Students download earthquake data from the USGS Earthquake Hazards website and plot and anlyze the earthquakes using ArcMap and ArcScene.
Using ArcGIS to Study the New Lakes in the Toshka Basin in Egypt and Evaluate Egypt's New Valley Project
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
In this assignment, students use ArcGIS to analyze the new lakes that have formed in the Toshka Depression, Egypt as a result of overflow from Lake Nasser and use their analyses to evaluate the wisdom of the plan ...
Heat Transport in the Climate System
Christopher Kopf, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
This is an introductory activity designed for small groups in a single 50 minute class period. The exercise stresses interpretation of data from a simple graph, and helps students to integrate information on heat ...
Half Life Model
David N. Steer (firstname.lastname@example.org)and Kyle Gray (email@example.com), University of Akron This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. GEO-0506518.
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students manipulate a hands-on, physical model to better comprehend the nature of half life. Students use the model to simulate the decay of radionuclides. The ...