These teaching activities have a strong spatial thinking component. Search the collection to find activities suitable for your classes.
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Critical Review of a Journal Article: An Assessment Activity
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
In this exercise students do a formal review of a journal article using review criteria established for the Geological Society of America Bulletin or American Mineralogist. The quality of the students' ...
Evaluating the Effects of Local Energy Resource Development
Devin Castendyk, SUNY College at Oneonta
This is a semester-long, jigsaw project for a class of 20 to 25 students that has students work in teams to explore the effects of energy resource development on local water resources, economics and society.
The Fidelity of the Fossil Record: Using Preservational Characteristics of Fossils within an Assemblage to Interpret the Relative State of Spatial and Temporal Fidelity
Michael Savarese, Florida Gulf Coast University
This exercise introduces students to the concept of temporal and spatial fidelity, to the different types of fossil assemblages, and how the taphonomic characteristics of an assemblage can be used to assess the ...
Evolution in Your
Peg Yacobucci, Bowling Green State University-Main Campus
This writing exercise asks students to use library resources to locate a peer-reviewed journal article that describes research on the evolution of their individual "pet" taxonomic group. After reading the ...
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 ...
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 ...
Pet Rock Project: A Semester-long Exercise for Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
Darrell Henry, Louisiana State University
The pet rock project is a semester-long project in which each student randomly selects an igneous or metamorphic rock from the instructor or brings in a rock from an appropriate locality, and follows all of the ...
Heat Capacity of Minerals: A Hands-On Introduction to Chemical Thermodynamics
David Bailey, Hamilton College
Minerals are inorganic chemical compounds with a wide range of physical and chemical properties. Geologists frequently measure and observe properties such as hardness, specific gravity, color, etc. Unfortunately, ...
Better Living Through Minerals: X-Ray Diffraction of Household Products
Barb Dutrow, Louisiana State University
X-ray diffraction is a quick and valuable tool for identifying minerals. Minerals are an integral portion of our everyday life, in addition to composing our planet! They help bring electricity into our homes and ...
Short Readings from the American Mineralogist: Sneaky Tools for Teaching Scientific Reading Comprehension and Mineralogical Concepts
Kurt Hollocher, Union College- New York
This activity uses short, well-written articles to enhance teaching for a mineralogy course. Articles are taken from the American Mineralogist journal.
Omowumi Alabi, University of Missouri-Kansas City
This lab exercise is designed to provide a basic understanding of a real-world scientific investigation. Students are introduced to the concept of tropospheric ozone as an air pollutant due to human activities. ...
Spring Break-Weathering Homework
Dori Farthing, SUNY College at Geneseo
This short assignment gets students thinking about and looking for geology while on spring break. Students are asked to photograph a feature of weathering and they must be in the picture. Students must then do a ...
Stacey Cochiara, New Jersey City University
This is an extra credit assignment for students to learn details about the geology of their hometown.
Take A Hike Assignment
Anne Jefferson, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Students are assigned to take a hike in a location of their choice and write a concise summary of their observations of Earth Science features and processes. This assignment is used near the end of an Earth Systems ...
Rich Whittecar, Old Dominion University
This is a semester-long writing project that incorporates exercises completed during first two thirds of the term. Students evaluate geomorphic conditions and potential hazards on one of four properties in western ...
Drainage Basins Field Lab
Jeff Marshall, California State Polytechnic University-Pomona
This field activity and follow-up assignment explores the geomorphology of drainage basins in an active tectonic setting. It introduces basic concepts of drainage basin structure and landscape analysis using ...
Drainage basin patterns and stream courses
Sue Swanson, Beloit College
This is a two- to three-day classroom activity and writing assignment that is designed to help students recognize typical drainage basin patterns and stream courses. In addition to discussing common drainage basin ...
Using Field Lab Write-ups to Develop Observational and Critical Thinking Skills
Kim Hannula, Fort Lewis College
This adaptation of field labs incorporates writing in the form of "Description" and "Interpretation" sections of a geologic report. It can be used in many types of field labs to improve critical ...
Earthquake! A Term Paper and Presentation Assignment
Laura Wetzel, Eckerd College
In this writing and oral presentaion assignment, students are challenged to assess a building site for a fictitious organization, the Society for Earthquake Enthusiasts. Each student must choose a historically ...