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Plate Tectonics Activities


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Classification of Igneous Rocks
Louis Bartek, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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 ...

Seismicity and Relative Risk
Anne Egger, Central Washington University
This activity introduces students to using real-time data about earthquakes to make decisions. -

Yellowstone! A National Park on a Hot Spot
Module by: Judy McIlrath, University of South Florida Cover Page by: Len Vacher and Denise Davis, University of South Florida
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module/Geology of National Parks course. Students use foundational math to study the velocity of the North American Plate over the hot spot, the volume of eruptive materials from it, and the recurrence interval of the cataclysmic eruptions.

Observations and Measurements in Geology
Stacey Cochiara, New Jersey City University
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.

Looking into Earth with GIS (College Level)
Brian Welch
College-level adaptation of the Earth Exploration Toolbook chapter. Students work with a free GIS program, ArcVoyager SE, to explore earthquake data and plate tectonics. -

Metamorphism and Continental Collision
Kenneth Howard, Wake Technical Community College
This is an exercise designed to help students link metamorphism and other geologic processes in context of the plate tectonic theory.

CCD & Calcareous Ooze Assignment
Cindy Lampe, Ventura College
The assignment pre-tests student understanding of the CCD, lysocline, calcareous ooze, and the deposition of marine sediments near mid-ocean ridges and ocean basins.

Plate Motions
Jeffrey Nunn, Louisiana State University
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 ...

Unit 5: Linking Processes Driven By Internal and External Energy Sources
Sue DeBari, Western Washington University
Students use what they have learned in the previous units to link the above-ground part of the rock cycle (driven by the hydrologic cycle, energy from the Sun, and gravity) to the below-ground part of the rock ...

Earthquake Hazards: The next big one?
John Taber, IRIS Consortium
Students work in small groups or individually to investigate the earthquake hazards in California, Missouri, and their own location. Students begin the activity with an exploration of the concept of probability, ...


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