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Plate Tectonics Activities


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Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics
Allen Glazner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of igneous rocks from a variety of tectonic settings and locations to explore the importance of plate setting in determining magma ...

Plate Tectonics as Expressed in Geological Landforms and Events
Jeff Ryan
This activity seeks to have students analyze global data sets on earthquake and volcano distributions toward identifying major plate boundary types in different regions on the Earth. A secondary objective is to familiarize students with two publicly available resources for viewing and manipulating geologically-relevant geospatial data: Google Earth(TM) and GeoMapApp.

Writing to Support the Theory of Plate Tectonics
DATA: Topography, EQs, volcanoes, seafloor ages. TOOL: Browser, Learning with Data CD-ROM. Examine and interpret images to write a paper supporting the Theory of Plate Tectonics.

Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics
Allen Glazner, afg@unc.edu Department of Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC Kent Ratajeski, kratajeski@montana.edu Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, ...

Driving forces of plate tectonics and the importance of inertia
Donald Forsyth, Brown University
Simple in class calculations showing that inertia or momentum is completely unimportant in considering the driving forces of plate tectonics

Investigating Plate Tectonics with Google Earth
Beth Pratt-Sitaula, Central Washington University
Students examine data sets of topography, bathymetry, volcano location, earthquake location and size, and ocean floor age in Google Earth to determine the location and attributes of different types of plate ...

Plate Tectonics Jigsaw
Anne Egger, Central Washington University
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 ...

Learning Assessment #1 - Plate Tectonics
Michelle Speta, University of Alberta; Leslie Reid, University of Calgary
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of the basic concepts of plate tectonics.

GEO-Logic: Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics
Laura Guertin, Penn State Brandywine
Students are asked to match up lecturers with what day and time they teach, and how many students they have based on clues given from several different perspectives. In the second part of the activity, students are asked to learn more about the historic figures mentioned in the activity by doing reading and web research.

Evaluating the lines of evidence for plate tectonics
Becca Walker, Mt San Antonio College
In this in-class exercise, students compare several lines of evidence that support the ideas of continental drift and plate tectonics. Before the class meeting, each student is given a preparation assignment in which he/she studies one "continental drift" and one "ocean floor data" map. In class, students divide into teams of 3, with each team member having prepared different specialties. They discuss their respective maps and look for spatial patterns among the data.

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