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Plate Tectonics Activities


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The science behind Plate Tectonics
John Weber, Grand Valley State University
Plate tectonics is a quantitative, robust and testable, geologic model describing the surface motions of Earth's outer skin. It is based on real data and assumptions, and built using the scientific method. New ...

Plate tectonics summary paper
YoungHee Kim, Seoul National University
The assignment is to summarize papers that students have been individually reading about their study areas which were assigned in the beginning of the course semester. From this assignment students can be ...

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.

ConcepTest: Plate Tectonic Theory
Which of the following statements is not consistent with plate tectonic theory? a. Continental crust is generally older than oceanic crust. b. The number of plates has changed through time. c. Mountain chains are ...

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 ...

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.

Extra Terrestrial Plate Tectonics
Marshall Bartlett
Students decide whether plate tectonics is operating on another planet in our solar system. Requires students to integrate and process a large array of visual data regarding plate tectonic processes. Students feel ...

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.

Exploring Evidence of Plate Tectonics Using GeoMapApp
Sean Cornell, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
This activity requires students to explore a range of datasets that help substantiate Plate Tectonic Theory. Students investigate plate tectonic environments (convergent, divergent, transform boundaries), topography/bathymetry of continents and ocean basins, the distribution and pattern of earthquakes, the distribution of volcanoes, as well as ages of the sea-floor, and more.

Plate Tectonics writing assignment suitable for Calibrated Peer Review
Bill Prothero, University of California-Santa Barbara
This is an example of a writing assignment focussed on the use of data to support the theory of plate tectonics. -


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