Spatial Thinking Workbook > Teaching Activities > Restraining Bends and Releasing Bends

Restraining Bends and Releasing Bends

Laurel Goodwin, UW-Madison, and Carol Ormand, SERC at Carleton College
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Summary

In this exercise, students use gestures to re-create the motion of fault blocks adjacent to restraining bends and releasing bends. They then answer a few questions about a map view of the San Andreas Fault and two of its bends.

Learning Goals

After completing this exercise, students will be able to determine whether a curve on a fault surface forms a restraining bend or a releasing bend.

Context for Use

This exercise can be used either to have students discover or to review the concepts of restraining bends and releasing bends. It can be completed as a short in-class exercise or as homework.

Description and Teaching Materials

In this exercise, students use gestures to re-create the motion of fault blocks adjacent to restraining bends and releasing bends. They then answer a few questions about a map view of the San Andreas Fault and two of its bends.

Restraining bends and releasing bends (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 1.4MB Apr10 14)

Assessment

When we use this is an in-class exercise, we walk around the room, watching and talking with the students as they work through the exercise. It's a quick and easy way to assess student comprehension.

References and Resources

Goldin-Meadow, Susan (2011). Learning Through Gesture. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, v. 2, n. 6, pp. 595–607.

Goldin-Meadow, Susan, Howard Nusbaum, Spencer D. Kelly, and Susan Wagner (2001). Explaining Math: Gesturing Lightens the Load. Psychological Science, v. 12, n. 6, pp. 516-522.

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