Spatial Thinking Workbook > Teaching Activities > Primary Structures and Rotation

Primary Structures and Rotation

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

This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection

Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.



This page first made public: Apr 10, 2014

Summary

In this exercise, students work in pairs to gesture the orientations of cross-bedded sandstones, and in particular the relationship between a single cross bed and the bed sets. They do this for photos of undeformed and deformed cross-bedding.

Learning Goals

At the end of this exercise, students will be able to:

  • Use gestures to convey 3D information about cross-bedding.
  • Use gestures to convey hypotheses about the rotational history of deformed cross-beds.

Context for Use

We use this exercise both to review primary structures and to get students thinking about 3D deformation of rocks with primary structures.

Description and Teaching Materials

In this exercise, students work in pairs to gesture the orientations of cross-bedded sandstones, and in particular the relationship between a single cross bed and the bed sets. They do this for photos of undeformed and deformed cross-bedding.

Primary Structures and Rotations handout (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 2.9MB May19 15)

Assessment

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.

Using Gesture to Support Spatial Thinking highlights the value of gesture in communicating spatial information. It consists of two short exercises, and can be used in preparation for any other exercise in which students will be asked to use gesture to communicate spatial information.