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Teaching Activities


The examples in this collection were contributed by participants at the 2007 Teacher Preparation Workshop at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. The activities are used by the contributors in their earth science courses for pre-service teachers to help these future teachers understand the science they will be asked to teach to their students.



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Density, Buoyancy and Convection part of Activities
This 3-hour hands-on guided-discovery lab activity teaches students the concepts of density, buoyancy, thermal expansion and convection.

Destruction of the Rainforest and Atmospheric Oxygen part of Activities
Pre-service Midle School teachers devised an experiment to test an assertion that destruction of the Brazilian Rainforest would lead to a serious drop in atmospheric oxygen. The experiment proved to be a failure, but opened other avenues of science learning and had a positive impact on their confidence in teaching inquiry-based science.

Be the Block: Working the Geologic Block Diagram as an Inquiry Tool part of Activities
Working with data, students develop 3-D understandings of Earth structures using inference to construct a block diagram from a collection of 2-D information.

The History of the Earth: Classroom Activity part of Activities
Students use events in an older adult's life to develop a timeline, which is then related to a scaled model of major events in the earth's history and the development of the geologic timescale.

Science as Storytelling for Teaching the Nature of Science part of Activities
"Science as Storytelling" is a program designed to help students in introductory science courses confront and replace misconceptions about the nature of science, and become more willing and able to address science-religion conflicts.

Class Research Project: Visualizing Large-Scale Earth Processes and Abstract Concepts part of Activities
Pre-service Earth Science teachers construct physical models and inquiry-based lessons using these models to help students envision large-scale or abstract concepts in Earth and Space Science.

Relative Dating of Geologic Materials part of Activities
This lessons allows students to constuct the basic principals used to understand relative geologic time and the skills used to construct the geologic time scale.

Exploring the Solar System, the Galaxies, and the Universe with the Hubble Space Telescope part of Activities
The Hubble Telescope site (http://hubblesite.org) contains numerous teaching tools including videos, news articles about the solar system and the Universe, and games that introduce and reinforce astronomy and space science content and concepts. Teachers can design activities for multiple grade levels using the site as a foundation.

Ordeal by Check: An introductory activity about the Nature of Science part of Activities
This is an introductory activity about the Nature of Science (NOS) that can be used on the first day of a laboratory class. It is designed to show students how scientific knowledge develops and is general enough to use in any science course.

Accessible Solar System on a String part of Activities
Explore the solar system using your senses.

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