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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.

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.

Movie Clip Lesson Plan part of Activities
The students are asked to develop a lesson plan about an earth science concept that they have seen in a Hollywood film. They must find the short movie clip, come up with a way to show the students why this is wrong either by using a demo or a lab activity. Examples of appropriate movies are Dante<92>s Peak, Twister, The Core, and Asteroid.

Why do some things float while other things sink? part of Activities
Students investigate the concept of density through inquiry-based experiments and exploration.

Pictorial Geologic History Book part of Activities
In this project the student creates a 10-part written & pictorial geologic history book of a region.

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