Reading and responding to geological journal articles
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This a semester long activity for students in a plate tectonics course will be read one (or two) geological journal articles every other week on the major topics covered in the course. Students will submit reading responses and there will be class discussions of each paper.
This activity is aimed for undergraduate, sophomore-junior level course on plate tectonics.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
At the sophomore-junior level, students need significant background to read and decipher these papers (as well as other journal articles). Papers are chosen to build directly from lecture material.
How the activity is situated in the course
This activity is a biweekly, semester long project.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Concept and content goals students should gain:
seafloor spreading and magnetic anomalies
strength of the continental lithosphere
morphology of ocean ridges
models for wide rifting (e.g., Basin and Range)
- tectonic underplating
Appalachian orogen: Acadian Orogeny
Himalayas: Channel flow
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for students are:
formulation of hypotheses
critical evaluation of competing models
synthesis of ideas
Other skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for students are:
Description and Teaching Materials
This activity is designed to enhance students' depth of knowledge on specific topics in plate tectonics. It is also used to introduce students to reading, interpreting, and discussing geologic literature. The activity consists of biweekly reading assignments with accompanying reading response (one-page) and class discussion.
ReadingList_PlateTectonics_McFadden ( 31kB May4 12)
Teaching Notes and Tips
Leading the first discussion and giving specific examples of details that belong in the reading responses is important. The reading responses seem to help students be prepared to discuss the papers.
This activity is assessed by students' reading responses, presentations, and the class discussion.
References and Resources