Elementary and Middle School (K-8) Activity Browse

Search for activities specifically designed for K-8 education. Refine this search by either clicking on the terms in boxes to the right or typing a term into the search box below. Activities include a description, background information, and necessary student documents.


Results 1 - 20 of 850 matches

Volcano Monitoring with GPS: Westdahl Volcano Alaska part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Learners use graphs of GPS position data to determine how the shape of Westdahl Volcano, Alaska is changing. If the flanks of a volcano swell or recede, it is a potential indication of magma movement and changing ...

Activity 9: Feedback Loops Introduction part of Teach the Earth:Teaching Activities
Students are introduced to feedback loop vocabulary and experiment with different relationships between reservoirs in simple feedback loops using LOOPY, a free, online modeling program.

How Do We Know Where an Earthquake Originated? part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Students use real seismograms to determine the arrival times for P and S waves and use these times to determine the distance of the seismic station from the earthquake. Seismograms from three stations are provided to determine the epicenter using the S – P (S minus P) method. Because real seismograms contain some "noise" with resultant uncertainty in locating arrival times of P and S waves, this activity promotes appreciation for uncertainties in interpretation of real scientific data.

World Map of Plate Boundaries part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
The plate tectonics mapping activity allows students to easily begin to identify basic tectonic processes on a global scale. As students become aware of plate movements, they begin to identify patterns that set the stage for deeper understanding of a very complex topic. The activity uses a simple "Where's Waldo" approach to identify tectonic symbols on a laminated World Plate Tectonic map.

Earthquake Machine part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
In this activity, learners work collaboratively in small groups to explore the earthquake cycle by using a physical model. Attention is captured through several short video clips illustrating the awe-inspiring power of ground shaking resulting from earthquakes. To make students' prior knowledge explicit and activate their thinking about the topic of earthquakes, each student writes their definition of an earthquake on a sticky note. Next, through a collaborative process, small groups of students combine their individual definitions to create a consensus definition for an earthquake.

Lesson 3: The Value of a Water Footprint (Middle School) part of Teach the Earth:Teaching Activities
Session 1 of this lesson begins with a quick activity to get students thinking about their direct and virtual water use. It introduces a few new ideas for virtual water use that may surprise students, including the ...

Detecting Cascadia's changing shape with GPS | Lessons on Plate Tectonics part of Geodesy:Activities
Research-grade Global Positioning Systems (GPS) allow students to deduce that Earth's crust is changing shape in measurable ways. From data gathered by EarthScope's Plate Boundary Observatory, students discover that the Pacific Northwest of the United States and coastal British Columbia — the Cascadia region - are geologically active: tectonic plates move and collide; they shift and buckle; continental crust deforms; regions warp; rocks crumple, bend, and will break.

Earthquake Hazard Maps & Liquefaction: Alaska emphasis part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Ground shaking is the primary cause of earthquake damage to man-made structures. This exercise combines three related activities on the topic of shaking-induced ground instability: a ground shaking amplification demonstration, a seismic landslides demonstration, and a liquefaction experiment. The amplitude of ground shaking is affected by the type of near-surface rocks and soil. Earthquake ground shaking can cause even gently sloping areas to slide when those same areas would be stable under normal conditions. Liquefaction is a phenomenon where water-saturated sand and silt take on the characteristics of a dense liquid during the intense ground shaking of an earthquake and deform. Includes Alaska and San Francisco examples.

Building Shaking —Variations of the BOSS Model part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Building Oscillation Seismic Simulation, or BOSS, is an opportunity for learners to explore the phenomenon of resonance for different building heights while performing a scientific experiment that employs mathematical skills. They experience how structures behave dynamically during an earthquake.

Lesson 1: Water Resources and Water Footprints (Middle School) part of Teach the Earth:Teaching Activities
This lesson helps students understand why Earth is considered the "water planet." Students analyze how much of Earth's water is available for humans to use for life-sustaining purposes, and they ...

Measuring Plate Motion with GPS: Iceland part of Geodesy:Activities
This lesson teaches middle and high school students to understand the architecture of GPS—from satellites to research quality stations on the ground. This is done with physical models and a presentation. Then students learn to interpret data for the station's position through time ("time series plots"). Students represent time series data as velocity vectors and add the vectors to create a total horizontal velocity vector. They apply their skills to discover that the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is rifting Iceland. They cement and expand their understanding of GPS data with an abstraction using cars and maps. Finally, they explore GPS vectors in the context of global plate tectonics.

Seismic Slinky: Modeling P and S waves part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Students will produce P and S waves using a Slinky© to understand how seismic waves transfer energy as they travel through solids. All types of waves transmit energy, including beach waves, sound, light, and more. When an earthquake occurs it generates four different types of seismic waves. We will focus on two of these: Compressional-P (longitudinal) and shearing-S (transverse) "body waves." These travel through the Earth with distinct particle motion and predictable speed.

Human Wave: Modeling P and S Waves part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Lined up shoulder-to-shoulder, learners are the medium that P and S waves travel through in this simple, but effective demonstration. Once "performed", the principles of P and S waves will not be easily forgotten. This demonstration explores two of the four main ways energy propagates from the hypocenter of an earthquake as P and S seismic waves. The physical nature of the Human Wave demonstration makes it a highly engaging kinesthetic learning activity that helps students grasp, internalize and retain abstract information.

Lesson 2: My Water Footprint (Middle School) part of Teach the Earth:Teaching Activities
This lesson centers on a deeper exploration of the water footprint associated with food. Students learned in Lesson 1 that virtual water, especially as it relates to food, typically makes up the majority of their ...

Activity 10: Feedback Loops Applied part of Teach the Earth:Teaching Activities
Students apply the vocabulary and concepts from the Activity 9: Feedback Loop Introduction to assess and create earth science feedback loops with the LOOPY online modeling program. (Optional) The students then ...

Fault Models for Teaching About Plate Tectonics part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
This short interactive activity has learners to manipulate fault blocks to better understand different types of earthquake-generating faults in different tectonic settings--extensional, convergent, and strike-slip. Fault models aid in visualizing and understanding faulting and plate motions because the instructor and their students can manipulate a three-dimensional model for a true hands-on experience.

Visualizing Relationships with Data: Exploring plate boundaries with Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and GPS Data in the Western U.S. & Alaska | Lessons on Plate Tectonics part of Geodesy:Activities
Learners use the UNAVCO GPS Velocity Viewer, or the included map packet to visualize relationships between earthquakes, volcanoes, and plate boundaries as a jigsaw activity.

Iceberg of Antarctica part of IODP School of Rock 2020:Teaching Activities
After exploring the various hands-on, art, kinesthetic activities, and electronic resources after reading the book: Iceberg of Antarctica by Marlo Garnsworthy, students will develop, create, and produce their own ...

Exploring Tectonic Motions with GPS part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Using a map showing the horizontal velocities of GPS stations in the Plate Boundary Observatory and other GPS networks in Alaska and Western United States, students are able to describe the motions in different regions by interpreting the vectors resulting from long-term high-precision Global Positioning System (GPS) data. Show more information on NGSS alignment Hide NGSS ALIGNMENT Disciplinary Core Ideas History of Earth: HS-ESS1-5 Earth' Systems: MS-ESS2-2 Earth and Human Activity: MS-ESS3-2, HS-ESS3-1 Science and Engineering Practices 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions Crosscutting Concepts 4. Systems and System Models 7. Stability and Change

Water Optimism - focusing on solutions for the hydrosphere in a take-home final exam part of Teach the Earth:Teaching Activities
This take-home final exam asks students to demonstrate their improved skills in searching for sources (information literacy) and writing on freshwater science/society/policy intersections (science literacy), and ...