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Plate Tectonics Activities


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Learning Assessment #1 - Plate Tectonics
Michelle Speta, University of Calgary; Leslie Reid, University of Calgary
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of the basic concepts of plate tectonics.

Introduction to Plate Tectonics
Elizabeth Cochran, University of California-Riverside
Uses maps created in Google Earth to explore concepts of plate tectonics including locations of plate boundaries, age of the sea floor, and distribution of earthquakes

Evidence for Plate Tectonics
David Smith, GLOBE; Franklin Kao, Northwestern University; Margaret Holzer, Chatham HS
DATA: Sea Floor Age, Volcano and Earthquake Distributions. TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Identify relationships among sea-floor age, earthquakes, and volcanoes to understand how they support the theory of plate tectonics.

Investigating Plate Tectonics with Google Earth
Beth Pratt-Sitaula, UNAVCO
Students examine data sets of topography, bathymetry, volcano location, earthquake location and size, and ocean floor age in Google Earth to determine the location and attributes of different types of plate ...

Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics
Kent Ratajeski, University of Kentucky
Allen Glazner and Kent Ratajeski Published July 28, 2005. Description In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of igneous rocks from a variety of tectonic settings and ...

Extra Terrestrial Plate Tectonics
Marshall Bartlett
Students decide whether plate tectonics is operating on another planet in our solar system. Requires students to integrate and process a large array of visual data regarding plate tectonic processes. Students feel ...

Plate Tectonics Basics 1
Bob Stern, The University of Texas at Dallas
Students sketch cross section beneath mid-ocean ridge and subduction zone before and after viewing animation.

Plate Tectonics Jigsaw
Anne Egger, Central Washington University
Students participate in a jigsaw activity to learn about types of plate boundaries, becoming an expert in one of five global datasets - earthquakes, volcanoes, seafloor age, topography, and gravity - and then ...

Fault Models for Teaching About Plate Tectonics
Modified from an activity by Larry Braile (Purdue University) by TOTLE (Teachers on the Leading Edge) Project and further improved by ShakeAlert.
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.

Exploring Evidence of Plate Tectonics Using GeoMapApp
Sean Cornell, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
This activity requires students to explore a range of datasets that help substantiate Plate Tectonic Theory. Students investigate plate tectonic environments (convergent, divergent, transform boundaries), topography/bathymetry of continents and ocean basins, the distribution and pattern of earthquakes, the distribution of volcanoes, as well as ages of the sea-floor, and more.