1
This activity creates a mini globe that shows the major plate boundaries of the world. It provides each student with his or her own physical model of the Earth's plates and helps teach how hard it is to accurately portray a sphere (three-dimensional) on a flat map (two-dimensional). Students will...
Grade Level   7 8 9 10 11 12
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2
In this lesson, students will create three-dimensional (3-D) blocks out of paper to learn about the types of faulting that occur at the Earth’s surface and its interior, and explain how earthquakes are generated by fault movement. Step-by-step directions will provide students with the necessary...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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3
Earthquakes create seismic waves that travel through the Earth. By analyzing these seismic waves, seismologists can explore the Earth's deep interior.
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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4
This activity has students making a topographic model out of salad trays. Students copy maps onto the trays and add different topographic features. When put together, the trays show a complete topographic map.
Grade Level   2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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5
Published in 2007
There are many different maps of the same place, and not all information about a place can be put on the same map. For maps to communicate, they focus on showing a limited number of things. This activity teaches students what all maps can tell us. It also teaches students how to read a topographic...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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6
In this activity, students learn how scientists assess wildfires using remote sensing. Students then use some of the same techniques to solve grade-level appropriate math problems.
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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7
The focus of this activity is on interpreting geologic history through volcano formation and excavation. Baking soda, vinegar and play dough are used to model fluid lava flows. Various colors of play dough identify different eruption events. Students will: construct a model of a volcano; produce...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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8
This activity shows students how to read and interpret a common data representation, the heat map. Students will examine heat map representations of Earth science data over time, discuss trends and compare data sets in order to assess potential correlation.
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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9
Since our beginnings, we humans have had a narrow view of our home - Earth. For many years, standing on the ground and looking around or climbing a mountain and squinting down were the most useful ways people had of trying to understand the planet's surface. Only in the past few hundred years have...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9
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10
A normal fault occurs when rocks break and move because they are being pulled apart. As the area is stretched, the rocks move along the fault. Each movement causes an earthquake. This model demonstrates how a block of rock is extended by a normal fault. 
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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11
In this activity students explore the rate of earthquake occurrence for areas of Earth they choose to explore. Data is accessed through the simple interface of the IRIS Earthquake Browser (See Related Resources above). After compiling their data for various sized earthquakes, students calculate...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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12
This investigation is designed to help participants make connections between the different components of the Earth System (biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and geosphere) through observing their local outdoor area, categorizing the observations into one or more “spheres”, and drawing links...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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13
One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible aftereffects. An earthquake is a sudden movement of the Earth, caused by the abrupt release of strain that has accumulated over a long time. For hundreds of millions of years, the forces of plate...
Grade Level   7 8 9 10 11 12
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