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Roger Weller, geology instructor

Plate Tectonics
by Elizabeth Tyasia
Physical Geology
Spring 2016
                                                                                 Plate Tectonics for Kids
Transitional activity into what we will be doing next in class:

Prior to starting activity, I will have children start off with three puzzles (the same puzzle) in which children will need to place the continents together the way they were over 200 million years ago. Children will also with the second puzzle need to place the continents together as they are today, and their third puzzle will be a prediction of how the continents will be in another 200 million years. Prior to giving the children the puzzles, I will show the children a map of today’s world and how it is formed today, they will also be given an example of the Pangaea (they will be able to use this as a reference to try and guess how the continents were connected). The puzzle assignment I will use shown in the following link:  (children will be able to color each of the continents as they please) file:///C:/Users/TYASIA/Downloads/dinos_plate_tectonics.pdf

Homework Night Prior

Children will be given vocabulary prior to discussion of activity so that they have prior knowledge of the words and will know what these unfamiliar words mean. The vocabulary that the children will need to find definitions for are as follows (definitions will not be there they will need to find these in their books on their own) this will also be a time for children to finish their three puzzles if they haven’t finished once they have completed their vocabulary definitions:

Plate Tectonics Vocabulary

·         Plate Tectonics- is a concept in which the crust of the Earth is considered to be brittle and is broken into several large pieces.

·         Pangaea: a super continent that broke apart over 200 million years ago to form smaller continents

·         Lithosphere: the area where the Earth’s crust and mantle bond together

·         Divergent boundaries: when two fault lines pull apart

·         Convergent boundaries: when two fault lines push against each other

·         Subduction: when one plate is dragged beneath another one

·         Transform boundary: when plates slide past one another

Day one of discussion: Pangaea to modern day transformation

To start out with our discussion we will go over the vocabulary, to ensure that the children have the correct definitions. We then move in the discussion by talking to them about their puzzles that they completed during their transitional activity time.  Now that we have covered some of the vocabulary that will be talked throughout our lesson we can now begin to explain how our earth was created and why it happened.

Class Discussion:

The Founder of the idea of Plate tectonics also known as Continental Drift was Alfred Wegener he came up with this idea because “During his time there he gained an interest in the ancient history of the Earth's continents and their placement after noticing in 1910 that the eastern coast of South America and the northwestern coast of Africa looked like they were once connected. In 1911 Wegener also came across several scientific documents stating that there were identical fossils of plants and animals on each of these continents and he claimed that all of the Earth's continents were at one time connected into one large supercontinent. In 1912 he presented the idea of "continental displacement" which would later become known as continental drift to explain how the continents moved toward and away from one another throughout the Earth's history”.

Looking at your puzzles of the Pangaea and todays continents what can you see is different?

Why do you think it is different today than it was before?

Earth is made up of several layers we have the inner core, the core, mantel, and the crust also known as the Lithosphere.

As the Earth’s core heats up it pushes against the Lithosphere allowing for the pressure to push a break apart allowing for the magma from the core to release and cool forming land masses.

     These seven continents were once referred to as a “Super continent” called a Pangaea along with a single ocean called Panthalassa: This is how your puzzle of Pangaea should look like.

     About two-hundred million years ago the continents began to separate forming the seven different continents that we have today, and also creating the different oceans, Indian and Atlantic Ocean: this is how your continents today puzzle should look.

     As earth's plates continue to change the continents will continue to change therefore we may find that the land masses will be in different places or further apart or maybe we will find ourselves as apart of another super continent of Pangaea II.


Day two Discussion

Plate Tectonics Experiment: Transformation, Convergent, Divergent boundaries

Children will have all materials need for experiment as we go through the video together and pausing throughout each definition we will talk about them and complete the experiments as we go along.  Children will also need to write down their findings in their science notebooks in order to reference them later.

Transform Boundaries are when the plates slide past one another the most famous transform boundary is the San Andres Fault.

     Convergent Boundaries
are the plates are coming towards one another. When the two plates collide the thinner own while be pushed down under the mantle which is called subduction. An example of this would be the Washington- Oregon coastline:

Divergent Boundaries are when the plates are moving away from each other an example of this would be the Mid Atlantic Ridge: