Marcia's Science Teaching Ideas
Marcia's Science Teaching Ideas

Teaching Plate Tectonics by MJ Krech
Teaching Plate Tectonics
The Plate Tectonics Teaching Packet is available for purchase here. Click here for Table of Contents. Over 200 pages of ready-to-run materials covering: The Theory of Plate Tectonics. The CD or Email-Delivered Packet contains: Detailed lesson plans, bellwork and journal suggestions, labs and worksheets, test & quizzes, active learning suggestions including four Foldables©, and many Team Game suggestions you can run off on colored paper. Also includes SIX Powerpoints!  Several items from this Packet are also available below at NO CHARGE!
You are welcome to use these ideas in your classroom, within your science department, within your school district, or to distribute to any teacher who may find these lessons useful. I only ask that:
1. You cannot sell these lessons or make a profit on them in any way.
2. You cite the lessons original source, and do not white-out the copyright footer on the pdf files
3. Do not copy and paste lessons onto your website. A link to the original is to be used.
4. Do not claim these lessons as your own work.
NOTE: This disclaimer is modeled after a couple of my favorite websites: The Science Spot and Middle School Science. Thanks, teachers!
I've been using some of your free materials for years. Thank you for creating and sharing them.
How to use Google Maps to look at Earth's physical features.
Click here for my related Blog entry on Using Google Maps
to show major Plate Tectonic features.

(There are other blog entries related to Teaching Plate Tectonics.
Click on the Plate Tectonics label on the right!
Plate Tectonics Study Guide
I used to think having a study guide to base your lesson on was a good thing. I don't anymore. There are scads of better ways to introduce material. I prefer to use PowerPoints with FollowSheets, Cut-and-Paste FactSheets, or a puzzle of some sort. If you are still wanting to use a Study Guide, click here for my version.
"Show Me the Answer"
White Board Team Game
Review parts of the Study Guide, FactSheet, or PowerPoint by putting students into small teams. (I use six or seven "Color" teams.) Each team uses a white board to answer a teacher question. They keep their white boards hidden until the teachers says, "Show Me the Answer!" Then they raise them high. Every team gets a point if correct. Great fun!
Earth's Layers Foldable
This is consistently my students' favorite Foldable because it is DIFFICULT to make and they take it on as a challenge! The process of making this Foldable teaches the concepts!  Especially if you have them use it to answer the accompanying worksheet questions.

Click here for newest version.
Earth's Interior PowerPoint Click here for this PowerPoint. It coordinates with the above Foldable and Questions. Great follow-up after your students have made the Foldable and answered the questions. Make sure they have their foldable out during the PPT and are looking at each corresponding layer. REMEMBER: Students don't learn concepts by MAKING the Foldable alone but by USING the Foldable, THINKING about the Foldable!!
Continental Drift Lab Our state achievement test always asks a "Wegener's evidence" question. There are several versions of good Continental Drift Labs available. I would recommend a hands-on lab where the students cut out the continents and assemble Pangaea using the evidence on each plate. Click here for my version, minus the copyrighted plate images. Another way to do this lab is to provide your students with blank continents/plates and have them color in the evidence from textbook/booklets, etc. Then assemble Pangaea using the evidence.

Click Here for a great activity called
Plate Tectonics Puzzle from the American Museum of Natural History.
Types of Plate Boundaries Worksheet Review the three main types of boundaries with your students. Click here for my version. Others are around or make your own!
Crustal (Lithospheric) Plates Worksheet I use one prepared by my textbook company. Click here for a simple version. I ask my students to color and label the 7 major plates, and label the minor plates. Click here for some "basic" questions to answer.
Plate Tectonics Vocabulary Click here for a Cut-and-Paste Vocabulary Worksheet.
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