Monday, 23 November 2015

Activities to simulate features in the field

The new ELI today is 'Interactive re-creation; activities using simple transportable apparatus to simulate features in the field'
Demonstrate bedding, laminations, cross bedding, ripple marks, folding, faulting and shelly limestone - all with simple equipment. These activities help pupils to understand what they are seeing.
Many more ideas for activities out of doors can be downloaded from the website.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Earthlearningideas in the Amazon

Professor Roberto Greco from the Institute of Geosciences, Campinas State University, Brazil, has sent the following report:-
Earth Learning Idea workhops  have reached the heart of the Amazon forest! In this very special environmental so far from everywhere, where the huge Amazon River crosses the country, how can Earth Science be taught in an interesting, engaging way? We decided to present ELI activities; we found that both teachers and trainee teachers were very enthusiastic about them.
5th to 8th November, II Seminar of Physical Geography of the Amazon was organized by the State University of Amazonia (UEA) and coordinated by Professor Reginaldo  Luiz Fernandes de Souza: the ELI workshop was offered to geography teacher-trainees. The workshop was held on Parintins island. (Parintins is popular with tourists, especially in June when there is a folklore festival.) The day after the workshop the students investigated some field activities and visited some local schools.
Professor Charlei Aparecido da Silva of the Universida de Federal de Grande Dourados, was one of the lecturers of the Seminar, giving an amazing lecture on research techniques in physical geography and climatology. He became very enthusiastic about Earthlearningideas and would like to organize ELI workshops in his university in Mato Grosso do Sul State next year.

9th November, more ELI workshops in another unit of UEA in Manaus, organized by Professor Flávio Wachholz.
ELI workshops about soils and seminars about teaching soils were offered by Professor Roberto Greco and Professor Francisco Ladeira. Professor Regina Celia de Oliveira talked about the educational relevance of field activities.

All the professors are from the University of  Campinas, where the translations of ELI from English to Brazilian-Portuguese take place.
All photos from these workshops may be seen in the Photo Gallery on the website.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Erosion - questions you can ask at any rock face

Today's new ELI is 'Question you can ask at any rock face 2: erosion'.
Erosion is ‘The removal of solid material, by gravity, water, wind or ice’ and so is the beginning of transportation. Take your pupils to an area of loose rock beneath a rock face, preferably with water-formed gullies leading away – and ask the questions listed in the activity.
The effects of erosion by gravity are usually clear at any exposure (broken angular fragments or boulders at the base of the rock face) and fans of water-moved material are also common. Eroded fragments can also be found at the bases of most walls too.
Although weathering is distinct from erosion, weathering and erosion usually work together; rocks are weakened by weathering and the weakened material is removed by erosion.
Lots more thought-provoking activities can be found on our website.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Popular ELI in October - How earthquakes affect buildings

A very popular activity in October was 'Shaken but not stirred; how earthquakes affect buildings.'

This is a teacher-led demonstration of the relationship between the frequency of the shaking of the ‘ground’ and the movement of model ‘buildings’ of various heights. The activity can be used to help students to explore the effects of earthquakes in densely populated areas, and to dispel misconceptions about the relative safety of high rise buildings in seismically active regions.
Many more innovative ideas for teaching about earthquakes can be found either by using the search engine or by browsing the index on our website.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Weathering - questions you can ask at any rock face

Today's new ELI is 'Questions you can ask at any rock face 1: weathering'. This activity helps teachers to ask suitable investigative questions about weathering anywhere where rocks are exposed.

Many more ideas for teaching weathering can be seen on the website.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Watch the moving sediment in a bottle gutter

Try this extension idea to an earlier ELI - 'Moving sediment in an even smaller bottle gutter; using cut-off plastic bottles as ‘stream tables’ so that all pupils can take part'.
You can see nearly all the sediment movement visible in the ‘Mighty river in a small gutter’ Earthlearningidea activity at the scale of a cut off 2 litre bottle. The advantage of using cut-off bottles is that all groups in the class can carry out the activity at the same time.
Sediment movement seen:
- Erosion hollow where the water is poured in
- Transportation of the sand down the bottle (by rolling, sliding and jumping grains)
- Deposition of sand in the pool at the bottom – in a small micro- delta
(High energy flow = erosion; moderate energy
flow = transportation; lower energy flow = deposition)

Monday, 12 October 2015

Questions for any rock face - planning for field work

The new ELI today begins a new series which deals with questions you can ask when standing in front of any exposure of rocks and soil. We start with  Planning for field work; preparing your pupils before setting out to "ask questions for any rock face".
Pupils are asked the following questions:-
- Why are we going outside? Can’t we just look at rocks in the nice warm classroom?
- What hazards might we meet on the walk from school, and what should we do to be safe and comfortable?
- What dangers might we meet at the rock face? How can we stay safe?
- What are we going to do when we get there?
- What equipment do we need to take with us?
More ideas for fieldwork can be found on our website and, of course, all the questions you can ask at a rock face from weathering to fossils to folding to economic use will be published over the next few months.