Monday, 23 February 2015

Classification of things 'found in the ground'

The ELI 'Found in the ground: sorted!' is an introduction to classification using things found in the ground.

This activity may be used in any lesson where the principles of classification are required. It forms a useful basis for further activities in Earth science. Unless pupils already know some geology, they usually arrange their groups on the basis of colour, ‘shininess’, ‘crystals’ and size of crystals, roughness, obvious fossils. It is important to tell them that they are not ‘wrong’, since they were
asked to devise their own criteria and not to have any preconceived method.
This is one of a growing number of activities in our ELI Early years series.
More ideas can be found on our website.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Fieldwork: the 'All powerful' strategy

The new ELI today is another in our fieldwork series. The 'All powerful' strategy; discussing geological histories in imaginative ways'.

This activity uses a ‘deep questioning’ approach to a plenary fieldwork activity, by asking what series of events would be necessary for the view before the pupils to be recreated. The activity can be used at a range of scales from a small quarry to a landscape-wide interpretation.
Many more ideas for teaching Earth science out of doors can be found on the website.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Sorting out rocks

Have you tried the ELI 'Rock detective - rocky clues to the past; investigating your local rocks to find out how they were formed'
Collect examples of different types of rock from your local area (and from
further away if you want to) and take your pupils through this investigation sequence - using the clues in the rocks to find out how they formed. Begin with two rocks, one made from sediment, a sedimentary rock, with obvious grains (eg. a sandstone) and the other, a crystalline igneous rock with big crystals (eg. a granite).
The following Rocks Song by Peter Weatherall could be used with this ELI.
Click here for the video clip

Monday, 2 February 2015

Fossilise! - fossil game for Early years

New today, 'Fossilise! - a game showing how fossils form and survive'. This is an Earthlearningidea written specially for young children; part of our ELI Early years series.

At the end of the game, pupils can explain what a fossil is, recognise some common fossils and realise that special conditions must exist for fossilisation to occur and also for fossils to survive. They can appreciate that there are many reasons why organisms are not fossilised and, even if they are, there are also many reasons why the fossils do not survive.
In playing the game children also learn that a player often has to go backwards and not everyone can win!
The game can be played in any science or geography lesson and has cross curricular links with literacy and numeracy. It is also great fun!
More activities can be found on our website.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Modelling the phases of the Moon with Jaffa cakes!

Have you tried 'Jaffa Moon' in which you model the phases of the Moon using Jaffa cakes? Having discovered how the light part of the Moon changes shape over a lunar month, pupils are asked to reinforce this learning by cutting Jaffa cakes into shapes to simulate the light part of the Moon. By placing these on second dark-side-up Jaffa Cakes, they can see how the dark part of the Moon changes shape at the same time. They then test their understanding by identifying correct versions of predictive sentences which are provided.
This is one of a number of Earthlearningideas about the Moon; all can be found on the website.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Play the evolution game

New ELI today 'How many Beany Beetles? - the evolution game; investigating evolution by adaptation and natural selection'

Pupils can:
• appreciate that, because the green Beany Beetles are better camouflaged than the brown, they will be less likely to be eaten by the birds;
• suggest that by being green, the Beany Beetles have adapted to their environment;
• realise that this adaptation will be inherited by future generations of Beany Beetles;
• appreciate that chance plays a part in evolution. In this game the number one means that a green Beany Beetle is eaten. If the one occurs more times than usual, then the green colour will not be such an advantage;
Following on from the ELI 'How many Great Great Great Great Grandparents? - finding out how we inherit our characteristics' this game provides an introduction to the theory of evolution and is a useful activity for cross-curricular work covering science, geography, literacy, numeracy and art.
Other activities for teaching this topic can be found on our website.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Evolution of life in 60 seconds

Have you tried the activity 'Time-line in your own backyard'?

This is part of our 'Evolution' series. We have also published this video clip created by Claire Evans for Darwin 200 to accompanythe activity.

Over the next few weeks, we shall be publishing more exciting Earthlearningideas to help teachers with this topic. Next week there will be a game with Beany Beetles to show adaptation and natural selection.