Monday, 23 March 2015

Solar eclipse

Last Friday, many people were watching the solar eclipse. Perhaps it's a good time to try the ELI 'Why does the Sun disappear?' This activity demonstrates how a small object, which is near, can block out the view of a much larger one that is further away. Do you think the Sun and the Moon often appear to be the same size in the sky? In fact, they are not the same size at all and yet the Moon can block out the Sun completely, so that it goes quite dark. This is called a total eclipse of the Sun (or a solar eclipse).

The image above is from the NASA website. The photo below shows the recent eclipse as viewed through a colander!
You could also try the ELI 'Eclipse the lollipop' which models eclipses of the Moon and the Sun with a ball, lollipops and a bright light.
Search our website for lots more innovative and exciting teaching ideas.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Modelling the state of 'balance' of the Earth's outer layers - isostasy

Today's new ELI is 'Isostasy 1; modelling the state of 'balance' of the Earth's outer layers'. Isostasy is essentially the principle of hydrostatic equilibrium applied to the Earth, otherwise called ‘buoyancy’. You can model this principle using wooden blocks floating in water and in a denser medium.

Lots of activities about the structure of the Earth can be found on our website.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Smelting iron ore to iron

Have you tried the ELI 'A smelter on a stick; smelting iron ore to iron on a gas burner'? This ELI gives a simple introduction to the smelting of metal ores by reducing them to the metal with charcoal. This linking of a small-scale activity to the real world of the blast furnace requires bridging skills.
Many more Earth-related innovative activities can be found on our website.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Watery world game: investigating the water cycle

The new ELI published today is another in our ELI Early years series. 'Watery world game; climb through the watery world but watch out for snakes!'

The game can be played in any science or geography lesson and has cross curricular links with literacy and numeracy. It is also a useful water cycle introduction or revision exercise. Although the pupils’ watery world diaries will all be different, it will be apparent that the stages of the water cycle are followed in each scenario.
Other ideas for this young age group can be found on the website in Teaching strategies. Other watery activities for all age groups are listed on the home page.

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