Monday, 18 May 2015

Earthlearningidea photo gallery

Some more photos have been added to our photo gallery, sent to us from Catalonia in Spain.
Students have been trying out some of our 'Identifying minerals' activities
'Be a mineral expert 1'
'Be a mineral expert 2'
'Identifying minerals - use your sense(s)!' 


They have also tried making wax volcanoes, 'Volcano in the lab'


And 'Time-line in your own backyard'


To view the ELI Photo gallery, click here.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Modelling ancient and modern magnetic fields

New Earthlearningidea - 'Human magnets!' This involves using your pupils to model ancient and modern magnetic fields.
Iron-rich minerals in igneous rocks, such as magnetite, may become magnetised as the rock crystallises from the molten state, and then cools down below a critical temperature. This temperature is known as the Curie Point. The direction of magnetisation is induced in the solid rock and records the direction of the magnetic field of the Earth, at that place and at that time.
The activity can be used to aid the understanding of remanent magnetisation in rocks. This in turn provides evidence of past magnetic fields of the Earth and is of great value in demonstrating the former latitudes of the continents, before their plate tectonic movement.
Other good ideas to teach the Earth's magnetism can be found on our website.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Beginning to identify minerals

The ELI 'Be a mineral expert 1; beginning to identify minerals' introduces colour, habit, lustre and cleavage as ways of identifying one mineral from another. The activity uses simple visual tests to identify a set of ‘unknown’ minerals. This is the first in a series of activities on minerals which can be used in a variety of lessons, ranging from the nature of minerals as the ‘building blocks’ of rocks to the origins and recycling of useful elements in the Earth.
Many more activities about minerals and rocks can be found on our website.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Hotspots; modelling the movement of a plate across the globe

Today's new Earthlearningidea is 'Hotspots; modelling the movement of a plate across the globe'.
Use a candle and a piece of card to model the evidence of the movement of a tectonic plate over a fixed heat source in the Earth’s mantle. This activity can be used in any lesson in a science or geography class dealing with plate tectonics. There are many more ideas for teaching this topic on our website.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Panning for 'gold' in river sediment

Have you tried the Earthlearningidea, 'Gold prospectors'?

In this activity pupils are Iinvestigating how prospectors use the property of density to search for gold in river sediments. By doing this ELI, pupils develop motor skills as they experiment with the best method of separating materials; they can explain why density is a useful property in the separation of materials and can use their imaginations to visualise a real gold prospector in the field.
Another Earthlearningidea which used density of minerals for separation is 'Jigging'
This is a simple practical activity used to separate minerals of different density from each other. It is a small scale version of a method which was used for centuries.
Search the website for more ELIs about minerals and density.

Monday, 13 April 2015

What's the difference between weathering and erosion?

Today's new ELI addresses the common misconceptions about weathering and erosion.

Textbook surveys have shown that misconceptions between weathering and erosion are common, when the scientific consensus is clear:-
- Weathering is the break up and break down (physical break up and chemical breakdown) of rocks at the Earth’s surface without the removal of solid material (although material can be removed in solution)
- Erosion is the removal of solid material, by gravity, water, wind or ice (as the start of transportation).
The related activities on the home page of our website lists some ideas for teaching both weathering and erosion.