Monday, 30 March 2020

Ideas for Home Schooling

In these very difficult circumstances, many of you will be working from home and trying to think of ideas for your pupils or for children at home.
Earthlearningidea has a Children's Fun page which may help.


Alternatively, you can find topics by using either the search engine or the alphabetical index. Each activity has a suggested age range (usually on the second page).

Monday, 23 March 2020

New ELI today ‘Tagging’ nitrogen atoms – to explore the nitrogen cycle: a thought experiment to investigate nitrogen cycle processes'


Drawings showing the cycling of matter are abstract concepts and so difficult for pupils to understand. Using the pretend ‘tagging’ method helps them to gain a more concrete idea of the different steps involved and so can be used to teach or consolidate understanding of the nitrogen and other cycles.
More activities involving chemistry in Earth science can be found in Teaching strategies on the website.

Monday, 16 March 2020

Different densities of Earth's layers

'From an orange to the whole Earth; using an orange to model different densities of the Earth’s layers'.


The orange is analogous to the Earth in having a relatively dense centre (mantle/core) and a much less dense skin (crust).
More activities about the structure of the Earth can be found on our website in Teaching strategies or by using the search engine or alphabetical index.



Monday, 9 March 2020

Updated 'mantle plume' activity

Because the science has moved on, we have just re-published an activity we first wrote in 2010. This includes all the latest thinking on this topic.

A “mantle plume” in a beaker – but not driving plates: mantle plumes ‘yes’ – but convection currents driving plates, probably ‘No’


This Earthlearningidea replaces A “mantle plume” in a beaker: modelling processes at a constructive (divergent) plate margin’, which was published when the convection current model of mantle drag was thought to be the main driving force of plate movement.
Many more activities relating to plate tectonics, including recent UPDATES can be found on our website.
(Please refresh your page or clear your history if you get the old version of this ELI.)


Monday, 2 March 2020

How did Charles Darwin discover how soil formed?

"Darwin’s ‘big soil idea’. Can you work out how Charles Darwin ‘discovered’ how soil formed?"


This activity involves finding out how Charles Darwin ‘discovered’ soil by using the evidence he used and trying to think as he thought, including building a wormery like he did.
You can find many more activities about soil on our website.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Understanding plate tectonic processes

 New ELI today - 'What do the top and bottom of a tectonic plate look like? Questions to test understanding of plate tectonic processes'.
When asked to draw tectonic plates on cross sectional diagrams, many students have drawn plates deep beneath the surface, thus showing a lack of understanding of plate processes.
This deep question discussion tests understanding not only of the tops of plates but also of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) at the bases of plates, currently the focus of much geoscientific research across the world.
Search the alphabetical index or the keyword search on our website for many more activities related to plate tectonics.

Monday, 17 February 2020

Power sources

'Power through the window; which power source might be built in the view you can see from your window?'


Are you a NIMBY? Pupils are asked to think about which sorts of power source (power station, wind farm or wave power plant) COULD be built in the view through their window – before considering which of them SHOULD be built there.
Many activities about power sources can be found on our website.