Monday, 26 October 2020

Make your own rock

'Make your own rock; investigating how loose sediment may be stuck together to form a ‘rock’'

This activity demonstrates the compaction and cementation of sediments. Making, and subsequently testing 'rocks' by using sand and a range of ‘cements’.

The activity could form part of a lesson dealing with sedimentary rocks and how they are formed. It may also have applications to local building materials.

Many activities about sedimentary rocks and their role in the rock cycle can be found by using the search engine or alphabetical index on our website.

Monday, 19 October 2020

How are the depths of seas and oceans measured?

Our new ELI today is the first in a series about mapping the ocean and sea floors. 'Measuring the depths of seas and oceans: How is it done? A simple demonstration of how we measure sea floor depths and relief'

This activity demonstrates both ancient and modern methods of measuring and profiling sea and ocean floor depths.

Other activities about ocean and sea floors can be found on our website.
 

Monday, 12 October 2020

Using evidence from rock sequences to understand past environments

'Applying ‘the present is the key to the past’ An outdoor activity to apply the present to the past - using Earth science-thinking in reverse'


An outdoor-based thought experiment to show how Earth scientists use evidence from rock sequences to understand past environments. Pupils develop their understanding of the Principle of Uniformitarianism (the present is the key to the past), first developed by scientists in the late 1700s.

Many more activities for outdoor work can be found on our website - search for 'fieldwork'.

Monday, 5 October 2020

What drives the plates? Modelling slab pull

The new ELI today is the last in our series of What drives the plates? - 'What drives the plates? Modelling slab pull; modelling and discussing the slab pull plate-driving mechanism in the classroom'

 Video demonstrating the model

Teaching video

Different ways of modelling the slab pull plate-driving mechanism are used in classroom discussion. Seismic wave velocity measurements show that some subducting plates sink right down to near the mantle/core boundary, pulling the surface part of the plate behind them.

Many more activities about plate tectonics can be found on our website.

Monday, 28 September 2020

Rock grain cut out

'Rock grain cut out; how can you tell which grains come from which rock?'

This cutting out and pasting activity is designed to encourage pupils to think carefully about the characteristics of rock grains and how they fit together, in the three major rock groups. It is also useful if you do not have many hand specimens.

There are many Earthlearningidea activities about the three major rock groups and how to identify them. Use the search engine or alphabetical index on the website.

Monday, 21 September 2020

What drives the plates? In slab pull, what is it that pulls?

The new ELI today is 'What drives the plates? In slab pull, what is it that pulls? Understanding how slab pull works through examining the data'.

This activity uses the diagram shown above giving rock densities. A series of questions prompt pupils to study the diagram carefully and so aid their understanding of the slab-pull plate driving mechanisms.

More activities about plate tectonics can be found on our website by using the search engine or the alphabetical index.


Monday, 14 September 2020

Soil erosion

'Why does soil get washed away? Investigating why some farmers lose their soil through erosion whilst others do not'

This activity investigates the effect of vegetation cover in protecting soil from erosion in heavy rainfall. Soil erosion is a normal part of the natural rock cycle, but it can become a major problem in many rural areas where people depend on the land for their livelihood. This activity provides the opportunity to investigate some of the factors involved in limiting soil erosion. You can see the activity in action in this short video clip.

There is also an extension activity about painting with soil