Monday, 29 October 2012

Cracking apart - physical weathering

Simulate the weathering of rocks in a desert environment by trying the ELI 'Cracking apart'. Ask pupils to discuss situations where materials expand in the heat and contract in the cold out of doors. Examples might include steel bridges, or concrete roads; in both cases, expansion joints have to be included to allow for the movement. Explain that rocks also expand and contract and that this can lead to their break up. This is a form of physical weathering. Small chips of granite and other rocks are heated in a Bunsen flame and then rapidly cooled in water. This is repeated to investigate the rate at which they ‘weather’ by breaking apart.
This is one of many Earthlearningideas which encourage pupils to take part in an activity and then relate their findings to the world around them.

Monday, 22 October 2012

More building stones - metamorphic rocks today

Today we complete our series of the ELI building stones resource by publishing 'Building stones 4 - Metamorphic rocks'
This is a small group activity using photographs of metamorphic rocks used for ornamental purposes. This ELI follows ‘Building Stones 1’ and is intended for pupils to deepen their understanding of metamorphic rocks. A table showing how the series of Earthlearningidea building stone activities link together is given on the final page.
You can find the second, igneous rocks, and third, sedimentary rocks, of this series in the category Earth materials on our website.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Watery world of underground chemistry

Have you tried the ELI 'The watery world of underground chemistry'?  The pH of water is used as the basis of a discussion of how water flows through, and interacts with, the rocks and soil during the underground part of the water cycle, so integrating aspects of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and lithosphere.
This is one of many 'watery' Earthlearningideas which are listed in Teaching strategies on our website.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Who ate the ammonite? - Jurassic food web

'Who ate the ammonite?' This is our latest new Earthlearningidea. Pupils will probably be familiar with modern-day food chains and food webs but this food web uses fossil evidence from creatures alive in Jurassic times, about 180 million years ago.
This ELI could be included in any lesson which involves discussion about carnivore/herbivore, predator/prey relationships, building food chains/webs, producers/consumers and trophic levels.
It is one of many innovative teaching ideas in ELI's 'Evolution of life' category and one of hundreds of Earthlearningideas.

Monday, 1 October 2012

ELIs and 3D Virtual World Tours

Have you tried using ELI activities along with one of the many 3D Virtual World Tours? Many pupils have little concept of, for example, the power of ice or river erosion.
You could try the ELI 'Mighty river in a small gutter' and use one of the 3D tours to accompany it. The photo is from the tour of the Victoria Falls in Africa. There are many other examples you could use:-
- ELI 'Laying down the principles' with the tour of the Grand Canyon, USA,
- ELI 'Grinding and gouging' with the tour of the Matterhorn in Switzerland,
- ELI 'Weathering - rocks breaking up and breaking down' with the tour of Bryce Canyon, USA,
- ELI 'Blow up your own volcano' (or any other of the ELI volcanic activities) with the tour of Grimsvoten volcanic crater in Iceland.
These are just a few of many activities covering a wide range of Earth science and geography ELIs, all stored on our website in pdf format and all free to download.