Monday, 8 July 2013

The continental jigsaw puzzle

Can you reassemble a super-continent from a 'jigsaw puzzle'? In this ELI, the teacher introduces the idea that the continents have not  always been in their present positions by asking  pupils to look for the apparent match in the  coastlines of Africa and South America. (If a globe  is available, this will reduce any distortion from the  representation of the continents on a flat atlas  page). 
Ask what evidence pupils would look for which might demonstrate that the continents once really had been together, rather than the match being a  mere coincidence. (Pupils might suggest: fossils  of comparable land animals that could not have swum across an ocean; rocks of the same type and age that match; fold belts which seem to stop at the coast, only to appear again on the other side of the intervening ocean; evidence of ancient climates, such as red desert beds or rocks formed in tropical forest environments, etc.).
The jigsaw puzzles are supplied with the activity. 

This is one of many activities about plate tectonics on our website - all free to download.

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