Monday, 17 September 2018

What can boreholes tell us about the Earth?

'Boring chocolate! What can boreholes tell us about the Earth?'


This activity can be used in any science or geography lesson about finding what is beneath the Earth’s surface, including the search for natural resources and understanding past environments.
Many more hands-on (good-to-eat) activities can be found on our website.



Monday, 10 September 2018

Visualising plunging folds - with your hands and a piece of paper

The new ELI today is another in our 'hands' series - 'Visualising plunging folds - with your hands and a piece of paper' In this activity you use your hands and folded/torn paper to show the patterns made by plunging folds.

This is a class activity using hands and torn or cut papers to visualise the patterns formed by plunging folds. It helps pupils to see how plunging folds produce fold patterns on near-horizontal surfaces or on maps.
Many more activities about folds and fold mountains can be found on our website by using the alphabetical index or the search engine.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Geological structures using sponge rolls

Have you tried this ELI? It's good fun and you can eat it - and it's educational! 'Swiss roll surgery; investigating geological structures and their outcrops using sponge rolls'


This activity can be used in any science or geography lesson when folded and faulted rocks are discussed. By adapting the terminology, it can be used with any age group when explanations of folded and faulted rocks are required.
More activities related to geological structures can be found on our website by either using the search engine or the alphabetical index.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Dating the Earth - Charles Lyell and Mount Etna

The new Earthlearningidea today is 'Dating the Earth – before the discovery of radioactivity; Charles Lyell and Mount Etna, 1828'

This activity uses simplified calculations to demonstrate the immense age of the Earth, before the discovery of radioactivity.
After working through this activity, pupils can make simple calculations from given data and show how an estimate of the age of a relatively recent part of the geological record may be obtained. They can also put themselves in the position of Charles Lyell struggling to find the age of the Earth, from geological evidence alone, without any knowledge of radioactive dating methods.
Other activities related to the age of the Earth can be found in our Geological Time category.

Monday, 20 August 2018

Make your own sedimentary rocks with 'fossils'

A very good Early years activity is 'Rock builder; simulating the formation of fossiliferous sedimentary rocks'.


This activity simulates the formation of fossiliferous sedimentary rocks using a variety of sediments and shells in a plastic bottle, with filler acting as cement to ‘glue’ the grains together.
Other ideas for activities for young children can be found on our website.

Monday, 13 August 2018

Right way up or upside down? Modelling folded rocks with your hands

Today we have published another activity in the 'modelling by hands' series - 'Right way up or upside down? - modelling anti- and synforms by hand. Use your hands to show how the beds in folds can be the right way up or inverted'
A hand-modelling activity to show how different types of synforms and antiforms can be produced.
Lots more activities about fold mountains and folded rocks can be found on our website in the index (scroll down from this link).

Monday, 30 July 2018

Heat transfer from the Earth's core outwards

Today's new ELI is 'The heat is on; modelling the movement of heat from the Earth’s core outwards'.

This activity can be used to consolidate knowledge about the structure of the Earth and the heat flow within it in science or geography lessons.
Many more activities about the core of the Earth, structure of the Earth and plate tectonics can be found by using the search engine or the alphabetical index on our website.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Mary Anning and the evolution of life on Earth

The story of Mary Anning and her search for fossils is an inspiration for everyone. The Earthlearningidea, 'Mary Anning - Mother of Palaeontology; a woman in a man’s world' encourages pupils to think like Mary Anning.


Now, an animation by Anna Humphries can be viewed on the BBC website. Entitled “The girl who helped discover dinosaurs” it tells the story in a simple way for children, setting Mary in her time and place in a very sympathetic way.

 A still from the animation “The girl who helped discover dinosaurs”.
(Image: Courtesy of BBC)

Many more activities about fossils and the evolution of life can be found on our website.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Fieldwork safety: teaching how to keep safe outdoors

The new Earthlearningidea today is 'The ‘What could hurt you here?’ approach to field safety; teaching how to keep safe during fieldwork and other outdoor activities'.

This activity discusses how to introduce fieldwork safety in ways that the group is likely to remember. It is because fieldwork leaders are alert to safety issues, that fieldwork is one of the safer outdoor activities that pupils can undertake.
Many more activities associated with work outdoors for all ages, can be found on our website, through the search engine or alphabetical index.
Teachers may also like to read 'The 'What makes a good educational approach to panning fieldwork; thinking through the fieldwork strategies that are most likely to inform and inspire'.

Monday, 9 July 2018

New Smartphone app - Voyages in Deep Time

Voyages in Deep Time is an exciting project which has developed free smartphone apps to encourage people to visit and enjoy learning about their local rocks and landscapes that tell us what our part of the world was like millions of years ago – in deep time!
The app Voyager deeptime is a game taking  the user on a voyage of discovery and survival in ancient environments. It is aimed at young people (ages 10 – 15 years) but can be fun for everyone.


The app can be used either indoors working through the trail for the site and the way points using the images given in the app, or in the field doing the same thing but with the real rocks in font of you.

Teachers:   FREE teacher training day with subsidised travel being offered on Wednesday 22nd August or Saturday 1st September
To book your place, or to find out more, contact Beth Andrews.
The training days take place in Worcestershire.

The Voyager apps all have a lot of geological information about the whole of the geological timescale - a globe at the side changes the configuration of the continents and shows where we were at the time. At any point on the timescale where you stop, there is more detail about that Period.
In addition to this, for the particular stratigraphy that is relevant to the location on the ground where the app is based upon, there are palaeoenvironmental landscape reconstructions plus 'weather forecasts' and images of the plants and beasties of the time.
DOWNLOAD YOUR APP from Google Play or the AppStore NOW!

Monday, 2 July 2018

Fold mountains with your hands

Today's new ELI is another in the 'hands' series - 'Modelling folding – by hand; using your hands to demonstrate different fold features'.


Describing folding in rocks involves complex terminology. Through this activity, pupils use their hands to model and name the different terms used.
Many practical activities to demonstrate fold mountains can be found on our website.

Monday, 25 June 2018

Rock Explorers for Early Years

This activity, one of a number written for young children, is 'Rock Explorer; putting rocks into families'.

Through this activity, pupils are introduced, to how rocks can be investigated, discussed and used. A variety of cross-curricular and creative approaches can be carried out.
Other activities for young children can be found in Teaching strategies on our website.


Monday, 18 June 2018

Recipe for a magnetic Earth and a magnetic detector

Our new Earthlearningidea today is 'Recipe for a magnetic Earth and a magnetic detector: using a stress ball and small magnet, with a needle and thread to model magnetic Earth'

If you want to use the ‘Magnetic Earth’ Earthlearningidea in your teaching, but would like each group of pupils to try it out for themselves, then this version can be put together very cheaply. Other activities associated with Earth's magnetism can be found in the alphabetical index or by using the search engine.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Clues in sediment which bring an environment to life

'What was it like to be there? – clues in sediment which bring an environment to life: bringing a depositional environment to life using evidence from sedimentary structures.' 

This ELI asks ‘deep questions’ about sedimentary structures to help pupils to visualise the environment in which they formed.
Many more activities about sediment deposition and sedimentary structures can be found on our website, either by using the alphabetical index or the search engine. The former gives a list of such structures with an activity for each.





Monday, 4 June 2018

Hand modelling of compression, tension and shear in the Earth

Today's new Earthlearningidea is 'Modelling Earth stresses with your hands; hand modelling of compression, tension and shear in the Earth'.

This is a class activity to help pupils to visualise and remember the types of stress in the Earth through modelling with their hands. The results of the different types of stress are seen in the deformation of a cube, shown in the diagrams above.
Activities to demonstrate these stresses can be found on our website. The easiest way is to search for 'Stresses in the Earth' in the alphabetical index.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Understand the enormity of geological time

Use some sheets from a toilet roll to make 'The toilet roll of time; make a geological timeline to take home'


This activity has been devised to address the common lack of knowledge about geological time. Research has shown that many people have no idea of the great length of geological time nor of the order of the key events during the geological history of the Earth.
Many more activities about deep time can be found on our website.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Atmosphere and ocean in a lunchbox

Our new Earthlearningidea today is an adaptation of a very popular teacher demonstration, developed into a smaller scale model for pupil use - 'Atmosphere and ocean in a lunchbox; a model for all pupils – of hot, cold and cloudy density currents'

This activity can be used to introduce or reinforce understanding of atmospheric and/or ocean processes or, if used interactively, as an effective way of developing thinking skills, as outlined in the activity.
Many more ELI models can be found by searching our website.


Monday, 14 May 2018

Investigating how sediment is transported by water

'Rolling, hopping, floating and invisibly moving along; investigating how sediment is transported by water'.


Sediment is transported in water (rivers, the sea or currents in gutters) in solution, suspension, by saltation (bouncing along) and by traction (rolling or sliding along). As the sediment is moved along the grains bump into one another and bump against the river or sea bed. They gradually become ground down or eroded; any sharp edges are worn away and the grains become more rounded and smaller.
More activities about how sediment is transported can be found on our website.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Modelling unconformity – by hand

Today's new Earthlearningidea is another in our 'hands' series - 'Modelling unconformity – by hand; using your hands to demonstrate how unconformities form'.

The formation of angular unconformities involves a range of processes operating over different time spans. Modelling these with your hands, whilst explaining the processes and the timings involved, helps to consolidate learning.
Other activities relating to Earth processes and unconformities can be found on our website by using the search engine or the alphabetical index.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Where does offshore oil come from?

'Where does offshore oil come from? An activity to dispel misconceptions about the source of oil'

In this Earthlearningidea, pupils are asked to highlight the misconceptions they may have about where offshore oil is found – as a basis for discussion to address these misconceptions. Ask pupils to visualise what an underground oil reservoir might look like, and draw and label a picture to show their ideas.
A number of activities relating to oil/gas can be found on our website.



Monday, 23 April 2018

Back in time "Alligators spotted in London" @ELI_Earth - July 1

The new ELI today is 'Back in time “Alligators spotted in London” @ELI_Earth - July 1'

Pupils obtain information and use it to interpret past environments. The activity could be used in science, geography or environmental studies lessons. Writing the story involves a cross-curricular link with the arts.
Our website contains lots more innovative teaching ideas about climate change, geological time and cross curricular themes.



Monday, 16 April 2018

Use the view from your local area to tune yourself into the local geology

The photo below shows teachers in Morocco trying out the Earthlearningidea 'The view from the site; using the view of the local area to tune yourself into the local geology'


All the ‘lumps and bumps’ of a landscape are either natural or the result of human activity; larger features can only be natural. This activity uses these features as clues to the underlying geology and geological structure.
Many more ideas to carry out in the field can be found on our website.


Monday, 9 April 2018

Ice core evidence for climate change

The new ELI+ today is 'How can the ice core evidence for climate change be explained? An educational opportunity for discussing evidence, hypotheses and possible responses'

This activity gives an opportunity to show how a complex scientific topic can be used in the classroom to show how science depends upon evidence and interpretation.
Other ELIs about climate change can be found in 'Teaching strategies' on the website.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Simple demonstrations for use outside and ELIs for UK exams - 14-16 years

The ELI 'Fieldwork: interactive re-creation' suggests activities using simple transportable apparatus to simulate features in the field.


If geological features seen in the field can be 're-created' (simulated) in front of the exposure where they are found, then pupil understanding will be enhanced. This seems to be effective.
Many more ideas for field work can be found on our website.

Teachers in the UK - Geopix and Earthlearningidea have matched Earthlearningideas with the current GCSE specification.
The chart can be found in 'Teaching strategies' on the website.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Volcanic eruptions in the classroom

The new ELI today is 'Best classroom eruption? Which type of classroom eruption best shows how volcanoes erupt?'

This activity allows pupils to evaluate different types of classroom eruptions to gauge which best shows how volcanic eruptions are triggered.
Many more activities related to volcanoes and eruptions can be found on our website.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Earthlearningidea photo galleries

Recently a member of the ELI team has organised workshops for teachers in Rwanda. They were doing one of the new activities which will be published on our website soon.

We have added the photos to the photo gallery which is now quite extensive.
If you have any photos of Earthlearningideas in action, please send them to us for the gallery. All the activities can be found on the website.

Monday, 12 March 2018

From river sediment to stripey sedimentary rocks

The new ELI today is 'From river sediment to stripey rocks; modelling the build up of different layers of sediment as seen in sedimentary rocks'.

The activity is useful in consolidating knowledge about sediment transport and deposition by rivers. It helps pupils to interpret patterns they see in ancient river sandstones and to understand that the environment is constantly changing. It's also fun to do!
Lots more activities about rivers and their erosion, transportation and deposition can be found on our website by using the search engine or the index.

Monday, 5 March 2018

What questions about weathering might be asked at any rock exposure?

This series of Earthlearningideas suggests questions about geological processes that might be asked when standing with pupils looking at rock in a cliff, road cutting or quarry. The first of the series is about planning for fieldwork and the second is all about weathering.

 
This activity can be carried out using any exposed surface of rocks, including natural and artificial rock exposures, but also building stones, monuments or gravestones. Manufactured materials such as bricks, tiles and concrete also show the effects of weathering.
Other activities associated with weathering can be found on our website.

Monday, 26 February 2018

When the youngest rock is not on top of the rock sequence

Today's new ELI is 'Modelling by hand ‘when the youngest rock is not on top’; illustrating how rock sequences can have older rocks on top of younger ones'

While the ‘Principle of superposition of strata’ states that younger rocks are found above older ones, there are certain unusual geological conditions causing older rocks to be found on top of younger ones. Through this activity, pupils can model the unusual geological conditions where the ‘Principle of superposition’ does not apply.
This is one of a series of activities using modelling with your hands. Many activities related to the topics in this ELI can be found on our website.

Monday, 19 February 2018

Rock cycle discussion about a sand grain

Have you tried the ELI 'Sand on a sill; what will happen to a sand grain left on a window sill? – a rock cycle discussion'?

This discussion activity has been devised to encourage pupils to think about rock cycle processes in the context of the area outside their own school. By leading the small group discussion using questions such as: ‘What might happen next?’, ‘And then?’ or ‘Can you think of another idea?’, teachers should be able to encourage pupils to consider a range of different processes and products of the rock cycle and how these link to other Earth cycles, as described in the activity.
Many other activities about the rock cycle and its processes and products can be found in 'Teaching strategies' or in the index on our website.
You can also take part in the international research project.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Earthquakes in art

The new ELI is 'Earthquakes in art: developing a scientific report based on evidence in historic paintings'

For this activity the pupils are divided into groups and told that they are science correspondents developing a news report for a quality newspaper or television or radio broadcast. Give each group a copy of one of the paintings and a list of criteria to consider for their reports.
Many more activities associated with Earthquakes can be found on the Earthlearningidea website. There are also other cross-curricular topics.

Monday, 5 February 2018

So, you want to conserve a geodiversity site

'So, you want to conserve a geodiversity site; what could you do if you wanted to conserve a geoscience site?'


This is a planning activity focussed on conserving a site of geoscientific importance. A checklist is provided to develop a plan for conserving a site.
Lots more activities about the environment can be found in our 'Resources and Environment' category on the website.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Continents/oceans pattern versus pattern of life on Earth

Todays new ELI+ is all about how the link between continental patterns and life on Earth can be explained? - 'The pattern of continents/oceans versus the pattern of life on Earth'

This is a modelling task, involving drawing and counting, to enable pupils to visualise the effects of different numbers of continents on global biodiversity. The activity enables pupils to account for the findings in terms of the effects of differing numbers of continents and areas of shallow sea on evolution and extinction.
Other activities related to the evolution of life can be found on our website.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Translations of Earthlearningideas

We have recently published a graph showing all the translations of Earthlearningideas.


At the end of 2017 Earthlearningidea included 1199 activities,
277 in English
922 translations from English

The Earthlearningidea Team thanks all those people who are translating the activities. All the work is on a voluntary basis and we are extremely grateful, as are teachers all over the world.
Thank you! 


The graph and the map above can be found under ELI around the world on our website.


 

Monday, 15 January 2018

Make and use your own Plaster of Paris

The new ELI today is 'Make and use your own Plaster of Paris; investigate a large-scale industrial process in a boiling tube'.

In this activity pupils make their own small quantity of Plaster of Paris and then use it to make a cast. This helps them to understand the large-scale industrial process of making plaster.
Use the search engine or index on our website to find many more activities to do with Earth's materials and resources.

Monday, 8 January 2018

What drives the tectonic plates?

This activity 'What drives the plates?' uses a pupil model to demonstrate that slab pull is the main plate-driving force.


Recent evidence has shown that the traditional view of mantle convection being the main driving force in lithospheric plate movement is probably incorrect. If it were the main driving force, then plates with the largest surface area would move fastest because they would have the largest area on which the mantle convection forces would act – this is not the case. However, those plates that have the longest subducting margins, with geophysical evidence of the deepest subduction slabs, do seem to be moving fastest – which is why this is now considered to be the main driving force. A fourth force that might be important is subduction suction where the old, cold oceanic plate subduction trench migrates towards the oceanic ridge pulling the over- riding plate behind it. Some geophysicists argue that this is an important driver of plate movement.
Many more activities about plate tectonics can be found on our website.

Monday, 1 January 2018

Modelling plate margins and plate movement with your hands

The first new Earthlearningidea for 2018 is 'Plate margins and movement by hand; modelling plate margins and plate movement with your hands'.


This is a class activity to help pupils to visualise plate margins and movements through modelling with their hands.
Many more activities associated with plate tectonics an be found on our website.