Monday 25 August 2008

Carbon goes round and round and round

Click here to view our latest Earthlearningidea about the carbon cycle.
Pupils are asked to arrange specimens, drawings or photos of the carbon cycle into the correct sequence. They are then asked at which stages carbon is 'fixed' and which stages carbon is 'released'.
The carbon cycle can be introduced when teaching many topics including the atmosphere, photosynthesis, respiration, decomposition, combustion, fossil fuels, climate change - - - -
Let us know how you introduce it.

Monday 18 August 2008

New activity - See how they run!

Why do some lavas flow further and more quickly than others? Find out by trying our latest Earthlearningidea 'See how they run'.
Ask your pupils why they think that some volcanoes erupt lava that can flow for many kilometres, whilst others tend to produce lava domes with no runny lava at all. Pupils can then investigate some of the factors that control the viscosity (or 'stickiness') of fluids, using a viscous fluid like treacle as a substitute for lava.

At the end of this activity your pupils should be able to explain that the viscosity of a fluid depends on several variables including temperature, content of solid particles and gas content. They will know that a fluid with low viscosity will flow further than one of high viscosity. They will appreciate that lavas may contain liquids, solids and gases and that volcanoes emitting lava of high viscosity may be more dangerous than ones with low viscosity lava, which flows away more freely.

Monday 11 August 2008

Bringing a fossil to life

'What was it like to be there? - bringing a fossil to life' is our latest Earthlearningidea.
Try to bring fossils to life in the imaginations of your pupils by asking a series of key questions. Encourage them to use the evidence from the fossils themselves to answer the questions, rather than by guessing. Ask them to suggest what other evidence might help them to give even better answers. Questions to ask are as follows -

When it was alive:
- What sort of place was this animal living in?
- What did it breathe?
- What did it eat?
- Was it a hunter? — or hunted? — or both?
- What could it have seen?
- What could it have sensed?
- How did it die? — can we tell?
- What happened after it died?
Pupils have to use their creativity and imagination to bring the animals and their environments to life, whilst 'bridging' between life today and in the past.
Let us know how you get on with this activity by writing a comment on this blog or by contacting us by email.

Monday 4 August 2008

Quarry through the window

'Quarry through the window - what would you see, what would you not see?' This is our latest Earthlearningidea - click here to view the activity in English. It can also be found in Spanish in the 'Resources and Environment' category (Recursos y Medio Ambiente) - click here.
Many people don't realise that, to build our buildings, to construct transport links and to make dams and reservoirs, we have to extract millions of tonnes of material from the ground — and that this comes from quarries. Most people would not like a quarry in their 'backyard', but quarries have to be sited where the materials are found underground, and not too far from where they are needed, because it is very expensive to transport bulk materials like quarry products for long distances. So, some rock, sand and gravel quarries and clay pits have to be sited near towns and cities.
Ask your pupils to try this activity and send us their work. We will publish the best.