Monday 24 November 2008

Rock cycle through the window

The latest activity 'Rock cycle through the window: the rock cycle processes you might be able to see - and those you can't' has just been published on our new website.
  • can you see weathering?
  • can you see erosion/transportation?
  • can you see deposition?
  • can you see the other rock cycle processes? - compaction/cementation of sediments or metamorphism or melting or crystallisation or uplift?
Let us know the reactions of your pupils to this activity. Could they imagine processes they couldn't see?

Monday 17 November 2008

Squeezed out of shape

Try our new Earthlearningidea 'Squeezed out of shape: detecting the distortion after rocks have been affected by Earth movements' Ask your pupils if we can ever tell by how much a rock has been squeezed by Earth movements. One way is to look at fossils in deformed rocks. The original shapes of these are usually well known, so they can be used to work out the extent to which they have been deformed. If the fossils have been deformed, then so has the rock in which they are found.
This is a very popular activity in the UK. Let us know how you get on - - send us some photos of your results.

Italian time-line in their own backyard!

We tried this activity, 'A time-line in your own backyard' using toilet paper for the geological time-line: with a roll of 600 segments we covered the evolution of pluricellular life (1 segment = 1 million years). The positioning of milestones along the time-line is a good starting point for discussion. You only need a school-yard, good weather and no wind. These students are 16 years old and enjoyed the activity.

We are always pleased to receive photos and comments about Earthlearningideas - please keep them coming.


Monday 10 November 2008

Me - a fossil?

'How could I become fossilised? Thinking through fossilisation in the context of me or you' is the latest Earthlearningidea. The pupils are asked to consider what would happen if someone in their class fell into a nearby river or the sea and died. How might they become fossilised? Inevitably, the story of decay is a bit gruesome but you can steer the pupils to the answers. The best chances of fossilisation are where there is no activity to drag the body along, where there is no oxygen so that animals that might eat the body and bacteria that might rot the body can't live. The best chances of getting these conditions occur if the body is buried. If you want to be a fossil, don't fall into a river or the sea, ask to be buried! You need to be buried in impermeable ground like mud or clay that will keep water and oxygen out - like the man shown in the image above. He died more than 6000 years ago and was buried in a bog (Tollund Man from Denmark). Unfortunately, he isn't 10,000 years old and so is too young to be a true fossil.

Wednesday 5 November 2008

Earthlearningidea website

As you may have seen, the latest upgrade of pbwiki has changed our website. Please note that you do NOT need to log in and all the pdfs are still FREE to download. Let us know if you have any problems.
We are trying to solve the problem but please bear with us, as this may take some time.

Monday 3 November 2008

Earthquake prediction

Click here to view the latest activity 'Earthquake prediction - when will the earthquake strike?' In this activity we model how forces acting in the Earth can build up stresses, which are suddenly released when rocks fail (fracture). This activity could form part of a lesson on earthquakes and their effects, leading to an understanding of the difficulties faced by civil authorities in clearing an earthquake-prone district in time to prevent casualties. It is also a useful application of the theory of forces.
Remember to let us know how you get on when you try this Earthlearningidea.

Saturday 1 November 2008

The Himalayas in 30 seconds

We have received some thought-provoking queries via YouTube about the video used to illustrate the Earthlearningidea, 'The Himalayas in 30 seconds'. We have responded in full to the questions in 'Extension ideas' which accompany this activity.
We should be pleased to receive further comments about this or any of the other activities.