Monday 29 December 2008

Power through the window

In this latest Earthlearningidea, pupils are asked to think about which sorts of power source could be built in the view through the window - before considering which of them should be built there. Is anyone a NIMBY?
Thinking skill development: pupils are asked to bridge from the photographs of power sources to the view through the window. Any debates are likely to cause cognitive conflict.
This activity should generate lots of arguments and comments - please send us some.

Monday 22 December 2008

Why does the Sun disappear?

The new Earthlearningidea for this week is 'Why does the sun disappear? Demonstrate what happens when the Moon hides the Sun.' This activity demonstrates how a small object, which is near, can block out the view of a much larger object that is further away. Do your pupils think that the Sun and the Moon often appear to be the same size in the sky? They are not the same size at all and yet the Moon can block out the Sun completely so that it goes quite dark - - solar eclipse or total eclipse of the Sun.
This is our first activity in the category 'Earth and space'. Can you think of some more? Have a look at the home page on our website - 'Invitation to contribute'. We shall be very pleased to receive your contributions.

Monday 15 December 2008

Carbon cycle through the window

Our latest Earthlearningidea is 'Carbon cycle through the window; how much evidence of the carbon cycle can you see through the window?' Ask your pupils to look through a window or doorway and answer these questions:
- where on Earth does carbon occur and where can you see evidence for it?
- where is carbon 'fixed' and where can you see evidence for it?
- where is carbon 'released' and where can you see evidence for it?
Please let us know how you get on by leaving comments on this blog.

Monday 8 December 2008

Groundwater investigation

The new Earthlearningidea is about groundwater 'From rain to spring: water from the ground'. The activity demonstrates how water flows through the ground and how it can be used and how it can be polluted. All you need for this innovative idea is a plastic container, some plastic cups, some washed sand, a spoon and some 'waste'.
The model demonstrates how groundwater flows and forms aquifers (permeable rocks containing underground water supplies). In the model, the upper part with the cups represents the 'hills'; water poured into the cups represents 'rain'; the water emerges from the 'ground' in a 'spring'. The 'spring' is usually found at the lower end of the container, where the downward flowing water reaches the impermeable edge of the container and flows upwards to the 'ground surface' - as in many natural springs formed where flowing water meets an impermeable barrier.
Your pupils will enjoy this easy-to-set-up activity; please let us have your comments - click on 'comments' below.

Monday 1 December 2008

New ELI - Environmental detective

The latest Earthlearningidea is 'Environmental detective; imagining how the evidence of modern environments could become preserved' This is an imaginative exercise in thinking about where different environments might occur on a tropical desert coast and how the evidence might become preserved in a sequence of rocks. In their imagination, pupils look at four different modern environments. All four of these environments existed millions of years ago too. In each environment, the sediments that were being deposited contain clues to that environment. The evidence may be preserved when the loose sediments are turned into rock. Your pupils are asked to be detectives and look at photos of the four environments and work out which photo applies to which environment.
Your pupils will enjoy this activity; please let us know how they get on. We should be pleased to receive samples of their work, the best of which we will publish.