Monday 30 March 2009

Tsunami through the window

Have you tried this activity? You only need a good imagination to do it - 'A tsunami through the window - what would you see, what would you feel?' The class is asked a series of questions about what a tsunami is like, as they look through a window or doorway (having looked at a photo or photos first). They are asked to discuss the answers in groups to provide a better 'feel' for what it might actually be like to be there. Some possible responses, for discussion, are provided in the activity.

Monday 23 March 2009

Dangerous swelling of a volcano

This activity demonstrates how tiltmeters on volcanoes work. If the volcano 'bulges', changing shape because the magma beneath is rising, the liquid in the tiltmeter will move - sending an electric signal 'back to base'.
This an easy activity to set up and carry out. It could form part of a lesson about volcanic eruptions and their effects. Is it better to use one source or several in trying to predict an eruption? How do you prepare a response to an eruption in a volcanic area? Please let us know what your pupils think.

Earthlearningidea is being translated into Mandarin

We are delighted to announce that our Earthlearningideas are gradually being translated into Mandarin. The translations are being organised by the webmaster of GeoIdea. This website is devoted to teaching Geoscience in China.

Monday 16 March 2009

Extension idea for A Valley in 30 seconds

Last year we published an Earthlearningidea called 'A valley in 30 seconds - pulling rocks apart'. We have now added an extension idea which makes the tension fault even more clear and more precise.
It is important to know about these faults as they explain why a rock layer like a coal seam in a mine, may suddenly stop only to be discovered higher or lower on the other side of the fracture in the strata.

Thursday 12 March 2009

From Bologna, Italy

Thank you very much for your innovative teaching ideas.
In January, I tried the sediment transport investigation "Mighty river in a small gutter; sediments on the move", using some planks covered in a plastic sheet to set up the "stream table". You only need washed sand, some small pebbles of gravel and a bottle of water. You can see erosion, transportation and deposition very clearly.
I also tried the thought experiment "Flood through a window: what would you see, how would you feel?", looking through the window of the classroom. Some answers were very curious!
The students were 15 years old and enjoyed both activities very much. I shall use them again in the future.
The Earthlearningidea team is very pleased to receive comments and photos such as this. Please do send yours to us.

Monday 9 March 2009

Atmosphere and ocean in a tank video

A short video clip is now available for this activity - High flow, low flow?: atmosphere and ocean in a tank - hot, cold and particle- filled density currents as they flow in the atmosphere and ocean.
Can you predict what the hot, red coloured current will do? How will the cold, blue-coloured current and the white, particle-filled density current behave?
This is an easy activity to set up and it can be used to introduce or reinforce understanding of atmospheric and/or ocean processes or, if used interactively, it is an effective way of developing thinking skills.

Monday 2 March 2009

Grinding and gouging

How can moving ice grind rocks away? Find out by trying our latest Earthlearningidea. How can ice make scratch marks on rocks? This photo shows a valley in Norway which was carved by ice. How could this possibly have happened?
Please send us your thoughts and comments about this activity