Monday 31 August 2009

Sequencing the events that form rock

'Laying down the principles' is all about sequencing the events that form rocks using stratigraphic principles. This Earthlearningidea gives you a simple way to demonstrate complex ideas. Your pupils will soon understand 'Superposition of Strata', 'Original Horizontality', 'Lateral Continuity', 'Included fragments' and Cross-cutting Relationships'. You can also demonstrate Rock deformation' and 'Faunal Succession'. These principles are the fundamental methods used by geoscientists to sequence rocks and rock events.

Monday 24 August 2009

Dinosaur footprints - interpretation of evidence

What was revealed when the old buildings, shown in the diagram above, were removed? Find out when you try 'The meeting of the dinosaurs - 100 million years ago'. This Earthlearningidea is one of many about trace fossils listed on our website; search the keynote index under 'Fossils'.

Sunday 16 August 2009

AEON EarthWISE in South Africa recently hosted some workshops at the Department of Geology, University of the Free State These workshops were a big success with 48 teachers attending. Each teacher received a science activity workbook, including 30 Earth Learning Ideas to use in their classrooms. Two ELI activities were demonstrated, 'Make your own volcano' and 'The rock cycle in wax'. The responses were excellent. Thank you again for the whole initiative of Earth Learning Idea; it is really a great resource.
The Earthlearningidea team is delighted to hear this news from South Africa. This is exactly the result we wished for when the idea was first started.

Wednesday 12 August 2009


We are pleased to report that a long article about Earthlearningidea has been published in Italian in 'Geoitalia', number 26, March 2009, pages 4 - 11 The photo shows a member of the Earthlearningidea team demonstrating 'High flow, low flow?: atmosphere and ocean in a tank'. This activity demonstrates how hot, cold and particle-filled density currents flow in the atmosphere or ocean.

Monday 10 August 2009

Trace fossil activities

Last week's new Earthlearningidea was about making your own tracks and trails similar to those tracks and trails (trace fossils) left by animals millions of years ago. Have you tried the other Earthlearningideas about trace fossils? Click on the category 'Evolution of Life'; you could try
- A dinosaur in the yard
- Dinosaur death - did it die or what it killed?
- How to weigh a dinosaur
- The meeting of the dinosaurs - 100 million years ago.
All of these activities use trace fossils.

Monday 3 August 2009

Making your own 'fossil' trails

'Trail-making; making your own "fossil" animal trails' is our latest Earthlearningidea.
First of all your pupils need to do some 'trail-thinking' by asking themselves why would the animal have been on the sand, in which direction was it moving, how would it have been moving, how fast, how deep would the trail be, would it have been straight, would the animal have rested and how could the trail become fossilised?
When pupils have completed this activity, they will be able to describe how animals of the past might have moved, use their descriptions to make appropriate trail marks in damp sand and explain how the trails they have made give information on how the animals moved in the past.
Of course, they can make many types of trails from those left by trilobites to those of dinosaurs.
We should be very pleased to receive your pupils' ideas and photos of their trails, if possible.