Monday 28 November 2011

Video clip - Curious creatures

Following last week's new activity 'Curious creatures', we have added a video clip. This comes from the official Burgess Shale website where you can find more information about these amazing animals. Pikaia was a primitive chordate and one of our earliest ancestors.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Note for all our Mapwork users

We have now completed the table showing the progression and spiralling of spatial thinking skills demonstrated by the Earthlearningidea ‘Geological mapwork from scratch’ exercises and the ‘Geological mapwork from models’ exercises. There are new pdfs on the website giving the completed table on the three Geological mapwork from scatch exercises and on five of the Geological mapwork from models exercises.
As you can see from the table, there are eight Geological mapwork from models activities. Numbers 6, 7 and 8 will be published in January and February next year. There are also two further mapwork exercises shown on the table.
If you need any of these exercises before they are published, to complete your teaching of the topic, please contact us.

Monday 21 November 2011

Curious creatures - the Cambrian explosion of life

The new ELI today is 'Curious creatures; using fossil and modern evidence to work out the lifestyles of extinct animals'. Pupils are asked to try to compare the features of animals today with those of Cambrian fossils - can they then predict the lifestyles of the extinct animals?
Life on Earth suddenly diversified around 500 million years ago   when shells and skeletons appeared for the first time in the fossil record. All animal life today probably evolved from some of these creatures, while others became extinct. Evolution is often thought of as a simple line or chain of ancestors and descendants, when it actually consists of many branches, most of which have become extinct.
This is one of many activities about the Evolution of Life, free to download from our website.

Monday 14 November 2011

Power through the window

All the world needs energy, and more energy is needed by more people every day. Electrical energy is needed to supply homes and industry. Electricity cannot be stored and has to be generated as needed from other energy sources. The rate at which other energy is converted into electricity is called power. The structures which generate electricity must be sited somewhere. Which of them could be sited in the view through your window?
Try 'Power through the window; which power source might be built in the view you can see from your window?
This activity requires pupils to work out which of the power sources COULD be sited in the view they can see – before they decide if they SHOULD be sited there. Most people wouldn’t want to see a power source through their window – but they all have to be sited somewhere! Are you a 'Nimby'?
Visit our website for over 100 more thought-provoking teaching ideas.

Monday 7 November 2011

Margarine mountain-building

The new ELI today is 'Margarine mountain-building; making mountains every time you make a sandwich'.
The activity uses materials that pupils use every day to remind them how folds and mountain belts are formed, as surface and near
surface materials are scraped up during plate subduction.
Your pupils could also try the three activities related to this new ELI - they are listed on the home page of the website.
Ask your pupils to think of other food analogies for Earth processes and Earth materials; let us know about them to publish as future Earthlearningideas.

Thursday 3 November 2011

More than half a million Earth Learning Idea downloads!

Celebration time! By the end of October, over half a million ELI activities had been downloaded!
The maps and graph above can be viewed on our website.