Friday 22 March 2013

Modelling the phases of the Moon

The new Earthlearningidea published today is 'Jaffa moon; modelling the phases of the moon using Jaffa CakesTM.
 Ask your pupils to make a log of the shape of the moon over a lunar month, noting the date and time of each observation. They could either do this by direct observation or by research on the internet. When their logs have been completed, ask them to model the phases of the moon using Jaffa CakesTM. They will have to cut or nibble the biscuits carefully to make some of the phases. Then ask them to use their model to complete a series of predictions.
Needless to say, this activity will be much enjoyed by your pupils! It is the first of a series of ELIs about the Moon.

Monday 18 March 2013

Have you played Geobattleships? Do earthquakes and volcanoes coincide?

'Geobattleships' uses a children’s game to match the distribution of volcanoes and earthquakes on the Earth’s surface. The activity provides a useful lead-in to the topic of plate tectonics and is best used before students have become too familiar with the theory.
This is one of many ELIs associated with plate tectonic theory; refer to Teaching strategies for some more ideas.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

Soil doughnuts - investigating types of soil

The new ELI this week is 'Soil doughnuts; sorting out soils'
Give the pupils a variety of different soil types ranging from very sandy, through loam to heavy clay. They can then use the table provided to work out which soil type they have. They soon realise that sandy soils allow water through easily and clay soils do not. Gardeners usually prefer loam soils. For a farmer or gardener, it is important to know the soil type so that it can be managed properly and crop production increased.
Along with the other soils activities in the ELI soil series, this can be used in any lesson about the environment, rocks and landscape, agriculture, gardening or investigations out of doors. It is messy, but fun!

Thursday 7 March 2013


Click here to view amazing photos of the Hatfield Stainforth colliery landslide, UK.

Try the ELI 'Landslide through the window - what would you see, what would you feel?' This activity asks pupils to picture for themselves what a landslide through the window might look like.
This is one of many activities in our Resources and environment category

Monday 4 March 2013

Properties of the Earth's mantle

How do you model the Earth's mantle? How do you explain that it is solid; S-waves (transverse waves) will go through it, and yet subduction can take place into it?
The answer is to try this ELI - 'Bouncing, bending, breaking; modelling the properties of the Earth's mantle with Potty Putty (TM) from a toy shop'.

This is one of many Earthlearningideas about the nature of the Earth: all can be found and downloaded free from our website.