Monday 29 April 2013

Magnetic stripes

Have you tried the ELI 'Magnetic stripes'? This activity models the symmetrical magnetic pattern of the rocks of the sea floor. The magnetic properties of the rocks below the sea bed have been used to show that the ocean floors are spreading outwards.
This is one of many ELI activities used to teach the theory of plate tectonics; a list is provided in the 'Teaching strategies', link from the ELI home page.

Monday 22 April 2013

Smelter on a stick

Today's new ELI publication is 'Smelter on a stick: smelting iron ore to iron on a gas burner'. In this activity, pupils can demonstrate how iron ore can be smelted to iron, using a “micro-smelter” on a gas flame. It is a simple introduction to the smelting of metal ores by reducing them to the metal with charcoal. It is very popular!
Other ELI activities related to ores are listed on the home page of the website.
Let us know how you get on with this activity by putting a comment on this blog.

Monday 15 April 2013

Frozen magnetism

Teaching magnetism and the Earth? Have you tried the ELI 'Frozen magnetism; preserving evidence of a past magnetic field in wax'? This activcity is a demonstration of how the evidence for the magnetic field around a bar magnet may be preserved, even after the magnet has been removed. This gives an analogy for the three- dimensional magnetic field of the Earth, with a North and a South Pole.
This is one of many Earthlearningideas in the Earth energy/processes category.

Monday 8 April 2013

Found in the ground - grouping materials

This week's new Earthlearningidea is 'Found in the ground: sorted!'  This activity is an introduction to classification using things 'found in the ground'.
Pupils are provided with a box of assorted items, most of which come straight from the ground, but also including one or two manufactured objects. A typical list is given under 'Resources' in the activity. The pupils are asked to sort the items into groups,
using their own criteria, and without any prior briefing regarding the usual names for materials of geological origin. They may set up as many groups as they like, so long as they can justify why they have placed items in each group. Tell them that, when they have finished, you will want them to justify their reasons for their groupings.
This is one of many activities in our Earth Materials category.

Monday 1 April 2013

Popular ELI in March 2013 - Dinosaur footprints

We have just published the statistics for March 2013. The results can be seen at 'ELI in the world'. At the beginning of each month we publish an Earthlearningidea that has been popular during the previous month. In March, it was 'The meeting of the dinosaurs - 100 million years ago'.

This activity is about interpreting the evidence given by dinosaur footprints. At first pupils think the answer is an easy one, that is, that the big dinosaur ate the little one but then they realise that there are lots of different scenarios to explain the evidence -
- the little one was part of a herd ready to attack the big one,
- parent and baby,
- footprints an hour or so apart so they are un-related,
- both animals going to a watering hole - - - - ??
Since ELI began in May 2007, over 900,000 activities have been downloaded. Let us know your thoughts or suggestions for future ELIs - contact ELI team.