Monday 30 September 2013

How to model igneous processes using wax and sand

'Volcano in the lab' is a very popular activity with everyone. Using wax, sand and cold water, it models very successfully a volcanic plumbing system with the lava spreading out over the surface of the Earth at the top. In this model it is possible to see through the Earth's crust.
The wax can be re-used lots of times so it's a useful resource that you can keep ready.
This is one of many innovative ideas, all free to download from our website.

Monday 23 September 2013

First in new ELI series about water

This is the first in a new series of Earthlearningideas about water - 'Changing state - transforming water'  This ELI involves a series of three activities for pupils to encounter and discuss the changing states of water, from ice to water to water vapour and back again – giving opportunities to develop a range of observation and description skills.
There are lots of other watery ideas in the list of 'Related ELIs' on the home page of our website or in Teaching strategies (link from home page).

Monday 16 September 2013

Mineral expert - identifying minerals using 'action' tests

In 'Be a mineral expert - 1' pupils were asked to identify a set of unknown minerals using the properties of colour, habit, lustre and cleavage that they could see. In today's activity 'Be a mineral expert - 2', they are asked to use the 'action' tests of streak, density, hardness and the acid test to further identify unknown minerals.
More minerals activities can be found on the ELI website.

Monday 9 September 2013

Why do igneous rocks have different crystal sizes?

This activity simulates crystallisation from a melt at different rates of cooling of Salol (phenyl salicylate). It can be included in lessons on the rock cycle to model the cooling and crystallisation of magma to form igneous rocks. We have just added some video clips which show crystallisation on room temperature, cold and warm microscope slides.
These video clips are published with permission from the Earth Science Education Unit which provides no fee Earth science/Geology CPD to teachers and teacher trainees across England, Scotland and Wales, through workshops for schools, teacher meetings and teacher education institutions/organisations.

Click HERE to watch the video clips

Monday 2 September 2013

Be a mineral expert - beginning to identify minerals

'Be a mineral expert - 1; beginning to identify minerals'. This is the first of a series of mineral identification activities. Here pupils base their identification just on the properties they can see, i.e. colour, crystal habit (shape and proportion), lustre (reflection of light) and cleavage (regular breakage pattern).
This series of activities on minerals can be used in a variety of lessons, ranging from the nature of minerals as the ‘building blocks’ of rocks to the origins and recycling of useful elements in the Earth. Search the website for similar activities.