Monday 29 June 2015

Make your own rain

Have you tried the ELI 'Mini-world water cycle; a water cycle demonstration model in a box'?

Make a sandy ‘beach’ in the box and add the shallow ‘sea’. Switch on the lamp (‘Sun’) and wait for a few minutes for the water to become warm (or ‘cheat’ by adding warm water from the kettle). Add the freezer pack to cause the effect of cooling air which will form ‘clouds’. After a time, the water droplets that condense on the underside of the box lid beneath the cool ‘clouds’ grow, and fall to the beach as ‘rain’.
This is one of many 'watery ELIs; other ideas can be found on the website in Teaching strategies.

Monday 22 June 2015

Why is the fossil record incomplete? Survival of the toughest

The new ELI published today is 'Shell shake - survival of the toughest; why is the fossil record incomplete?'
In this activity, pupils deliberately smash a variety of seashells to see which ones are strong enough to remain recognisable, and which ones are so weak that they would leave little or no evidence of their existence. This leads pupils to realise that the fossil record is often biased.
This is one of the many Earthlearningideas about fossils and erosion; search our website for more.

Monday 15 June 2015

The balloon goes up at Krakatoa

'The balloon goes up at Krakatoa; using a tank and balloon to simulate the huge tsunamis caused by the eruption of Krakatoa'
The eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia in 1883 was truly awesome. The sound was, by far, the loudest sound ever recorded; the loudest sound in modern history. It travelled more than 3000 km to central Australia, where it woke up sleeping people, and 4800 km to islands in the Indian Ocean, where they thought there was a gunbattle offshore.
While the eruption itself was awesome, it was the tsunamis that caused all the deaths – so how were these tsunamis formed? Nobody really knows the exact mechanism, since no one was there at the time. One theory is that, after the caldera had been formed, a side of the volcano slumped into the sea, causing the tsunamis. A second theory is that, when the magma chamber collapsed, huge volumes of sea water poured into the space and then slopped out again, causing
the tsunamis. If this last theory is correct, you can recreate your own ‘Krakatoan tsunamis’ in the classroom, as demonstrated by these Spanish students.

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Roadstones - important note

The Earthlearningidea team is sorry but the activity published last Monday has been replaced with a revised version.
Please download the activity again if you have already downloaded the original copy - Roadstone - which rock?

Monday 8 June 2015

Roadstone - which rock?

The new ELI, published today, is 'Roadstone - which rock?' This activity asks pupils to investigate which rock types are best for the wearing course of roads.

 After completing the activity, pupils can:
• measure grain size of a selection of rocks;
• use six criteria to determine the best choice of rock for the wearing course of a road;
• realise that, because of the high cost of transporting aggregate, slightly inferior rocks are often used;
• appreciate that limestone, although not suitable for motorways, is extensively used because it is readily available.
This investigation can be carried out as a revision exercise of the major rock types in science, environmental science, geography or economics lessons.
Many more teaching ideas can be found on our website.

Monday 1 June 2015

Popular ELI in May - The space within - the porosity of rocks

A popular Earthlearningidea in May was "The space within - the porosity of rocks; investigating the amount of pore space between the 'grains' of a model 'rock'"
Underground water supplies and reserves of oil and gas depend on the presence of porous rocks, which are capable of holding such fluids in their pore spaces.
The lesson could form part of an investigation in science or in geography, or could be used when pupils are trying to understand why their country has, or lacks, good underground water, oil and gas resources.
Lots more good teaching ideas can be found on our website.