TeachersFirst's Earth and Rock Cycle - Science Resources

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Teach your students about the earth and rock cycle with this collection of resources. There are sites here for all grades. Read the descriptions to find out whether a site sounds right for what you want to know. Some sites may be more challenging reading, while others may offer solid basic information. Don't miss the interactives! 

Explore our tagged resources for the rock cycle and earth.   

 

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Tour of National Parks Geology - National Park Service

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore the many different kinds of geology available for viewing at United States National Parks with this online tour. Choose from various categories to find links to parks with that...more
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Explore the many different kinds of geology available for viewing at United States National Parks with this online tour. Choose from various categories to find links to parks with that geologic theme. Some also include a short description of geologic features. Although this site looks quite simple, there is an abundance of information available for learning about geographic features around the United States.

tag(s): caves (6), fossils (36), geology (60), glaciers (16), mountains (12), plate tectonics (18), rivers (13), rocks (36), soil (19), volcanoes (50)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on geographic features on a projector or interactive whiteboard. After sharing, allow students to explore on their own. Share the locations using Google Earth, reviewed here, and have students add placeholders and information about each site.

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Bozeman Science - Paul Anderson

Grades
9 to 12
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Bozeman Science offers hundreds of science videos with topics ranging from Anatomy & Physiology through Statistics & Graphing. The site also includes videos aligned to AP curriculum...more
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Bozeman Science offers hundreds of science videos with topics ranging from Anatomy & Physiology through Statistics & Graphing. The site also includes videos aligned to AP curriculum and Next Generation Science Standards. Each video includes easy to understand definitions along with examples of concepts; most videos run 10 minutes or less. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): advanced placement (24), animals (264), atoms (41), body systems (41), chemicals (38), ecosystems (65), elements (32), energy (126), evolution (86), human body (93), OER (31), planets (108), plants (135), plate tectonics (18), pollution (47), population (51), rock cycle (11), solar energy (32), solar system (94), stars (61), weather (156)

In the Classroom

Be sure to take advantage of this extensive collection of videos in any upper-level science classroom. Be sure to include this site on your class webpage for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Embed a video onto your website to use for flipped lessons - have students watch the video before coming to class to participate in additional learning activities. View the Educational video portion of the site to find teaching ideas for your classroom. Use this site as a model, then ask students to create video explanations using a tool such as moovly, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Fun Science Demos - Dr. George Mehler & Jared Hottenstein

Grades
K to 8
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Fun Science Demos is a YouTube Channel devoted to sharing engaging science lessons for young learners based on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Choose from popular videos such...more
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Fun Science Demos is a YouTube Channel devoted to sharing engaging science lessons for young learners based on Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Choose from popular videos such as Balancing Balloons - Air Has Weight or Muscles Moving Your Bones. Be sure to check out the playlists to find videos categorized by topic. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): earth (172), electricity (61), energy (126), engineering (109), heat (15), human body (93), life cycles (19), magnetism (32), matter (46), minerals (15), moon (64), recycling (44), rocks (36), solar system (94), sound (70), space (202), STEM (219), sun (59), video (242), water (96)

In the Classroom

Flip your classroom and use a video as homework. Have students take notes on the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. Or, use a tool like playposit, (formerly eduCanon), reviewed here, for students to pause videos and ask or answer questions right on the video. These activities can uncover misconceptions. Show the video to the class, and then discuss the concept at length. To share a single video from this site without all the YouTube clutter, View Pure, reviewed here, and create a shortcut to the View Pure page directly on the desktop. For more advanced classes, provide time for students to choose a video to view and research the underlying concept.

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The 25 Biggest Turning Points in Earth's History - BBC Earth

Grades
7 to 12
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BBC Earth offers this interesting look at their 25 choices for the biggest turning points in Earth's history. Scroll through to learn about events beginning with the birth of Earth...more
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BBC Earth offers this interesting look at their 25 choices for the biggest turning points in Earth's history. Scroll through to learn about events beginning with the birth of Earth 4.5 billion years ago to the evolution of the human race 200,000 years ago. Each event includes approximate dates and a short description of the occurrence. Some events include animation. See these by clicking "Play Video." At the time of this review the animations were problematic using Safari. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cells (80), dinosaurs (36), earth (172), evolution (86), mammals (23), plants (135)

In the Classroom

Ask students to consider the question of the 25 biggest turning points in Earth's history before viewing this site together, and then compare responses. Have students brainstorm or collect ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here, (quick start- no membership required!). Use this site as inspiration for students to create their own 25 (or whatever) choices for the biggest turning points in their life, your state, their country, a country they are studying, or any subject they are studying. Ask students to present their own 25 to their peers using an interactive poster like Adope Spark, reviewed here.

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MinuteEarth YouTube Channel - Henry, Alex, and Peter Reich, Emily Elert, Ever Salazar

Grades
4 to 12
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This YouTube Channel is the place to find answers about science and stories about our awesome planet. Browse through the video list to learn why we just see one side ...more
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This YouTube Channel is the place to find answers about science and stories about our awesome planet. Browse through the video list to learn why we just see one side of the moon, discover the secret social life of plants, and understand why rivers curve. Subscribe to MinuteEarth to receive a notification when new videos become available. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): atmosphere (21), earth (172), moon (64), oceans (128), planets (108), plants (135), video (242), weather (156)

In the Classroom

Share videos on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or as a link on your class website or blog. To share a single video from this site without all the YouTube clutter, use a tool such as Clipchamp, reviewed here. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to share information learned from videos. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos about your curriculum topics and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Some video tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Spark Video Creator, FlexClip, Powtoon, and Renderforest.

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OneGeology Kids - OneGeology

Grades
1 to 5
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Explore different parts of geology through OneGeology's cartoon-like characters. Each character provides information about topics such as rocks and minerals, energy, and earthquakes....more
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Explore different parts of geology through OneGeology's cartoon-like characters. Each character provides information about topics such as rocks and minerals, energy, and earthquakes. Click on the character and go to their page. Pages include a short overview of information, links to more information, photos, and maps with additional detail.

tag(s): dinosaurs (36), earthquakes (42), energy (126), fossils (36), geology (60), maps (220), rocks (36), volcanoes (50), water (96)

In the Classroom

Share OneGeology on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to introduce your geology unit to students. Enhance learning by having students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here. Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. Transform technology use and enhance learning by having students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to explain different geologic phenomenon.

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The Encyclopedia of Earth - Environmental Information Coalition

Grades
4 to 12
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Looking for a quality resource about the Earth, organisms, the natural environment, and their interaction with society? This Encyclopedia is a free, quality collection of articles written...more
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Looking for a quality resource about the Earth, organisms, the natural environment, and their interaction with society? This Encyclopedia is a free, quality collection of articles written by professionals, educators, and experts. The project is a collaboration, and articles are reviewed by other experts. Though written by professionals, the articles are not technical, proving useful to students and educators. It is also helpful to other professionals as well as the general public. View the authors and editors attributed to the articles. Be sure to notice the featured articles found in the center of the page. Find chapters or topics along the left side that cover every aspect of the natural and physical world as well as the many issues of human interaction with the Earth. Besides articles, find more at Encyclopedia of Earth including ebooks, lectures, and speeches.

tag(s): agriculture (43), animals (264), biodiversity (24), disasters (34), earth (172), ecology (97), ecosystems (65), energy (126), environment (221), forests (25), plants (135), pollution (47), water (96), weather (156)

In the Classroom

Use this resource when students are working on projects that pertain to any part of living things, the natural world, and man's role on the Earth. Be sure to bookmark this site on a class computer or your class website. Be sure to review the authors of the articles, following the links to their biographical pages to look at their expertise. Use this as an exercise in identifying whether information on the Internet is reliable and developing researching skills. As a challenge to your high achieving students, consider asking them to write entries that you can submit to this encyclopedia on classroom topics of interest to them. Students will have to analyze their language and writing style with more scrutiny than other assignments. Ask them to use Expresso, reviewed here, to help them achieve this. Consider creating an encyclopedia with content created by students modeled after the style of this tool. Use an online tool such as Weebly, reviewed here, to create a class encyclopedia. Note: As with other resources like Encyclopedia of Earth, content on the site is considered Attribution-Share Alike. Students should always cite their sources in accordance with this type of copyright.

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Science Trek - Idaho Public Television

Grades
K to 6
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Science Trek is an integrated web and broadcast T.V. project introducing science topics to elementary students. In addition to the broadcasts, Science Trek provides accompanying material...more
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Science Trek is an integrated web and broadcast T.V. project introducing science topics to elementary students. In addition to the broadcasts, Science Trek provides accompanying material for teacher and parent use. Each month of the school year a new broadcast answers students' science questions and provides additional resources. Currently, there are more than 90 topics available. Choose from any topic to view the web broadcast and explore resources such as games, facts, and glossaries. Some games require flash which is not supported on all browsers.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animal homes (59), animals (264), archeology (22), body systems (41), brain (51), earthquakes (42), ecology (97), endangered species (27), food chains (18), forces (35), fossils (36), gravity (43), habitats (79), heart (28), human body (93), mass (18), moon (64), planets (108), plants (135), rocks (36), simple machines (16), soil (19), sound (70), STEM (219), volcanoes (50), water (96), weather (156)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free resources on the site to supplement your current teaching materials in many science topics. Create a link on classroom computers for students to view videos and share a link on your class website for students to view at home. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Don't forget to find the standards link within each resource to align to Common Core Standards.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ice Age Floods - Tom Foster

Grades
8 to 12
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Ice Age Floods offers photographs, information, and video explanations. Learn about how the Ice Age created various lakes and dramatically altered the Earth's landscape. Explore...more
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Ice Age Floods offers photographs, information, and video explanations. Learn about how the Ice Age created various lakes and dramatically altered the Earth's landscape. Explore different sections with specific lakes and areas or choose feature types to learn about different features such as drop stones and coulees. Choose the video section to explore the many videos offered including some interesting 2 minute Geology sessions.

tag(s): glaciers (16), landforms (37), rock cycle (11), rocks (36), volcanoes (50)

In the Classroom

Use as part of a flipped lesson. Have students watch videos or read portions of the site and create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Penzu, reviewed here, with Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Take this a step further and challenge students use a mapping tool such as Click2Map, reviewed here, to add points of interest with display markers featuring text, photos, and videos. Share videos and site information on your interactive whiteboard for viewing together.

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K-5 GeoSource - American GeoSciences Institute

Grades
K to 6
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K-5 GeoSource is a one-stop website for Earth science. Sections include content, activities, assessment, professional resources, and careers. Explore content to view animations and...more
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K-5 GeoSource is a one-stop website for Earth science. Sections include content, activities, assessment, professional resources, and careers. Explore content to view animations and earth science images. Download slides or PDF presentations on rocks, seasons, fossils, and other topics. View benchmarks for Science Literacy while investigating many suggestions for activities.

tag(s): careers (131), climate (78), erosion (13), fossils (36), rocks (36), seasons (32), soil (19), water (96), weather (156)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use during any Earth Science unit. View PowerPoints on your interactive whiteboard with students. Use suggestions from the literacy strategies with any classroom subject and share with student teachers as a resource for lesson planning. Enhance learning and augment technology use in your classroom by having students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here.

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Extreme Earth - Extreme Science

Grades
7 to 12
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This site offers a simple site (sub-page) from Extreme Science. Learn factual information about the geologic history of the earth. On the left side of the page, there is a ...more
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This site offers a simple site (sub-page) from Extreme Science. Learn factual information about the geologic history of the earth. On the left side of the page, there is a navigational list of topics that allows one to navigate between topics. The readings are fairly easy for early high school aged students and would work as a nice alternative to textbook readings. The hotlinks to extra information on specific terms and concepts are a very helpful and convenient touch. Be aware: there are some advertisements. Advise students not to click on the ads.

tag(s): amazon (9), animals (264), antarctica (27), arctic (41), earth (172), earthquakes (42), geology (60), plate tectonics (18), sun (59), tsunamis (14), volcanoes (50), weather (156)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an alternative to a textbook in a one to one laptop science class. Add the link to the classroom wiki as an informational resource for your students. Or, develop questions about the reading and use as a guided reading activity to help enhance reading across the curriculum activities. Have cooperative learning groups explore one of the specific topics and create multimedia presentations. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Have students use Thinglink, reviewed here to narrate a picture.

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Extreme Science - Geology - Extreme Science

Grades
6 to 12
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This webpage is a sub-page to the Extreme Science website. The site is well written and provides readable science information for students and teachers alike. There are convenient...more
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This webpage is a sub-page to the Extreme Science website. The site is well written and provides readable science information for students and teachers alike. There are convenient hotlinks to specific, auxiliary information right in the reading. Accompanying diagrams help in understanding the written entries. This site does include some advertisements.

tag(s): continents (29), earth (172), geology (60), plate tectonics (18)

In the Classroom

This site would be a valuable resource in a paperless science classroom. Information is reminiscent of textbook style writing with the convenience of informational hotlinks. Use as an alternative to the textbook. Have students use the information to research and create multimedia presentations. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Adobe Spark For Education, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Reading teachers will also find these passages useful for practice with finding main idea and summarizing informational texts. Share them on interactive whiteboard for students to highlight key words and compose a main idea sentence.

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Earth Science Teaching Activities and Lesson Plans - Geology.com

Grades
4 to 12
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This site contains links to many lesson plans and resources for teaching Earth Science. The top of the page links to different topics of Earth Science such as Astronomy, Earthquakes,...more
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This site contains links to many lesson plans and resources for teaching Earth Science. The top of the page links to different topics of Earth Science such as Astronomy, Earthquakes, Rocks and Minerals, and others. Within each category are links to information, webquests, and videos, as well as lesson plans. One excellent portion of the site may be easy to overlook so be sure to look on the left side of the page for Categories. Here you will find a wealth of information on diverse topics such as historical geography, tsunamis, world records, careers, and more. Within these links are news, videos, and popular items. Note: many of the links will take you to different websites so you will want to review before using with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earthquakes (42), erosion (13), fossils (36), hurricanes (28), maps (220), rocks (36), tsunamis (14), volcanoes (50), water (96), weather (156)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to view videos and images from the site with your class. Use lesson plans provided as additional resources within Earth Science units. Augment technology use in your classroom and enhance learning by having cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or, challenge students to narrate an image using a site such as Thinklink, reviewed here. Extend learning and transform the use of technology in your classroom by assigning students different portions of the site to review and prepare multimedia projects to share with the class with Sway, reviewed here, or give students a choice of projects to complete with Genial.ly, reviewed here. Both Sway and Genial.ly will allow your students to create multimedia projects.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Shake, Rattle, and Slide - University of Illinois Extension

Grades
3 to 9
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This interactive site focuses on showing and telling students about volcanoes, earthquakes, and glaciers. The text information is also available as audio; many fun activities reinforce...more
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This interactive site focuses on showing and telling students about volcanoes, earthquakes, and glaciers. The text information is also available as audio; many fun activities reinforce the information given on the introductory sites. Because of the dual presentation (oral and written), the site is easy for ESL/ELL students to use as well. One especially interesting activity involves showing students the history of the geologic earth and asks them to imagine squeezing all the earth's history into one day.

tag(s): earth (172), earthquakes (42), glaciers (16), plate tectonics (18), volcanoes (50), weather (156)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on geology and/or natural disasters on a projector or interactive whiteboard. When a disaster is in the news, use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects in response to their curiosity about the news event. Have ESL/ELL students use this to introduce other students to some possible disasters that occur in their parts of the world. Another option would be to divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site. Have them create presentations on different parts of the information found in the site and its activities. Use the information they find as a jumping off place for doing further research on areas that interest them.To show what they have learned from this site, challenge students to create an online graphic to share using Visme, reviewed here.

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Dynamic Earth Interactive - Annenberg Media

Grades
4 to 9
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Learn the powerful forces that shape and change the Earth. Dynamic Earth explores the Earth's Structures, Investigating Plate Tectonics, learning about Plates and Boundaries, and how...more
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Learn the powerful forces that shape and change the Earth. Dynamic Earth explores the Earth's Structures, Investigating Plate Tectonics, learning about Plates and Boundaries, and how the plates Slip, Slide, and Collide. Read the information provided, click on the Interactive pictures for more details, and test your knowledge in each section with interactive activities. In the end, test your skills using an online assessment.

tag(s): earth (172), earthquakes (42), geology (60), mountains (12), plate tectonics (18), volcanoes (50)

In the Classroom

Use this site to introduce Geology or Earth Science or as a review of concepts previously learned in class. Use the site as a springboard for additional activities such as mapping where most earthquakes occur. Follow up with ways to prepare for earthquakes, design buildings to withstand earthquakes or other important topics. Augment technology use in class by having students work in teams to share various aspects of earthquake knowledge for an audience of people living in an earthquake zone using Padlet, reviewed here.

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Rock Cycle Interactive - Annenberg Media

Grades
6 to 10
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This website takes students on a virtual "rock hunt." Throughout the journey, students learn about the three main types of rock - sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Specific examples...more
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This website takes students on a virtual "rock hunt." Throughout the journey, students learn about the three main types of rock - sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Specific examples of each type of rock are highlighted. Other topics of interest include "How Rocks Change" and "The Rock Cycle Diagram." There are animations that demonstrate the effects of extreme heat or cold on a rock. Volcanoes are used to demonstrate some of the changes. Weathering, erosion, compacting, and cementing are also discussed. There are several interactive "rock" activities along the way. The final activity is a review "test" about the interactive "rock hunt."

tag(s): acting (17), erosion (13), rock cycle (11), rocks (36), volcanoes (50), weather (156)

In the Classroom

Wow! If your class is studying rocks and the rock cycle, do yourself (and your students) a favor and take advantage of this wonderful resource. Use your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to take your students on this virtual "rock" journey. This website would also work well as a learning station for cooperative learning groups. Why not set-up several stations all about rocks. Use this website as one station on a cluster of computers, have a "hands-on" rock center with examples of each type of rock and testing equipment, make a literature/research center with books about rocks and samples to identify. Other centers could include watching a short documentary on rocks and volcanoes, a lab-report writing station, and many others.

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A Science Odyssey: Mountain Maker, Earth Shaker - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn about plate tectonics as you manipluate plates with the computer and watch the resulting changes in the earth's surface. Read detailed explanations with animated images. Then...more
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Learn about plate tectonics as you manipluate plates with the computer and watch the resulting changes in the earth's surface. Read detailed explanations with animated images. Then try the Plate Tectonics activity to manipulate the plates yourself. There is also information about the various scientists who made relevant discoveries about tectonics and what they found. Though one interactive requires Shockwave, there is a text version of it. Also, there is soooo much more offered on this site that it is worth your visit.

tag(s): earth (172), earthquakes (42), landforms (37), plate tectonics (18)

In the Classroom

Share the plate tectonics siumlator on an interactve whiteboard as you learn about the different ways that plates interact. Be sure to allow students to move the plates and name the resulting changes. To further reinforce the plate activiites, have pairs of students create animated graphics on slides in PowerPoint slides showing the motions of the plates and labeling them. This could also be an alternative assessment that shows real understanding. If they can add their own sound effects, they will really enjoy themselves!

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This Dynamic Earth: The Story of Plate Tectonics - U.S. Geological Survey

Grades
7 to 12
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This site provides an organized and user-friendly explanation of the history of plate tectonics as described by the U.S. Geological Survey. It includes a lot of detailed information...more
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This site provides an organized and user-friendly explanation of the history of plate tectonics as described by the U.S. Geological Survey. It includes a lot of detailed information as well as photographs and diagrams. This site has some tough reading depending on the reading level of the user. Allow plenty of time to take in all of the information.

tag(s): earth (172), earthquakes (42), geology (60), plate tectonics (18), volcanoes (50)

In the Classroom

This site is useful as a supplement to a geology unit or for review. Include it on your teacher web page for students to access both in and out of class. It is also a great reference tool when preparing your lesson plans. This is a great site to use when teaching about informational text(s). Open it on an interactive whiteboard and review reading strategies using highlighters and pens as you learn about plate tectonics.

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Earth: Our World In Motion - National Museum of Natural History

Grades
3 to 8
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This highly interactive website (created by the National Museum of Natural History) teaches students about the Earth. Topics include, "If Rocks Could Talk," "Plates on the Move," "Making...more
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This highly interactive website (created by the National Museum of Natural History) teaches students about the Earth. Topics include, "If Rocks Could Talk," "Plates on the Move," "Making Rocks," "Mysterious Planets," and more! There is also a link, "Stuff To Do" which provides activities to do away from the computer. Some of the interactive links require Flash, but there is a whole lot more to do and learn that doesn't.

tag(s): atmosphere (21), earth (172), rocks (36)

In the Classroom

Introduce the site and the "Big Idea" on a projector or interactive whiteboard, then assign students to choose one of the activities to complete. Share results with the class on an interactive whiteboard or projector as groups complete the activity. Include this link on your teacher web page for enrichment and at-home exploration. Students could also be assigned the "non-computer" activities for homework.

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Faultline - Exploratorium

Grades
4 to 12
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Bring the power and drama of an actual earthquake into your classroom with this beautifully designed Web site. In addition to basic information about the science behind this natural...more
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Bring the power and drama of an actual earthquake into your classroom with this beautifully designed Web site. In addition to basic information about the science behind this natural phenomenon - including explanations of plate tectonics, faults, and how scientist measure earthquake force - the site provides historical information about some of the world's most devastating quakes and some breathtaking video clips.

tag(s): earth (172), earthquakes (42), plate tectonics (18)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. As a class go through the information titled Great Shakes, then show students how navigate through the site on their own. Have students take notes on the material and write down questions they still have and topics that confuse them. They can do this with pen and paper or online. If you want the assignment online, explain to students they need to open a new tab in their browser window and take notes with a tool such as Memo Notepad, reviewed here; tell students to be sure to save the URL to share their notes and questions with you and their peers. Conclude this lesson by having small groups of students click on "Active Zone" and choose one of the creative, hands-on activities to bring into your classroom and demonstrate on an assigned day (they'll love the cream-filled cookie one!).
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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