TeachersFirst's Earth and Rock Cycle - Science Resources

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

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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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. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Online-Convert, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): earth (224), electricity (93), energy (210), engineering (132), heat (16), human body (133), life cycles (24), magnetism (39), matter (61), minerals (17), moon (75), recycling (59), rocks (51), solar system (121), sound (106), space (226), STEM (197), sun (69), video (271), water (132)

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 (99), dinosaurs (54), earth (224), evolution (102), mammals (34), plants (175)

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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Q-Files The Great Illustrated Encyclopedia - Q-Files Ltd

Grades
2 to 12
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Use Q-Files The Great Illustrated Encyclopedia to provide extra informational reading resources. Subject areas include prehistoric and ancient history, culture, geography, space, technology,...more
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Use Q-Files The Great Illustrated Encyclopedia to provide extra informational reading resources. Subject areas include prehistoric and ancient history, culture, geography, space, technology, science, life, and Earth. Each article includes pictures with accompanying text. This collection is continuing to grow. Q-Files is free, online, with no advertisements. Ebooks on nonfiction topics are available for purchase.

tag(s): aircraft (25), amphibians (21), animals (319), asia (73), aztecs (9), birds (52), china (65), cultures (111), dinosaurs (54), earth (224), earthquakes (51), ecosystems (90), electricity (93), energy (210), erosion (19), europe (71), forces (47), insects (71), literature (264), mammals (34), mayans (14), medicine (67), microscopes (13), moon (75), oceans (165), photography (157), planets (131), polar (18), population (63), religions (69), rocks (51), romans (35), scientists (69), solar system (121), space (226), sports (98), telescopes (10), vikings (10), weather (205)

In the Classroom

Use Q-Files as an informational reading source for a variety of subjects. In science and social studies use as a way to provide background information for inquiry-based projects. Have students use resources for multimedia projects such as Slidestory, reviewed here, Prezi reviewed here, or Flipboard, reviewed here, to share their findings. Pair these articles with literature to provide a better background information base, such as information on ancient China or Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin. Add as a bookmark to student computers and on your class website.

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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 notification when new videos become available. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Zamzar, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. Since this is YouTube, there are public comments.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): atmosphere (29), earth (224), moon (75), oceans (165), planets (131), plants (175), video (271), weather (205)

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 TubeChop, reviewed here, and create a shortcut to the TubeChop page directly on the desktop. 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.

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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 (54), earthquakes (51), energy (210), fossils (45), geology (77), maps (294), rocks (51), volcanoes (67), water (132)

In the Classroom

Share OneGeology on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to introduce your geology unit to students. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here. Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. Have 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 (58), animals (319), biodiversity (35), disasters (43), earth (224), ecology (133), ecosystems (90), energy (210), environment (321), forests (34), plants (175), pollution (65), water (132), weather (205)

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 tv 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 tv 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animal homes (62), animals (319), archeology (31), body systems (58), brain (66), earthquakes (51), ecology (133), endangered species (41), food chains (26), forces (47), fossils (45), gravity (50), habitats (107), heart (40), human body (133), mass (25), moon (75), planets (131), plants (175), rocks (51), simple machines (35), soil (21), sound (106), STEM (197), volcanoes (67), water (132), weather (205)

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 Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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e-learning for kids science - Dr Nick van Dam

Grades
K to 6
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Explore this interesting collection of over seventy e-lessons in science for elementary students. They also have an additional 200 lessons under development! Find lessons by choosing...more
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Explore this interesting collection of over seventy e-lessons in science for elementary students. They also have an additional 200 lessons under development! Find lessons by choosing a grade level, browse through all resources, or sort by popularity. Most activities include a short introductory lesson along with games for practicing content. Courses content cover a very wide range of topics including plants and animals, cells, natural disasters, and much more. At the time of this review, some lesson links gave an error message, however, clicking on the image started the course.

tag(s): animals (319), cells (99), colors (78), earth (224), human body (133), moon (75), nutrition (159), photosynthesis (33), planets (131), plants (175), pollution (65), rocks (51), senses (31), solar system (121), volcanoes (67), water cycle (32), weather (205)

In the Classroom

e-learning for kids is perfect for use on classroom computers as science centers. Create links to lessons and allow all students the opportunity to participate. View lessons together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to include a link on your class webpage or newsletter for students to view at home. Share this site with parents as an additional resource for reviewing concepts at home. After completing lessons, have students use an online poster creator, such as Padlet, reviewed here, to share information. For a quick project, create electronic graphics of important words using a tool such as Word Cloud for Kids, reviewed here, or Wordle, reviewed here.
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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 (17), landforms (49), rock cycle (12), rocks (51), volcanoes (67)

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 bills itself as the "one-stop professional development website for Earth science." Sections include content, activities, assessment, and careers. Explore content to view...more
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K-5 GeoSource bills itself as the "one-stop professional development website for Earth science." Sections include content, activities, assessment, 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 (145), climate (93), erosion (19), fossils (45), rocks (51), seasons (35), soil (21), water (132), weather (205)

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. Have 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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wickED - Science Interactives - Ministry of Education, Wellington, New Zealand

Grades
4 to 8
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Enjoy learning about the earth's geography with these engaging interactives. This site includes six different interactives that show the earth's make-up and more about plate tectonics...more
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Enjoy learning about the earth's geography with these engaging interactives. This site includes six different interactives that show the earth's make-up and more about plate tectonics and rock formation. Explore about the rock cycle or a lab to find out what the earth is made of. Each activity gives just enough information to pique interest and allow for further exploration. If you are using a Mac, you will need to download the free Shockwave plugins to make the interactives work on your Mac. Download the Shockwave plugin here.

tag(s): plate tectonics (22), rock cycle (12), rocks (51), volcanoes (67)

In the Classroom

This site would be perfect to use when introducing a unit on rocks and the rock cycle, plate tectonics, or heat and pressure within the earth. Allow students to explore the interactives and compose questions that they would like to have answered. Ask students to keep track of their questions using Webnote, reviewed here. Challenge students to create a word cloud of terms from one of the interactives using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here. Continue to add to the Wordle throughout your unit.
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Virtual Volcano - Discovery

Grades
4 to 11
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Learn about plate tectonics, the inside of a volcano, and the different types of volcanoes. Be sure to click on the various icons to learn more information useful for understanding...more
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Learn about plate tectonics, the inside of a volcano, and the different types of volcanoes. Be sure to click on the various icons to learn more information useful for understanding about volcanoes. Click on the link to build your own volcano and choose the viscosity of the magma and amount of gas found in the volcano. Your volcano will be one of the three types of volcanoes. Start the eruption and click the informative buttons along the side to learn about the events in an eruption. There is a comment portion of this site (bottom), so be sure to preview comments if you plan to allow students to explore on their own.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): plate tectonics (22), volcanoes (67)

In the Classroom

Use this interesting site to learn about a volcano. Have students create models of the volcanoes they created virtually to show in the classroom. Assemble a variety of different resources to share with others about the various types of volcanoes, how often they rupture, and how people around the world cope.
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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 (319), antarctica (29), arctic (46), earth (224), earthquakes (51), geology (77), plate tectonics (22), sun (69), tsunamis (18), volcanoes (67), weather (205)

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 (50), earth (224), geology (77), plate tectonics (22)

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 Lessons - Compiled by Christy Pratt

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 (51), erosion (19), fossils (45), hurricanes (40), maps (294), rocks (51), tsunamis (18), volcanoes (67), water (132), weather (205)

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. Assign students different portions of the site to review and prepare multimedia projects to share with the class. Have 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.
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Shape it up! An Earth Changing Erosion Activity - kineticcity.com

Grades
2 to 8
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Learn about erosion with this easy to understand site. When prompted, choose forces of nature to change a flat piece of land into the eroded land pictured. If the wrong ...more
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Learn about erosion with this easy to understand site. When prompted, choose forces of nature to change a flat piece of land into the eroded land pictured. If the wrong force of nature is chosen, a red X appears. When correct answers have been chosen, the actual process appears in order to illustrate how the processes make the first scene change into the last one.

tag(s): erosion (19), glaciers (17), landforms (49), volcanoes (67), water (132)

In the Classroom

Use this simple and effective site to identify the common processes involved in erosion. Demonstrate how the site works on your interactive whiteboard and projector. Then allow students to explore the site on classroom computers or in the computer lab. As students work through the site, have them note what creates the eroded area. Students can either take notes, draw pictures, or record audio. During class discussion, name the processes and forces for greater understanding. You may want to have pairs investigate and use Our Stickies, reviewed here, to create web-based sticky notes on a sticky board about the aspect of erosion they had time to investigate. Use the board as a visual prompt for review topics.
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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 (224), earthquakes (51), glaciers (17), plate tectonics (22), volcanoes (67), weather (205)

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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dynamic Earth - 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 information, and test your knowledge in each section with interactive activities. In the end, test your skills using an online assessment. This website requires flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): earth (224), earthquakes (51), geology (77), mountains (16), plate tectonics (22), volcanoes (67)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introduction to 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. If you have a class wiki, have students work in teams to share various aspects of earthquake knowledge for an audience of people living in an earthquake zone.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Rock Cycle - 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." Many of the activities throughout the "rock hunt" require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): acting (24), erosion (19), rock cycle (12), rocks (51), volcanoes (67), weather (205)

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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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