Boise State University
Two 45-minute class periods
Subject Matter: Geology,
Using an inquiry-based jigsaw, students will research
the separate elements of the theory of Plate Tectonics, then share that
information with each other, drawing conclusions from the culminated information.
Students will be able to:
- Identify the connection between volcanoes,
earthquakes and tectonic plate theory
- Define terminology relating to volcanoes,
earthquakes and plate tectonics
- Discuss the relationships of earth crust formation
- Explain the history of the Plate Tectonics
- Share with and receive information from team
- Organize their knowledge in a weft structured
36574. EARTH AND SPACE SYSTEMS
01. Understand scientific theories of origin and subsequent changes
in the universe and earth systems.
b. Know methods used to estimate geologic
time (observing rock sequences... )
c. Know that interactions among the solid earth... have resulted
in the ongoing I change of the earth system.
02. Understand geochemical cycles and energy
in the earth system.
a. Know that earth systems have internal
and external sources of energy, both of which create heat.
b. Know that the two primary sources of internal energy are the
decay of radioactive isotopes and the gravitational energy from the
earth's origins! formation.i. Discuss how the decay of radioactive elements
drives the convection currents within the earth's mantle according to
c. Know that the outward transfer of earth's internal heat drives
convection circulation in the mantle that propels the plates comprising
the earth's surface across the face of the globe. i. Describe how the
Hawaiian Islands were formed. f. Know that the movement of matter through
the solid earth, oceans, and atmosphere is driven by the earth's internal
and external sources of energy.
538. INTERDISCIPLINARY CONCEPTS
01. Understand that interpersonal relationships
are important in scientific endeavors. a. Learn appropriate cooperation
and interaction skills.
02. Understand technical communication,
a. Understand and follow instruction.
A Global Geography: Spaceship Earth/ Restless Rocks
- Overhead projector
- Access to internet
- Red, yellow, and blue marker for overhead
- World map copied onto overhead projector sheet
for 3 groups
- Research Inquiries set for each category group
- Conclusions question set (for each student)
- Paper and pencil
Prep For Teachers
Anticipate class size for assigning groups. Lesson
is designed for five groups of about five students. Fewer or more can
be in each group. Prior to teaching this lesson, you may wish to bookmark
the websites for faster access by students.
Make copies of world map onto overhead film, one
for each group that will work with volcanoes, earthquakes, and plate tectonics
Make 5 copies of the Jigsaw
sheet. Add a different color to the color block on each sheet. Partially
cut along the dotted lines separating the categories. (Final separation
of the categories can happen at the color group table before students
join their category group.)
Make copies of RESEARCH INQUIRIES:
Make copies of CONCLUSIONS/RESTLESS
ROCKS sheet (one per student) (2sided copy)
do your fingernails and the earth's crust have in common? Perhaps some
of the earth's crust is under your fingernails, but that's not it. Give
up? Your fingernails are growing at about the same rate that the earth's
crust is moving. Constantly, all the time. You might not notice it, but
if you don't trim your nails once in a while, they can get pretty unruly.
And that same rate of change is what's happening under our feet all the
time. Today, we are going to learn a little bit about the dynamics of
that changing shell of our planet.
First, we will do what is called
a jigsaw, where you leave one group to join another to seek the knowledge
needed to answer our questions, then you will teach your fellow researchers
what you have found out about a specific geologic topic.
Second, tomorrow (or next class period),
we will view a film that will help you apply your new-found knowledge,
and finally, you will create an essay explaining what you have learned
in an organized and professional manner." Now, the students will group
1. COLOR GROUPS
Have the students form 5 groups of at least 5 students. Give each group
a colorcoded, partially cut JIGSAW sheet. This will determine their COLOR
group, which is made up of different specialty fields of Geology. Each
member of the COLOR group will receive one CATEGORY from the JIGSAW sheet.
2. COLOR GROUPS REGROUP ACCORDING TO CATEGORY
Now the students can regroup into their CATEGORY groups. Hand out to each
member in the group the appropriate RESEARCH INQUIRIES paper. (Volcano
group members will each get a Volcano Research Inquiries paper.) Instructions
to the students are on each sheet. They may begin researching the questions
given to them on the RESEARCH INQUIRIES paper by going to the websites
listed. FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION is provided to each group as
they research their topics at the various websites.
3. CATEGORY GROUPS REGROUP BACK TO COLOR GROUPS
Hand out to each student a CONCLUSIONS/RESTLESS
ROCKS worksheet. Now the students are specialists in the category
they researched. In their original COLOR groups, they will present what
they have learned to the rest of the group so all the students can successfully
fill out their CONCLUSIONS sheet.
4.. DISCUSSION OF KNOWLEDGE ACQUIRED FROM EACH
The overheads produced from the VOLCANOES, EARTHQUAKES, and PLATE TECTONICS
groups can be brought to the front of the class to be projected on the
overhead projector. Before doing so, ask the students what they think
will be the outcome of overlaying these three layers together. Does it
support what they have learned from their specialists within their groups?
Point out the Hawaiian Islands and have a HOT SPOT specialist explain
why these islands exist. (The overlays should show a pattern where the
three are mainly in the same area, the borders of the tectonic plates.
Hawaii is the result of a stationary hot spot with a sliding plate going
over it, creating a string of islands over time.)
This should take the first class period. If there
is any time remaining, students can start discussing within their groups
the terms and questions found on the CONCLUSIONS sheet.
ON DAY 2, students will view the VIDEO
RESTLESS ROCKS. They will be able to answer the VIDEO questions during
and after the video. They will then have about ten minutes to complete
the discussion part of their CONCLUSIONS sheet. During the video, provide
students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION, roughly 13 minutes
into the video, soon after narrator says that the Atlantic Ocean is getting
wider, he states that heat is being released by natural radioactivity
from inside the plant. PAUSE the video here and ask the class where this
radioactivity comes from (from the creation of the planet 4.6 Million
years ago.) Ask if they can recall what the narrator said about the Atlantic
Ocean. (It is getting larger due to oceanic rifts spreading.) Ask the
students to listen for what is happening to the Pacific Ocean. (It is
Another FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION occurs about 7 minutes later
after the explosion in the lake and they introduce the idea of a Hot Spot
in Kenya. They soon discuss that Antarctica and Kenya don't fit neatly
into the plate theory, as mountains are rising up in cracks in the center
of plates. After this point is discussed, PAUSE and ask students
to discuss what they know about RESTLESS SPOTS and Hawaii. Have the students
listen for additional facts regarding their CONCLUSIONS paper. This video
is roughly 25 minutes long. Students can use any extra time to complete
As a conclusion to this lesson, students
will be expected to write a one-page-minimum essay explaining what they
know about the Plate Tectonics theory. Proper essay writing standards
will be applied. Students will each turn in RESEARCH INQUIRIES, CONCLUSIONS,
and an ESSAY, due one week from this class period. Quality work is expected.
How fast do your fingernails grow? (about 2-3 inches per year!)
Students will apply essay standards to written homework assignment. Other
options are: creatively write about experiencing a major natural crisis.
How would it influence your attitudes and beliefs?
Determine how earthquakes and volcanoes have influenced societies around
the world. How has architecture been influenced by these great forces?
Create a map showing the tectonic plates in relation to other geographical
Determine the ratio of crust depth to the radius of the planet. Lithosphere,
crust, core? What are the percentages of size of the different layers
of the planet?
Visit museum or web sites showing damage from crust movement. How have
communities adapted to the ever-present threat?
Students can research weather influences from Mt. St. Helen's eruption