Monday, 27 April 2015

Hotspots; modelling the movement of a plate across the globe

Today's new Earthlearningidea is 'Hotspots; modelling the movement of a plate across the globe'.
Use a candle and a piece of card to model the evidence of the movement of a tectonic plate over a fixed heat source in the Earth’s mantle. This activity can be used in any lesson in a science or geography class dealing with plate tectonics. There are many more ideas for teaching this topic on our website.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Panning for 'gold' in river sediment

Have you tried the Earthlearningidea, 'Gold prospectors'?

In this activity pupils are Iinvestigating how prospectors use the property of density to search for gold in river sediments. By doing this ELI, pupils develop motor skills as they experiment with the best method of separating materials; they can explain why density is a useful property in the separation of materials and can use their imaginations to visualise a real gold prospector in the field.
Another Earthlearningidea which used density of minerals for separation is 'Jigging'
This is a simple practical activity used to separate minerals of different density from each other. It is a small scale version of a method which was used for centuries.
Search the website for more ELIs about minerals and density.

Monday, 13 April 2015

What's the difference between weathering and erosion?

Today's new ELI addresses the common misconceptions about weathering and erosion.

Textbook surveys have shown that misconceptions between weathering and erosion are common, when the scientific consensus is clear:-
- Weathering is the break up and break down (physical break up and chemical breakdown) of rocks at the Earth’s surface without the removal of solid material (although material can be removed in solution)
- Erosion is the removal of solid material, by gravity, water, wind or ice (as the start of transportation).
The related activities on the home page of our website lists some ideas for teaching both weathering and erosion.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Make your own soil profile

Another ELI in our soils series is 'Soil layers puzzle'. Seven soil layers cards are provided and pupils are asked to arrange them in the correct order to make a soil profile. They are then encouraged to compare different soil profiles from different parts of the world.
Many more soils activities can be found on our website using the search engine or the index or by clicking on Teaching strategies.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Bouncing back after the Ice Age

Today's new Earthlearningidea activity is 'Isostasy 2; 'bouncing back' after the ice. This idea demonstrates the effects on a continental land mass of a large ice sheet growing and then melting. This ELI can be used in any lessons related to balance in the Earth’s lithosphere and those dealing with glaciation and its after effects.
The photograph above shows “Celsius’ Rock” on the Baltic coast of Sweden, about 175 km north of Stockholm. Anders Celsius marked the mean sea level in 1731, which is now where the man’s hand is holding the 2m tape. Current sea level is now about 2m below Celsius’ mark, indicating a rise of the land at a rate of about 70cm per century. Several former ports on the Baltic coast are now high and dry as a result of the rise of the land – with detrimental outcomes for their economies.
Click on the website for related activities or search 'Teaching strategies'.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Solar eclipse

Last Friday, many people were watching the solar eclipse. Perhaps it's a good time to try the ELI 'Why does the Sun disappear?' This activity demonstrates how a small object, which is near, can block out the view of a much larger one that is further away. Do you think the Sun and the Moon often appear to be the same size in the sky? In fact, they are not the same size at all and yet the Moon can block out the Sun completely, so that it goes quite dark. This is called a total eclipse of the Sun (or a solar eclipse).


The image above is from the NASA website. The photo below shows the recent eclipse as viewed through a colander!
You could also try the ELI 'Eclipse the lollipop' which models eclipses of the Moon and the Sun with a ball, lollipops and a bright light.
Search our website for lots more innovative and exciting teaching ideas.