Students will identify the three layers of the earth:
core, mantle and crust.
Students will demonstrate knowledge of the concepts of
convergent and divergent motions of the earth.
Students will define plate tectonics.
E. Describe the processes that
contribute to the continuous changing of Earth’s
surface (e.g., earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, erosion,
mountain building and lithospheric
Earth Systems / Y2003.CSC.S01.G06-08.BE.L08.I09
09. Describe the interior structure
of Earth and Earth’s
crust as divided into tectonic plates riding on top
of the slow moving currents of magma in the mantle.
Earth Systems / Y2003.CSC.S01.G06-08.BE.L08.I10
10. Explain that most major geological events (e.g., earthquakes,
volcanic eruptions, hot spots and mountain building) result
from plate motion.
Earth Systems / Y2003.CSC.S01.G06-08.BE.L08.I11
11. Use models to analyze the size and shape of Earth,
its surface and its interior (e.g., globes, topographic
maps, satellite images).
Earth Systems / Y2003.CSC.S01.G06-08.BE.L08.I12
12. Explain that some processes involved in the rock cycle
are directly related to thermal energy and forces in the
mantle that drive plate motions.
Earth Systems / Y2003.CSC.S01.G06-08.BE.L08.I13
13. Describe how landforms are created through a combination
of destructive (e.g., weathering and erosion) and constructive
processes (e.g., crustal deformation, volcanic eruptions
and deposition of sediment).
Earth Systems / Y2003.CSC.S01.G06-08.BE.L08.I14
14. Explain that folding, faulting and uplifting can rearrange
the rock layers so the youngest is not always found on
Tape or glue
The teacher will show a soft boiled egg (cut in half
with the shell still on) and make a comparison between
the soft boiled egg and the layers of the earth. The
yolk, which is a little "runny," is the core
of the earth. The white of the egg is like the mantle
and the shell represents the crust of the earth.
Divide the students into groups of two or three.
Given Plate Tectonic worksheet, students will name
the layers of the earth.
The students will make a box that will be used to
replicate the movement of plates on the earth. They
will use the box to demonstrate the convergence and
divergence of the plates of the earth. To build the
box, students will cut a long very thin strip in the
top and will cut holes in both of the sides. (See worksheet
Step 1. Take two sheets of blue paper
to represent the oceanic plate. On both sheets
place a triangular tube to represent the plate
with an oceanic and continental crust. (Brown
cardboard works well.)
Put the unattached sides of the papers through the slit so that only
about half of the paper is showing. When one paper is pulled down, this
represents the convergence of the plates. When the paper is pushed up,
this represents the divergence of the plates.
Step 2. Move only the sheet with the cardboard attached so that the
cardboard comes to the edge of the slit. This represents the ocean plate
disappearing beneath the edge of the continent. This is called subduction.
This sinking of the oceanic plate into the mantle below the edge of the
continental crust results in "plate-pull" and may be one of
the major forces driving plate tectonics. Subduction also results in
volcanic eruptions and very deep ocean trenches.
Step 3. On the plain sheet of blue
paper, attach another triangle so that this
also has a continental and an oceanic crust.
Now pull both sheets of blue paper from the
bottom. If you do this carefully, one of the
triangles will go on top of the other showing
the development of mountains when convergence
Step 4. If the layers are moved toward
the sides of the box, the students can see
the action of fault lines moving in an earthquake.
This is called a transform fault.
Have the students go to http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/geology/tectonics.html to
see an animation of plate tectonics.
Have the students write a paragraph to explain what
they have just done. They need to include a diagram showing
at least one of the four steps above.
Continental crust —
The land crust of the earth.
Core of the earth — There
are really two cores, an inner core which is solid
and is about 4300° C,
and a core which is liquid around the inner core.
They are composed of mostly iron with about 10% sulfur.
(There is some “new” information that uranium
may be in the core in quantity and may be responsible for
much of the earth’s inner heat.)
Convergence — The
act of moving toward each other and colliding.
Crust — The
crust is much thinner. It is rocky and brittle, so
it can fracture
during plate movements,
resulting in earthquakes.
Divergence — The
act of moving away from each other. Where plates diverge,
hot molten rock rises and
cools, adding new material to the edges of the mid-oceanic
plates. This process is known as sea-floor spreading.
Mantle — The mantle goes around the core and is
solid. It comprises most of the earth's mass. The temperature
is about 1000° C.
Oceanic crust — The
crust underlying the ocean basin. This layer is much
thinner than the earth’s continental
crust and is young.
Plates — The earth’s surface
is broken into seven large and many small moving plates,
each about 50 miles
thick. They move relative to one another an average of
a few inches a year or about as fast as fingernails grow.
Plate Tectonics — This is a geological theory
which says that the surface of Earth is broken into large
plates. The size and position of the plates change over
time. It was developed by Alfred Wegener. Unfortunately,
he died before his theory was accepted as a major paradigm in
Transform fault — Plates moving horizontally
against each other.
|Summary of procedure
||10 15 25
|Clear conclusions are drawn about plate
||10 15 25
|Mechanics — spelling and grammar
||10 15 25
|Diagram of one of the steps listed
||10 15 25
Lightweight tissue paper could be attached
to the triangular tube and laid over the blue “ocean” paper.
If the blue paper is then pulled, the tissue paper will
and ball up at the subduction zone becoming a mountain