PLATE TECTONICS 

AND
A VISION OF EARTH'S FUTURE
GRADE 8 SCIENCE

MRS. FLETCHER


 
 
 

Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page

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Section1    Section 2    Section 3
 
 














Introduction

  In 1912, Alfred Wegener set forth the theory of Continental Drift. This very notion forever changed the way scientists view the ever evolving face of planet Earth. 

     These changes can be abrupt and dramatic or subtle and barely discernible. Regardless, the processes of change are part of a continuous and never ending metamorphosis of our world. 

     For this unit of study you will be working as an individual as well as with a group. You will be given a grade for the individual assignments and a group grade for the group projects.  Make sure you follow ALL instructions. Refer to the rubric for the project frequently. Ask questions if you have any.  Have fun and BE CREATIVE!!
 
 


Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page


Section 1   Section 2   Section 3


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 
 










 

The Task

     This project will be divided into three(3) distinct sections.
 

  Section 1
  Before your can have a vision of Earth's future, you will need an understanding of the Earth's structure and how that structure plays a role in the changes of our planet. For this section, you will:

  • Define all vocabulary words provided on the handout distributed in class. Each person must have  her/his own completed vocabulary sheet.
  • Answer all questions on the handouts provided. Each person must have his/her own complete set of questions and answers.
  • Create a detailed and labeled poster of the Earth' structure. This is a group project. Only one poster per group will be submitted for a grade.

  •  

     
     
                     







        Section 2
      Once you have an understanding of the Earth's structure, you will learn about Alfred Wegener and his contributions to the field of Geology. This section of the Vision of Earth's Future is individual. You will  work in your groups while completing the vocabulary and the questions worksheets.  The letter writing activity is an individual task. For this section you will:

    • Define all vocabulary words provided on the handout distributed in class. Each person must have her/his own completed vocabulary sheet.
    • Answer all questions on the handouts provided. Each person must have his/her own complete set of questions and answer.
    • Complete the handout provided regarding Alfred Wegener and his work. Each person must have her/his own complete set of questions and answers.
    • Write a letter to the Royal Geological Society in Britain. In this letter, you persuade the Society to accept the theory of Continental Drift. Each person will write their own letter for a grade.

         Section 3
      For the third and final section of this project, you will work with the group you were assigned to for section 1. In this section you and your group will:

    • Define all vocabulary words provided on the handout distributed in class. Each person must have her/his own completed vocabulary sheet.
    • Answer all questions on the handouts provided. Each person must have his/her own complete set of questions and answer. 
    • Research the rate of movement and direction of movement of the Tectonic Plates.
    • Using this information, you will create a poster depicting the position of the continents 150,000,000 (150 million) years from now based on your research.
    • You and your group will present your poster to the rest of the class. Your presentation must include specific reasons for your prediction. Each member of the group must have a part in the presentation as well.

     
     

    Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page

























    The Process

       For this web project, you will be assigned to groups before you begin.  Your groups will consist of 2 people. Once placed in your groups, decide who will be :
           1. Materials manager. ( gathers group materials, handouts, etc.)
              2. Recorder. ( writes down information needed to complete task for the group.)
              3. Reader. ( reads important information aloud to the group with a one foot voice.)
              4. Group manager. ( responsible for keeping the group on task , tracking due dates.)

        Once you have organized your group, you can start your project.  Each person in the group will have two jobs. READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS before beginning. Due dates for each activity and project will be posted in class. Check these dates frequently!!








      SECTION 1

      While reading the information in the web sites listed, answer the questions on the handout provided. Also, define the vocabulary words for Lesson 1 and Content Center.
     Remember, each person in the group MUST have his/her own  complete set of questions and vocabulary.
      Begin by going to the following sites :

    Content Center- The Earth's Layers

    Lesson 1- Earth's Structure
     
     

    Once you have completed your questions and vocabulary, your group will create a detailed and labeled poster depicting the Earth's structure. Make sure you give the poster a title. Make sure all group member names are on the back of your work. 

     ** If you need a need a new copy of the vocabulary words or the questions click on the following links:

    VOCABULARY WORKSHEET

    QUESTIONS
     
     

                                                     Section 2             Section 3













      SECTION 2

        Begin this section by reading the information for Lesson 2 and the Content Center. You will answer the questions for these readings and define the vocabulary words. Remember, all persons in your group must have her/his own complete set of questions and defined vocabulary. 

      Begin by going to the following web sites:

    Content Center-Pangaea To The Present

    Lesson 2- A History Of Earth's Plates

    Once you have completed your questions and vocabulary begin reading about the man named Alfred Wegener. Complete the handout for this activity. Each person in the group must have his/her own completed handout. To read about Alfred Wegener go to the following web site: 

      People & Discoveries-Alfred Wegener
     
     

      Obtain a worksheet from the classroom. Follow the instructions for writing your letter to the Royal Geological Society. This will be your rough draft. Each person in the group must write their own letter. This letter will count as a quiz grade. Be sure to peer edit your work checking for spelling and grammar errors.
           When you believe your letter is perfect, ask for a piece of parchment paper and a black fine point Sharpie pen. You will rewrite your letter in your best cursive handwriting on the parchment with the pen, making it look antique. Submit your finished product for a grade.

    ** If you need a new copy of the Vocabulary Words, Questions or Alfred Wegener worksheet, click on the links below to make new copies.

    Vocabulary Worksheet

    Questions

    Alfred Wegener Worksheet
     
                              

                                                      Section 1          Section 3
















    SECTION 3
      Begin this final section by going to the web sites shown below and reading the information in them. On the vocabulary handout, define all words. On the question handout, answer all questions carefully. Each person in the group will need to have their own complete set of worksheets. When you are done, complete the final task as a group. 

    Content Center- Mountain Building

    Lesson 3- How Plates Move

      Once you have competed your worksheets, your group will create its final project. Your job is to accurately predict the position of the continents 150 million years into the future. You will need to research the direction of plate movement and the rate of speed each plate is moving. Create a poster depicting your prediction. as a group, you will present your ideas to the rest of your class. In your presentation you will need to be very clear in your reasons for placing your continents in their predicted positions.

    ** If you need a new copy of the section 3 vocabulary words or questions, click on the links below to obtain a new page.

    Vocabulary Worksheet

    Questions
                         

                           Section 1                        Section 2


     

    Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page
     
     
     
     
     
     


    Evaluation
     

     CLICK ON THE EARTH
     TO GET A COPY OF THE 
       PROJECT RUBRIC 

    Earth Globe
     
     


     

    Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page





















     
     
     
     
     

    Conclusion
      The Theory of Plate Tectonics, formally presented to the scientific world by Alfred Wegener in 1912, explains how our world came to exist as it does today.  However, these changes have not stopped. They are occurring as you read this paragraph.The changes are so slow and often times so small that we would  never notice them.  Some changes are quite evident and quite dramatic as in the cases of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
         For more on this click on the following links and have fun!

      INTERACTIVE PALEOGEOGRAPHIC MAP OF EARTH

      HOW EARTHQUAKES WORK 

       PLATE TECTONICS THE CAUSE OF EARTHQUAKES

    EARTHQUAKES FOR KIDS
     
     


     
     

    Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page


















     
     


    Credits & References
    VOLCANO WORLD

    ALFRED WEGENER/WGBH

    ABC GIANT

    MEDIA BUILDER'S- ANIMATION FACTORY

    BACKGROUND PARADISE
     
     


     
     

    Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page

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    Last updated on August 15, 1999. Based on a template from The Web Quest Page