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These plate tectonic activities are engaging for students. Students will learn about changes to the Earth's surface due to plate tectonic activity. This unit on plate tectonics for middle school includes a lab, reading passages on plate tectonics and seafloor spreading, and plate tectonics worksheets.
This unit includes:
- 6 pages of informational text
- QR code activities
- 14 interactive notebook flaps
- 11 response pages
- map work
- hands-on activities and labs
- lab pages
- answer keys
This resource is designed to meet the NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: History of The Planet Earth, Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions, Earth's Materials and Systems, The Role of Water in Earth's Surface Processes.
They will interpret data about the distribution of fossils and learn about seafloor spreading. The labs for plate tectonics are easy to do with just a few materials.
Science Concepts Addressed Include:
Layers of the Earth
Mid Ocean Ridges
The Continental Margin
Constructing and Explanation Based on Evidence
Pacific Ring of Fire
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices used in These Lessons:
1. Asking questions
2. Developing and using models
3. Planning and carrying out investigations
4. Analyzing and interpreting data
5. Constructing explanations
6. Engaging in argument from evidence
7. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
NGSS Standards Addressed:
MS-ESS2-2. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.
Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.
Ask questions and analyze and interpret data about the patterns between plate tectonics and:
(1) The occurrence of earthquakes and volcanoes.
(2) Continental and ocean floor features.
(3) The distribution of rocks and fossils.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales. Examples of processes that occur at varying time scales could include slow plate motions or rapid landslides. Examples of processes that occur at varying spatial scales could include the uplift of a mountain range or the deposition of fine sediments.
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