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This listing features a one-of-a-kind cryptogram for Earth science about plate tectonics. A cryptogram is a type of puzzle with an encrypted text. In this cryptogram, students will decipher a number code to reveal the letters to form the text of the summary statements about plate tectonics. The header on both of the student pages has a horizontal letter-number assignment table. Students start out the activity knowing the number assignments for six letters. The entire message appears as a series of blank lines grouped into what will become words. There are numbers located under approximately fifty percent of the letter lines, some of which students start out knowing and most others they don’t. As students fill in the words of the puzzle with the help of a word bank table on the bottom of the second page, they will discover the number assignments for additional letters. Students can keep track of their number-letter assignment findings on the tables at the top of each page.
The answer key reads “There are three types of plate boundaries – convergent, divergent, and transform. Plates collide at convergent boundaries, resulting in earthquakes, mountains, volcanoes, or oceanic island chains. Plates move apart at divergent boundaries. New crust is created where ocean floor spreading occurs. Plates move sideways past each other along a transform (strike-slip) boundary, resulting in earthquakes.”
This document is editable. It could be altered to be made easier or more difficult. I provided a two-page answer key. I use this lesson in my seventh grade earth science class, but it could also be used as a reinforcement / sponge activity in a high school earth science course. It takes my seventh grade students approximately 40 minutes to complete the puzzle.
This activity complements the other activities about plate tectonics I have published. I also have fun cryptograms available about the Theory of Continental Drift and earthquakes!
I began launching my curriculum through TpT in 2018. I have over twenty years of teaching and curriculum writing experience as the department head. I joined TpT with seventeen years of publishing experience through several international science supply corporations.