Hands on lab. Always a hit!
Students peel the orange into pieces. These pieces act as plates (lithosphere). Student then put marshmallow fluff on the orange to represent the asthenosphere. Then with the peels re-applied, students use this model to simulate the tectonic process on the Earth and the features that result. This can be modified in many ways. For example, the oranges can be replaced with grapefruit and the marshmallow fluff can be replaced with peanut butter - smooth or chunky (chunky peanut butter mixed with fluff would be the most accurate representation of the asthenosphere).
Edible orange model incorporates the following curricular concepts: plate tectonics, types of plate boundaries, features created at various plate boundaries, and model representation. Key terms include: lithosphere, asthenosphere, convergence, collision, subduction, divergence, and sliding (transform).
Multiple grade level application. May be incorporated into all levels of earth science - advanced to special needs.
Within the classroom, this activity has been consistently very successful and acclaimed by students in grades 3rd – 9th within multiple types of schools - public, private, and charter.
This work has also been shared at workshops, in-services, and conferences.
Great feedback from parents, teachers, administrators, and curriculum field professionals.
Applicable to many state science assessments and benchmarks.
Has been applied to state mandated North Carolina end of year tests for science in grades 5 and 8.
Even used by teachers in New York State as a preparation for the Earth Science Grade 9 Regents Exam.
Answer key provided.
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*Activity designed, completed, and submitted at private residence/educational resource center*
Geo Leo and Meteo Mike
“The Tar Heel Tandem”
“Southern Science Specialists”