Monday, 29 December 2008
Thinking skill development: pupils are asked to bridge from the photographs of power sources to the view through the window. Any debates are likely to cause cognitive conflict.
This activity should generate lots of arguments and comments - please send us some.
Monday, 22 December 2008
This is our first activity in the category 'Earth and space'. Can you think of some more? Have a look at the home page on our website - 'Invitation to contribute'. We shall be very pleased to receive your contributions.
Monday, 15 December 2008
- where on Earth does carbon occur and where can you see evidence for it?
- where is carbon 'fixed' and where can you see evidence for it?
- where is carbon 'released' and where can you see evidence for it?
Please let us know how you get on by leaving comments on this blog.
Monday, 8 December 2008
The model demonstrates how groundwater flows and forms aquifers (permeable rocks containing underground water supplies). In the model, the upper part with the cups represents the 'hills'; water poured into the cups represents 'rain'; the water emerges from the 'ground' in a 'spring'. The 'spring' is usually found at the lower end of the container, where the downward flowing water reaches the impermeable edge of the container and flows upwards to the 'ground surface' - as in many natural springs formed where flowing water meets an impermeable barrier.
Your pupils will enjoy this easy-to-set-up activity; please let us have your comments - click on 'comments' below.
Monday, 1 December 2008
Your pupils will enjoy this activity; please let us know how they get on. We should be pleased to receive samples of their work, the best of which we will publish.
Monday, 24 November 2008
- can you see weathering?
- can you see erosion/transportation?
- can you see deposition?
- can you see the other rock cycle processes? - compaction/cementation of sediments or metamorphism or melting or crystallisation or uplift?
Monday, 17 November 2008
This is a very popular activity in the UK. Let us know how you get on - - send us some photos of your results.
We are always pleased to receive photos and comments about Earthlearningideas - please keep them coming.
Monday, 10 November 2008
Wednesday, 5 November 2008
We are trying to solve the problem but please bear with us, as this may take some time.
Monday, 3 November 2008
Remember to let us know how you get on when you try this Earthlearningidea.
Saturday, 1 November 2008
We should be pleased to receive further comments about this or any of the other activities.
Monday, 27 October 2008
Do please let us have feedback on this activity.
Monday, 20 October 2008
Your pupils may have noticed that, when a pool dries up, it often leaves a muddy bed, which cracks into regular shapes (polygons) as the wet mud shrinks. Therefore, ancient mudcracks show us that the area where they are found must have been mud that dried out in the past. It must have been surface mud rather than mud laid down under deep water. So the cracks are key clues to the conditions in which the mud was laid down.
Polygonal cracking in natural materials is caused by shrinkage and the shrinkage is caused either by drying out or by contraction on cooling.
Please let us know how you get on with this latest Earthlearningidea. Which method did you use?
Monday, 13 October 2008
Weathering occurs all around us, and in all climates. It affects construction materials as well as natural exposures of rocks. Weathering contributes to the concentration of economic resources, such as china clay and bauxite and is very important in the formation of soil. It probably plays a vital role in climate change as well.
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
Monday, 6 October 2008
Please try this activity with your pupils and let us know their results. What do they think affects the speed at which a tsunami travels? Will the wave travel faster or slower in shallow water than it does in deep water? Write your comments on this blog.
Thursday, 2 October 2008
"I am grateful for this project and that you send news regularly. I teach Environmental Geochemistry and Biogeochemistry in the Department of Geography in Perm State University and I have used some Earthlearningideas as examples of geological and biological processes. I also recommend your site to my students."
We are very pleased to hear news like this. Thank you.
The Earthlearningidea Team
Monday, 29 September 2008
Give the pupils copies of the carbon, water and nitrogen cycles and then ask them:-
What will you take with you? You can order whatever you want but think about the following questions:-
- What are you going to breathe?
- What are you going to drink? How will you collect fresh water?
- What are you going to eat? Will you be vegetarian? If not, how will you get meat?
- What is your likely water/oxygen/food consumption per day?
- How will you dispose of waste?
- What energy source will you use? How will you use it?
- How will you produce power?
- How will you control temperature?
- What will your medical requirements be?
- What are you going to do when you get there? Who will do which jobs?
- What else will you need to consider?
This is a popular activity in the UK. Please do try it with your pupils and let us publish their results.
workshop and everybody wrote that they would like another one soon. Thank you."
This is really good news; we are always delighted to know when our activities are being used and enjoyed.
Monday, 22 September 2008
The concept of metamorphism is a difficult one to explain because the processes happen at considerable depth in the crust or mantle and cannot be readily reproduced in a school laboratory. The activities given here demonstrate the principle of the effects of pressure on particles of different shape and composition, but cannot reproduce the recrystallisation that accompanies real metamorphism. However, slate and marble are important constructional and decorative materials and it is useful for pupils to have some understanding of their origins.
(The photo shows a Welsh craftsman splitting roofing slate)
Please click on the INVITATION link on the home page of our website for more details.
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
'The teachers' association (the only one in Italy that includes geoscience teachers), has formed a workgroup on Earth science education (ANISN-DST) and we are translating the Earthlearningideas. We have our next meeting on 25th September and on this date we have a workshop where some of us will present the ELI activities to other colleagues to try to spread the use of ELI in the schools. Several teachers from different regions have already written to me that they are interested in this idea.'
Monday, 15 September 2008
- What would you see - how would this change as the eruption continued?
- What might you sense - hearing, smelling, tasting or in other ways?
- How would you be feeling?
- Would you be safe? Would your friends and family be safe?
- What might the view be like after the end of the eruption?
Choose the best of your pupils' work on this activity and we will publish it.
Monday, 8 September 2008
Monday, 1 September 2008
Please send us some feedback about these activities, either by using comments here on the blog or by email.
Monday, 25 August 2008
Pupils are asked to arrange specimens, drawings or photos of the carbon cycle into the correct sequence. They are then asked at which stages carbon is 'fixed' and which stages carbon is 'released'.
The carbon cycle can be introduced when teaching many topics including the atmosphere, photosynthesis, respiration, decomposition, combustion, fossil fuels, climate change - - - -
Let us know how you introduce it.
Monday, 18 August 2008
Ask your pupils why they think that some volcanoes erupt lava that can flow for many kilometres, whilst others tend to produce lava domes with no runny lava at all. Pupils can then investigate some of the factors that control the viscosity (or 'stickiness') of fluids, using a viscous fluid like treacle as a substitute for lava.
At the end of this activity your pupils should be able to explain that the viscosity of a fluid depends on several variables including temperature, content of solid particles and gas content. They will know that a fluid with low viscosity will flow further than one of high viscosity. They will appreciate that lavas may contain liquids, solids and gases and that volcanoes emitting lava of high viscosity may be more dangerous than ones with low viscosity lava, which flows away more freely.
Monday, 11 August 2008
Try to bring fossils to life in the imaginations of your pupils by asking a series of key questions. Encourage them to use the evidence from the fossils themselves to answer the questions, rather than by guessing. Ask them to suggest what other evidence might help them to give even better answers. Questions to ask are as follows -
When it was alive:
- What sort of place was this animal living in?
- What did it breathe?
- What did it eat?
- Was it a hunter? — or hunted? — or both?
- What could it have seen?
- What could it have sensed?
- How did it die? — can we tell?
- What happened after it died?
Pupils have to use their creativity and imagination to bring the animals and their environments to life, whilst 'bridging' between life today and in the past.
Let us know how you get on with this activity by writing a comment on this blog or by contacting us by email.
Monday, 4 August 2008
Many people don't realise that, to build our buildings, to construct transport links and to make dams and reservoirs, we have to extract millions of tonnes of material from the ground — and that this comes from quarries. Most people would not like a quarry in their 'backyard', but quarries have to be sited where the materials are found underground, and not too far from where they are needed, because it is very expensive to transport bulk materials like quarry products for long distances. So, some rock, sand and gravel quarries and clay pits have to be sited near towns and cities.
Ask your pupils to try this activity and send us their work. We will publish the best.
Monday, 28 July 2008
This is a very popular activity in the UK. Let us know how your pupils react.
Monday, 21 July 2008
Pupils are asked to visualise a flood seen through the window and imagine its likely impacts now and in the future. Sudden flooding episodes can even affect area with steep slopes, but are much more common in flat, low-lying areas subject to major weather phenomena.
Please try this out with your class and let us know how you get on. Perhaps you could send us the pupils' work which we will publish.
Saturday, 19 July 2008
The activities are available in English and Spanish but are now being translated into Norwegian and Italian. We hope to add more languages in the future.
We are over half-way through our weekly publications now so please keep your comments coming.
Monday, 14 July 2008
The nature of a volcanic eruption depends on many factors, including the type of underlying magma, its temperature, the quantities of gases dissolved under pressure, the thickness of the overlying rock and its extent of fracture. A small range of these variables may be seen in these activities.
Click HERE to view a short video clip of the soapsuds volcano.
Please let us have your comments and/or suggestions about these exciting activities.
Monday, 7 July 2008
You can get the pupils more involved in this demonstration as follows: when a container is full of spheres, ask ‘Is it full’? After they answer ‘Yes’, you add water to show that there was still lots of space.
Similarly, before pouring in the water, ask them to predict how much water could be added. Most will be surprised at how much water can be poured in – and that apparently solid materials can be more than a third space.
Natural sandstones have porosities that range up to around 50%, so they may have plenty of space for water or oil/gas. Natural clays can have porosities up to more than 80% - but they are often impermeable, since the pore spaces are so small that water cannot flow through.
Try this activity with your pupils and let us know how you get on.
Monday, 30 June 2008
By completing this activity, pupils can:-
- describe the history of life on Earth;
- appreciate how the fossil record provides evidence for the increasing complexity of organisms;
- appreciate the great length of the timescale within which evolution operates;
- explain that humans appeared very recently in geological terms.
Do try it out with your pupils and let us know the results.
Monday, 23 June 2008
A rock that feels heavy may contain mineral ores. How can we find out if rocks that feel heavy for their size really are more dense than ordinary rocks? The simple way is to use the method discovered by the famous scientist Archimedes more than 2000 years ago. To investigate if something has a high density, we need to measure how heavy it is (its mass) and what size it is (its volume).
Please let us know how you get on with this activity.
Monday, 16 June 2008
This activity provides a practical example of chemistry in action. Your pupils may know that crystals of salt (sodium chloride) form when salty water evaporates, but do they know how to grow a big crystal? Let them find out with this Earthlearningidea.
Please try this out and send us your thoughts and comments - - better still; let your pupils send us their thoughts and comments.
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
This is wonderful news; we are delighted - Earthlearningideas in English, Spanish, Norwegian, Italian - - - - which language will be next?
Monday, 9 June 2008
See if your pupils can answer the following questions. Which of the following are fossils?
Monday, 2 June 2008
Sunday, 1 June 2008
Sunday, 25 May 2008
This activity involves taking the class outside, to an area with some bare soil exposed, and perhaps some grass. Explain that we are going to look around us at familiar surroundings, but that we will think about what evidence of the present day might possibly become preserved in the geological record. This involves trying to think of processes that are happening now and the evidence for those processes happening. Which of these pieces of evidence might be preserved if the area were buried under sediment?
The usual geologist's approach is to use Lyell's principle that 'the present is the key to the past'. This activity involves geological reasoning in reverse, i.e. trying to predict the future from the present. Concerns about global climate change have recently involved geologists trying to predict the future from the past.
Saturday, 24 May 2008
Friday, 23 May 2008
Monday, 19 May 2008
Monday, 12 May 2008
Monday, 5 May 2008
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Recent changes to Safari to render .pdf files in the browser may have created a problem with downloaded pdf files having a double file suffix (.pdf.ps). If your downloaded file has this suffix, please rename the file, deleting .ps.
It is possible to receive the pdfs without this problem in other browsers e.g. Firefox. Alternatively it is possible to turn off internal pdf rendering in Safari, reverting to the use of Acrobat reader as before.
We are not experts in this field so would welcome any further comments and suggestions from Mac users. Either comment on this post (click 'comments' below) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have also added this information in a link from our website
Monday, 28 April 2008
This activity is great fun; try it with a clay-rich soil, a sandy soil and one with gravel or pebbles in it. Find out what your local soils are like. Do they absorb water or does it puddle on top or, maybe, it runs straight through? What can you do to improve it?
Please contact us with your thoughts and comments.
Friday, 25 April 2008
If you have only just found us, then do please have a look at all the good ideas which have appeared over the last few months. Many subscribers have been able to see the links between the activities and their own country's educational programmes, such as the 5E programme in Taiwan, (mentioned in Extension ideas of Dig up a dinosaur).
Modern pupils are rightly horrified at some of the misdemeanours of past scientists, such as the rival dinosaur "hunters" or the person who carried out the Piltdown Skull "missing link" forgery. We hope that the pupils of today will determine never to do the same.
Perhaps some of our bloggers might care to contribute a story of scientists cooperating, as shown particularly in such achievements as the International Geophysical Year in 1957 and subsequent projects.