Introduction to plate tectonics:

1. Vocabulary Word Wall (one day)

Objective: Students will gain familiarity with important vocabulary related to plate tectonics.

Procedure: Students assemble into groups, and are given a list of definitions which go with important vocabulary words (listed below), which are distributed around the walls of the classroom. Teams then race the clock (and each other) to correctly match words and definitions. Teacher input is limited to 1-3 progress checks, where correct matches are marked. Assessment is concurrent with the activity.

  • crust
  • mantle
  • convection
  • trench
  • divergent boundary
  • convergent boundary
  • transform boundary
  • subduction zone
  • plates
  • lithosphere
  • asthenosphere
  • sea-floor spreading
  • subduction
  • Pangaea
  • Laurasia
  • Gondwanaland

When time is up, the teacher reads the correct answers (allowing time for minor celebrations among team members.)

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The random musings of a 30-something, West Texas high-school science teacher. Hoo-RAY.
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