Gondwana & Laurasia Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Use this lesson plan to introduce students to plate tectonics and the ancient supercontinents Gondwana and Laurasia. Students will read two text lessons, discuss new information, and make a flipbook of continental movement.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the basic movements and mechanisms of plate tectonics
  • define Gondwana and Laurasia
  • describe the basic movement of Gondwana and Laurasia


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.


Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).


  • Index cards
  • Art supplies (markers, colored pencils, etc.)


  • Begin the lesson by asking students what they already know about plate tectonics and the idea of supercontinents. Chances are they will bring up the supercontinent Pangaea.
  • Ask them to volunteer any information they already know of Pangaea.
  • Write all pertinent information on the board to allow students to integrate this knowledge into what they learn in the remainder of the lesson.
  • Distribute both text lessons Gondwana Supercontinent: Definition & Breakup and Laurasia Supercontinent: Definition & History. Students will read these lessons in tandem, discussing pertinent information as they go.
  • Have students read the sections, pausing to discuss a set of discussion questions as a class. The following table outlines this process. Be sure to allow ample time for discussions.

Gondwana lesson: Laurasia lesson: Discussion Questions
Introduction and ''An Introduction to Plate Tectonics'' Introduction and ''Are the Continents Moving?'' What is plate tectonics?
How are continental plates moving?
''The Formation of Gondwana'' ''How Do Super Continents Form?'' & ''How Did Laurasia Form and Break Up?'' How did each of the supercontinents mentioned in the lessons form?
Where did each of the supercontinents form?
How does Pangaea fit into all of this?
''The Destruction of Gondwana'' ''Where Is Laurasia Today?'' What happened to each of the supercontinents?
What portions of the modern Earth's crust were once part of each supercontinent?
''Evidence for the Existence of Gondwana'' None What evidence exists to help scientists explain the movement of Earth's ancient supercontinents?
  • Read the Lesson Summary of both lessons and answer any remaining questions before moving on.

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