Copyright

Ch 52: Earth's Formation & Plate Tectonics - ORELA Middle Grades General Science

About This Chapter

This Earth's Formation and Plate Tectonics chapter is a comprehensive overview that can strengthen your preparations for the ORELA Middle Grades General Science assessment. Watch engaging video lessons to simplify the studying process.

Earth's Formation & Plate Tectonics: ORELA Middle Grades General Science - Chapter Summary

You can use the lessons in this chapter to get reacquainted with facts about the Earth's formation and plate tectonics as you get ready to take the ORELA Middle Grades General Science assessment. After exploring the videos, you will have the knowledge to:

  • Explain theories and geological evidence of the formation of the Earth
  • Discuss Alfred Wegener's theory and evidence for the mechanism of continental drift
  • Describe plate tectonics and identify causes of tectonic plate movement
  • Provide insight into plate boundaries, and understand active and passive continental margins
  • Examine the oceanic ridge system and explain ocean drilling as evidence for plate tectonics
  • Share an understanding of paleomagnetism and hot spots
  • Analyze sea floor spreading and polar reversal

Expert instructors provide a wealth of information on the Earth's formation and plate tectonics to ensure you're prepared to answer questions on the exam. If you're unclear about any lesson topic, submit your questions to our experts.

Earth's Formation & Plate Tectonics: ORELA Middle Grades General Science Chapter Objectives

The topics in this Earth's Formation & Plate Tectonics chapter are covered in the Earth and Space Science content domain of the ORELA Middle Grades General Science test. This domain constitutes approximately 25% of the total assessment. To increase your chances of succeeding in this section and on the overall test, review the lessons and test your comprehension with self-assessment quizzes and a chapter exam.

Educators in Oregon take this assessment to acquire the licensure needed to teach students general science in the middle grades. The test consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and is taken on a computer. A passing score is 228 or higher.

12 Lessons in Chapter 52: Earth's Formation & Plate Tectonics - ORELA Middle Grades General Science
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Formation of the Earth: Theories

1. Formation of the Earth: Theories

In this lesson, the theory of how the planet Earth formed will be discussed. This includes looking at how it differentiated into three layers, how it formed its atmosphere, water, and land features, and how it continues to evolve today.

Geological Evidence of Earth's Formation

2. Geological Evidence of Earth's Formation

How did the Earth form? When did it form? And more importantly, how do we know? Learn about the evidence we have for the formation of the Earth. See how many clues you picked up by taking a quiz.

Alfred Wegener's Theory of Continental Drift

3. Alfred Wegener's Theory of Continental Drift

People used to think that Earth was static, and that it never changed. Gradually, a body of evidence was gathered that made no sense in this model. Alfred Wegener, Geologic Supersleuth, laid the groundwork for a whole new theory for the large-scale changing nature of the earth.

Evidence for the Mechanism of Continental Drift

4. Evidence for the Mechanism of Continental Drift

As scientists began to explore the ocean floor after World War II, they discovered many new clues to help them solve a mystery that had begun decades earlier - how the continents moved about on the surface of the earth.

Plate Tectonics: A Unified Theory for Change of the Earth's Surface

5. Plate Tectonics: A Unified Theory for Change of the Earth's Surface

After many years of trying to solve the mystery of the moving continents, enough data and evidence was collected to develop a unifying theory of how the surface of the earth changes. It's called plate tectonics.

Causes of Tectonic Plate Movement

6. Causes of Tectonic Plate Movement

In this lesson, we explore the causes of plate movement, including thermal convection, ridge push and slab pull. Students will learn how these processes complement each other and form a theory for tectonic plate movement.

Plate Boundaries: Convergent, Divergent, and Transform Boundaries

7. Plate Boundaries: Convergent, Divergent, and Transform Boundaries

In the theory of plate tectonics, the earth's crust is broken into plates that move around relative to each other. As a result of this movement, three types of plate boundaries are formed: divergent, convergent, and transform boundaries.

Active & Passive Continental Margins

8. Active & Passive Continental Margins

Continental margins are areas that separate the continental crust and oceanic crust. Discover the differences between the tectonically active continental margins and the relatively quiet passive continental margins.

Oceanic Ridge System: Formation & Distribution

9. Oceanic Ridge System: Formation & Distribution

The oceanic ridge system is a continuous underwater mountain range with parts found in every ocean of the world. The ridge system is created when magma rising between diverging plates of the lithosphere cools and forms a new layer of crust.

Ocean Drilling as Evidence for Plate Tectonics

10. Ocean Drilling as Evidence for Plate Tectonics

The Deep Sea Drilling Project extracted samples of the ocean floor that provided evidence to support the hypothesis of seafloor spreading and the theory of plate tectonics. Learn how these samples provided proof.

Paleomagnetism and Hot Spots: Evidence for Plate Tectonics

11. Paleomagnetism and Hot Spots: Evidence for Plate Tectonics

Paleomagnetism is the study of past magnetic fields. Hot spots are fixed pockets of heat that well up to form volcanic features. Learn how paleomagnetism and the study of hot spots provide evidence that supports the theory of plate tectonics.

Sea Floor Spreading and Polar Reversal

12. Sea Floor Spreading and Polar Reversal

Sea floor spreading is the process by which new oceanic crust is formed by the upwelling of magma through diverging tectonic plates. Learn about the relationship between sea floor spreading and polar reversals detected on the ocean floor.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Other Chapters

Other chapters within the ORELA Middle Grades General Science: Practice & Study Guide course

Support