About This Chapter
Who's it for?
This unit of our Middle School Earth Science Homeschool course will benefit any student who is trying to learn about evidence for the theory of plate tectonics. There is no faster or easier way to learn about plate tectonics. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who require an efficient, self-paced course of study to learn about Pangaea, the theory of continental drift, causes of tectonic plate movement, the types of plate boundaries and evidence for plate tectonics.
- Homeschool parents looking to spend less time preparing lessons and more time teaching.
- Homeschool parents who need an Earth science curriculum that appeals to multiple learning types (visual or auditory).
- Gifted students and students with learning differences.
How it works:
- Students watch a short, fun video lesson that covers a specific unit topic.
- Students and parents can refer to the video transcripts to reinforce learning.
- Short quizzes and a plate tectonics unit exam confirm understanding or identify any topics that require review.
Understanding Plate Tectonics Unit Objectives
- Describe Pangaea and Wegener's theory of continental drift.
- Explain the basics of plate tectonic theory.
- Outline evidence for the mechanism of continental drift.
- Identify causes of tectonic plate movement.
- Differentiate between the types of plate boundaries.
1. What is Pangaea? - Theory & Definition
The continents you know have existed for a long time, but not in their current locations. In fact, over 200 million years ago Pangaea broke apart by plate tectonic movement to form the continents we see today.
2. 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.
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.
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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
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Other chapters within the Middle School Earth Science: Homeschool Curriculum course
- Earth's Structure: Homeschool Curriculum
- Understanding Earthquakes: Homeschool Curriculum
- Understanding Volcanoes: Homeschool Curriculum
- Rock Deformation & Mountain Building: Homeschool Curriculum
- Shaping the Earth's Surface: Homeschool Curriculum
- Thermal Energy: Homeschool Curriculum
- Energy in the Earth System: Homeschool Curriculum
- Ecology & Ecosystems: Homeschool Curriculum
- Earth's Energy Sources: Homeschool Curriculum
- Earth's Material Resources: Homeschool Curriculum
- Earth Science Research: Homeschool Curriculum