Ch 2: Understanding Plate Tectonics Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Understanding Plate Tectonics chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the theories, data and evidence associated with plate tectonics and changes to the earth's surface in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our curriculum as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Understanding Plate Tectonics chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday Pangaea definition and theory The Pangaea theory and how plate tectonic movement caused it to break apart and form modern-day continents
Tuesday Plate tectonics and the unified theory Development of the unifying theory that plate tectonics are the cause of earth surface changes
Wednesday Continental drift theories and mechanism Alfred Wegener's theory for the earth's large-scale changing nature, how continents move on the earth's surface
Thursday Plate tectonic movement causes and plate boundaries Cause of plate movement; thermal convection; ridge push and slab pull; tectonic plate movement theory; divergent, convergent and transform boundaries
Friday Plate tectonics evidenced by ocean drilling Deep sea drilling, evidence to support hypothesis of seafloor spreading and theory of plate tectonics

7 Lessons in Chapter 2: Understanding Plate Tectonics Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Pangaea? - Theory & Definition

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.

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

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.

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.

Causes of Tectonic Plate Movement

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.

Plate Boundaries: Convergent, Divergent, and Transform Boundaries

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.

Ocean Drilling as Evidence for Plate Tectonics

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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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