Interactives: Dynamic Earth

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Lava flowing into the ocean, Hawaii

ERN Item Type: 

  • Classroom Activities


Annenberg Learner


Dynamic Earth is an interactive website where students can learn about the structure of the Earth, the movements of its tectonic plates, as well as the forces that create mountains, valleys, volcanoes, and earthquakes. The first section focuses on the layers that make up the Earth - from the thin crust on the surface all the way down to the metallic core at the very center. Next, the interactive explores the concept of plate tectonics - the well-accepted theory that states the Earth is broken up into about a dozen separate plates that are in constant motion. Students will learn the names of the tectonic plates and will be able to identify whether certain plates are moving toward, spreading apart from, or sliding past each other. Finally, students will learn how mountains and other structures and earthquakes and other major geological events are caused by slipping, sliding, and colliding of tectonic plates.

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