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Teach the Earth
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity is a laboratory-style exercise that involves investigating the physical controls on viscosity by pouring different syrup mixtures down an inclined plane and using Jeffreys equation to calculate viscosity. Students time the syrup flows and then calculate viscosities. The four sets...

Grade Level: 11, 12
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

From rivers that carve out canyons to tectonic plates that build mountains, our rocky planet Earth is always changing. In space, planets—with their own volcanoes and thunderstorms—whirl around the Sun. Earth and space scientists are dedicated to studying our solar system, from the moon of the...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Illustrative Mathematics
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The purpose of this task is for students to represent and interpret weather data, as well as answer questions about the data they have recorded. Teachers could modify this task to include the most common weather in their local area.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Train like an astronaut, read about future missions, and more!

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Investigate how our view of the universe has changed over time and how the tools we use to study the universe have also change. Find out the latest research on overcoming student misconceptions related to cosmology and prepare them to comprehend our current understanding of the universe. Type of...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
United States Geological Survey (USGS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Dendrochronologists use tree rings to go back in time to learn more about past climate. Using straws to recreate tree rings, you can learn how dendrochronologists work. Construct a 50-year climatic history on a three-meter time line. In this activity, students use the spacings between tree rings...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
University of California, Museum of Paleontology (UCMP)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Scientists have good evidence that the earth is very old, approximately four and one-half billion years old. Scientific measurements such as radiometric dating use the natural radioactivity of certain elements found in rocks to help determine their age. Scientists also use direct evidence from...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Geology for Investors
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The Geology for Investors website is a source of information about why mineral deposits are where they are. This site provides an understanding of how minerals become concentrated where they do. Read about minerals found at the edges of plate boundaries or other topics found in the tabs at the...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary has educational resources for learning about the effects of increased acidity in the oceans. Watch video lectures on ocean acidification, or download hands-on activities to explore the topic. For example, the game Help Nemo Find His Home! (grades...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Park Service (NPS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students will learnthat corals are living animals. They will be introduced to some of the species that make up the biodiversity in coral reefs, and why coral reefs are an important habitat. This lesson will serve as a brief overview of coral anatomy, distribution, its physical properties, and...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Meteorologists often refer to ridges and troughs in the upper atmosphere when explaining the reason for the weather one experiences. Yet all one sees are lines on a weather map. However, these weather systems are high and low places in the atmosphere as this lesson will demonstrate.

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this lesson, students study the availability of fresh water on Earth and the methods that can be used o purify and conserve it. They also assess how much water they and their families typically use and think about ways to reduce water usage.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this activity, you will use a computer model, Seismic Explorer, to examine patterns of earthquakes below Earth’s surface and relate earthquakes to plate boundaries and movement.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
2006, WGBH Educational Foundation, PBS LearningMedia
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this lesson, students explore the causes of earthquakes and their impact on the geology of an area and on human societies. They begin by looking at the role tectonic plates play in creating the forces that cause earthquakes, to help them understand why earthquakes occur when and where they do...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Students Discover
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students will learn about the components of soils, conduct a soil exploration lab, make a flipbook representing different types of soils and soil horizons, and analyze data in spreadsheets to learn about different species of bacteria in the dandelion microbiome.

Grade Level: 6, 7
2018, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In any science, it is important to accurately and understandably describe your observations for others. Whether for advancing research or informing the public, communicating your work is critical. For geologists, this comes down to describing rocks' colors, patterns, shapes, and other features....

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
United States Geological Survey (USGS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Link to a PDF for an activity: Hands-on experiment to test for acid mine damage

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity is intended to help students observe how stick-slip movement works. Instructions on how to build a motorized version of the following experiment as well as data produced from this model are available. At the end of the activity, students will be able to answer the questions, "how...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Scripps Classroom Connection (SCC)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This unit is designed to introduce students to watersheds, computer mapping tools (Google Earth), and ocean currents through a discussion of ocean and water borne pollution. The unit is designed around a 9th grade Earth Science class, and run over three 80 minute class periods. The first lesson...

Grade Level: 9
Physics Central
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Follow the adventures of Spectra, a middle school superhero who possesses the powers of a laser beam. Through eight volumes (with a ninth on the way), Spectra and friends meet and overcome challenges and obstacles through physical science, addressing topics such as power, force, heat energy,...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

You will create a model of a watershed with paper. By observing how surface water flow is determined by the shape of the land, you will visually and dramatically observe the physical characteristics of a watershed, and investigate the impacts of human land use decisions.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
Journey North
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Mystery Class is a global game of hide-and-seek. Students track seasonal changes in sunlight and then investigate othe clues to find ten secret sites around the world. Track sunlight to solve a mystery -- and discover the reasons for the seasons along the way.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
Cincinnati Engineering Enhanced Mathematics and Science (CEEMS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Teachers in the Cincinnati Engineering Enhanced Mathematics and Science (CEEMS) program at the University of Cincinnati developed and implemented more than 200 CBL/BPL engineering units for secondary science and math (grades 6-12). The units address various disciplines (biology, chemistry,...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Scientists, engineers, and others create geologic maps to determine the best places for people to settle, build, farm, and use land in a variety of ways. They also use geologic maps to monitor the ways that human activity might be changing the land itself over time. As the Geologic Map of Karst...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
United States Department of Education (ED)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Find learning resources from more than 35 federal organizations. Resources include teaching ideas, learning activities, photos, maps, primary documents, data, paintings, sound recordings, and more -- on Earth Science, Geology , and Paleontology.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this activity, students will use California precipitation totals and evapotranspiration data to calculate and graph water deficits and surpluses. These spreadsheet models will help students understand droughts and the movement of water in the water cycle.

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8
2008, Thirteen/WNET, PBS LearningMedia
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this Nature lesson, students will learn about different types of volcanoes, how and why they erupt and the physical impact of volcanic eruptions.

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11
Space Telescope Science Institute
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Amazing Space has resources on all your astronomical needs: the solar ystem, black holes, stars, telescopes, history, and more. We are the Education Group of the Space Telescope Science Institute's Office of Public Outreach. We promote the science and majestic beauty of the universe to the...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
Earth Learning Idea (ELI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

As Rock Explorers, students investigate a variety of rocks and sort them ito groups. The activity includes opportunities for literacy, numeracy, and art.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Esri, Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

On our ever-changing Earth, conditions may change quickly or slowly. Some changes come from natural processes; some from human activity. Satellites allow us to see conditions and track changes over time — in land use, forest health, land/water interface, and so on. Since 1972, Landsat satellites...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

To measure ozone in the Earth's atmosphere, NASA built the approximately 6,500-pound Aura satellite. The spacecraft carries four high-tech instruments that scan the globe from more than 700 kilometers above the planet. For students, there is an easy way to investigate ozone in their own...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9
Department of Geology, University College Dublin
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The purpose of the paper models is to help undergraduate students visualize a range of 3-D geometries associated with faults. They are intended as a complement to structural geology coursework on faults and to relate to mapwork. The models are easy to build and can be downloaded for free....

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Visible Geology
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Visible Geology now gives you the ability to create any type of unconformity with a planar base. This could include such unconformities as angular unconformities, disconformities, or nonconformities. Additionall, once your unconformity is created, you can tilt, fold, and fault it as much as you...

Grade Level: 11, 12
Tags: geology, 3-d
Steve Spangler Science
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Turn your eggs into beautiful alum-crystal geodes instead of frying or scrambling them.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
1993, United States Department of Energy (DOE)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The following activities are designed to give students a better grasp of concepts relating to groundwater, aquifers, and hydrology. The suggested materials are commonly available at drug, hardware, and grocery stores. For the activities to work best, students should collect only clear bottles...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Inconstant Moon
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Explore the Moon... discover its dramatic features and phenomena -- often beautiful, sometimes bizarre, always changing. Inconstant Moon will take you on a new tour each night, with maps, photos, explanations, animations, selected links, and even music! Inconstant Moon is intended as both an...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Visit NASA's Space Place website for a tour of the planet Uranus! Targeted for elementary and middle level audiences and featuring NASA images, the page presents an overview of Uranus.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Colorado State University (CSU)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Earthquakes can provide a useful context for teaching or reviewing many basic physics concepts, such as sliding and static friction, forms of energy and conversion from one to another, and the elastic properties of materials. Conducting the following lesson provides an opportunity for students...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this lesson, students examine seismic evidence to determine a) Earth must have a layered internal structure and, b) estimate the size of Earth’s core. Using an inquiry approach, students are divided into two teams (theoreticians and seismologists) to test the simplest hypothesis for what is...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Geological Society of America (GSA), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Petroleum geologists study Earth’s rock layers, looking for places where oil-generating rocks might occur. These geoscientists try to determine whether geologic structures trap the oil in reservoirs which can be drilled and pumped to recover the oil. One such type of trap occurs when rocks have...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Phenomena is only as effective as the unit it is embedded within. The questions that students raise should be directly connected with the core ideas that you want the students to engage with using the science and engineering practices. For example, we all live seeing a volcano model explode --...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
GotScience.org
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This e-book from Science Connected has links to articles and follow-up questions to supplement and enrich high school instruction in astronomy, biology, environmental science, physics, technology, and other topics. Accompanying each article are comprehension questions to help learners understand...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), PoLAR Partnership
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

These curricular unit plans help students explore and understand climate change with particular attention to the impact of climate change on the polar regions. Topics include the role of the polar regions in the global climate system, the impact of changing temperatures on ecosystems, and the...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The goal of the Noon Day Project is to have students measure the circumference of the Earth using a method that was first used by Eratosthenes over 2,000 years ago. Students at various sites around the world measure shadows cast by a meter stick and compare the results. From this data, students...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Haven't you always wanted to associate those amazing photographs of our beautiful planet taken from space with their locations on the Earth? With the Image Detective interactive tool, you can do just that! By doing so, you will help to locate hundreds of thousands of images and also enhance your...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Earth Learning Idea (ELI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Investigate how sediment is transported by water. The activity can be used in any science or geography lesson. It can also be used for literacy in story-telling.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Sun-Earth Days is comprised of a series of programs and events that occur throughout the year. Each year we wrap a fresh new thematic approach around Heliophysics science while highlighting scientists, their missions, and research. We provide resources, programs and events that make the latest...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

On December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright Flyer became the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard. December 2003 will mark the 100th Anniversary of this historic and groundbreaking achievement. Learn how two small...

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
The Weather Channel (TWC), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

To learn to read, write, and appreciate language and communication, it's helpful to find subject matter that's appealing, inspiring, and personal. The sky is a never-ending source of material that is available everyday to everyone. Get ready to set a course for sky exploration! The following...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4
National Weather Service (NWS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

El Niño storms have taken thousands of lives and caused billions of dollars in damage in recent decades. Where do these storms come from? Every two to seven years, trade-winds in the Pacific Ocean slow down or reverse their direction — no one is sure why. Normally, the Pacific trade winds blow...

Grade Level: 8, 9, 10

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Brooks Coal Mine, Colorado, circa 1905
Classroom Activities
National Park Service (NPS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

In this activity, students will explore their creativity and critical thinking while they imagine a cave environment and create an organism that lives in their cave. Their cave will be one of the types mentioned in the preceding pages, but their organisms will be of their own imagination.

Cave in Carlsbad Caverns
Classroom Activities
National Park Service (NPS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

Caves form through a variety of natural processes depending on their local geology and climate. Flowing lava, melting ice, dissolving rock, and crashing waves are the major processes that form these wondrous environments. In this activity, students will observe a model of how the most common...

Cacti in the Sonoran Desert
Classroom Activities
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

In this activity, students study natural features of Mesa Verde and make conclusions about how early inhabitants settled there.

Mauna Ulu on the east rift of Kilauea. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Classroom Activities
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

Traditional geologic maps — sometimes crisscrossed with lines, blotted with colors, and marked with strike and dip symbols — have been used to depict the geologic makeup of the Earth for many years. New technologies such as satellite-enabled remote sensing are allowing geoscientists to create...

Topaz Sample
Classroom Activities
Association of American State Geologists (AASG), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

With this activity from the Association of American State Geologists, students can use local geologic maps to research types of rock in their area.

About the Education Resources Network

The Education Resources Network aggregates geoscience education resources from a variety of providers. The goal is to provide visitors with the widest possible collection of curricula, classroom activities, teacher professional development opportunities, science education standards, virtual field trips, teaching ancillaries and much more.

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