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Elementary Geology

Teaching Resources for Elementary School – Geology


This Dynamic Planet Teaching Companion
Students use fossil evidence and other clues to piece together the continents before the supercontinent Pangaea drifted apart, make a plate tectonic model of Earth with a tennis ball, and more.

How to Build a Model Illustrating Sea-Floor Spreading and Subduction
Print, cut-out, and glue together a three-dimensional paper model that illustrates sea-floor spreading and subduction. Simple diagrams and easy-to-understand explanations of the processes are included.

Background Information for Teachers:

This Dynamic Earth: the Story of Plate Tectonics
"This Dynamic Earth" is one of the most recommended and referenced primers on plate tectonics. Topics include a history of the theory, scientific developments that spurred its development, the mechanics of plate motions, and the relationship of hotspots to plate tectonic theory. A companion best-selling map, "This Dynamic Planet", is also available online or in print.   

This Dynamic Planet: A World Map of Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Plate Tectonics
Plate tectonics are fully illustrated on this best-selling world map (a companion to "This Dynamic Earth: the Story of Plate Tectonics") showing the locations of plate boundaries, volcanoes, earthquakes, and impact craters. Detailed ocean floor bathymetry and discussions of fundamental components are also featured. A paper version is available for purchase or the map can be downloaded free in PDF format.   

Some Unanswered Questions: What Drives The Plates?- Background Information
This page from the This Dynamic Planet Web site addresses the processes associated with heat flow and convection in the Earth.

The Interior of the Earth
An introductory guide to what is known about the interior of our planet.

A Brief Introduction to Geomagnetism
The USGS uses ground-based observatories to provide continuous records of the Earth's magnetic field variations. This simplified description uses images and a time-lapse animation to explain phenomena created by the magnetic field that can be easily monitored and studied.

National Geologic Map Database
Download geologic maps.