Plate Tectonics

Plate Tectonics

Note: The picture shows the North American and Eurasian plates that rose from the Atlantic Ridge in Iceland. For more information see: Tectonic Plates: Iceland

Created by: C. Rieger
Savanna School District


Purpose: .Investigate the theory of plate tectonics. 

Resources Needed:

Computer, internet, pencil, and paper

Overview of Plate Tectonics 

Your Task: To explore the theories in plate tectonics and demonstrate your knowledge through a variety of tasks!

Latest seismic activity for Los Angeles and Orange County

Brainpoppers link below!


Click the earth to find out about faulting!


Click Einstein to see a movie clip

Learn how to build a seismograph!

Have you ever wondered how to measure an earthquake's intensity? 

Let's see how the earth has changed over millions of years!

Fema for kids links below!


Play a flash card game!


Play a matching game!


Play Conentration


Do an interactive quiz

Group activity

Supply groups of students with a hard boiled egg, a leather soccer ball, a globe, and cutout shapes representing each of the continents.

       Finally, the shapes of the continents can reinforce the idea of continental drift. Have students arrange the continents on a surface, using the globe to place the shapes in their relative positions. Ask them to try to move the continents together, as if they were moving the pieces in a large jigsaw puzzle until they find the best fit. Once they have the best fit, have them slowly return the continents back to their original position, noting the direction that each one moves. According to the theory of continental drift, forces within the Earth cause the continents to move in this way, .

Group activity 2

A Few Internet Resources:


Created August 6, 2001
Last Revised August 16, 2001

Teacher Notes

Suggested Grade Level: 6 to 9

Science Content Standards: Note the following are examples.

Grade 6: Investigation and Experimentation (7a, b, c, e, g, h)
Grade 7: Investigation and Experimentation (7a, b, c, e)
Grade 8: Investigation and Experimentation (9a, b, e,)
Grade 9: Investigation and Experimentation (1a, c, d, i,) 

 S.C.O.R.E. Lessons Standards Search by Grade and Subject
S.C.O.R.E. Standards and Framework
California Content Standards Grades K-12
California Content Standards Grades K-12 - Science - PDF Format


Students will need background information about faults, earthquakes, and pangea.  They will need to learn appropriate vocabulary: plate tectonic theory, geothermal energy, pangaea, continental drift, interaction, force, cause-effect, predicting, analyzing, consequence.



Presentations - worksheet, peer evaluation, web quiz, writing samples, teacher observations


a variety of games, interactive sites, and information on the web.