3. Student Learning Map

  • Topic:06- Scientific Theory of Plate Tectonics
  • Subject(s):Science
  • Days:24
  • Grade(s):6
Key Learning:

There are worldwide patterns to major geologic events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and mountain building that coincide with plate boundaries.

Unit Essential Question(s):
 
 

How does the scientific theory of plate tectonics impact the geological features on Earth?

   
Concept:

Rock Cycle

LEQ: Number 1

  • Recognize how major rock types are formed and classified.
  • Recognize the role that minerals play in the formation of rocks.
  • Use a model or cycle graph to provide visual representation of the processes involved in the rock cycle.
  • Concept:

    Plate Tectonics

    LEQ: Number 1

  • Describe the components of the geosphere (crust, mantle and core).
  • Discuss Wegener's hypothesis of continental drift and explain how portions of his observations have led to the development of the theory of plate tectonics.
  • LEQ: Number 2

  • Explain the relationship between internal forces (convection currents) and the movement of the tectonic plates.
  • Describe how the movement of the mantle below the crust creates friction which pulls the crust in the direction that the mantle is moving.
  • LEQ: Number 3

  • Use a model or a map to illustrate and discuss the three different types of plate boundaries (convergent, divergent and transform boundaries).
  • Provide a geographic location for each boundary type.
  • Concept:

    Earthquakes

    LEQ: Number 1

  • Explore the types of faults (normal, reverse and strike-slip) and relate each to force type (tension, compression and shear) and the resulting plate boundary movement.
  • Explore how plate boundary location relates to earthquake occurrence.
  • LEQ: Number 2

  • Examine how when pressure builds up in the rocks along a fault it causes stress to occur. Eventually this build up of stress will overwhelm the rocks and cause them to break. When the rocks break, a portion of the fault will move and this movement causes an earthquake.
  • Describe the role of seismic waves distinguishing between primary, secondary and surface waves.
  • LEQ: Number 3

  • HOTS: Constructing Support or Inductive Reasoning could be used to demonstrate the ET LEQ.
  • Lesson Essential Question(s):

    How does the rock cycle illustrate the formation of different types of rocks?

    (A)
    Lesson Essential Question(s):

    What is the relationship between continental drift and the theory of plate tectonics?

    (A)

    How do convenction currents and tectonic plates work together to reshape the surface of the Earth?

    (A)

    Where are geographic examples of plate boundaries found in our world?

    (A)
    Lesson Essential Question(s):

    What are the major stresses and forces for each type of fault?

    (A)

    What events led up to an earthquake?

    (A)

    What is the relationship between earthquakes and convection currents?

    (ET)
    Concept:

    Volcanoes

    LEQ: Number 1

  • Explore the types of volcanoes (shield, cinder cone and composite) and relate each to magma type (balsaltic and granitic) and plate boundary (type and location).
  • Use a volcano model, pictures and/or a diagram to interrelate these concepts.
  • Discuss the factors that control the type of eruption a volcano produces.
  • Relate how the type of volcano is dependent on the type of explosion that occurs and the lava type that is produced.
  • LEQ: Number 2

  • HOTS: Constructing Support or Deductive Reasoning could be used to demonstrate the ET LEQ.
  • Concept:

    Mountain Building

    LEQ: Number 1

    (Chapter 6, Section 1)

  • Discuss the various types of mountains. Detail how they are formed and give specific examples for each type.
  • Provide students with pictures of each mountain type.
  • LEQ: Number 2

    (Chapter 10, section 3)

  • Explore the types of mountains that form at or near each of the three types of plate boundaries. Be sure to give specific examples for each type of plate boundary.
  • Provide students with pictures of each mountain type that forms at or near plate boundaries.
  • LEQ: Number 3

  • HOTS: Constructing Support or Deductive Reasoning can be used to demonstrate the ET LEQ.
  • Concept:

    The Seafloor

    LEQ: Number 1

  • Discuss how seafloor spreading occurs and give at least one example of where seafloor spreading is occuring. Use a picture, map or diagram in your discussion.
  • Examine the various geographical features associated with seafloor spreading including mid-ocean ridges and volcanoes. Use a diagram to illustrate geographic features.
  • Explain how a trench forms at a subduction zone boundary and be sure to give examples of trenches. Use a picture, map or diagram in your discussion.
  • LEQ: Number 2

  • Use a map or model to locate and discuss the various portions of the ocean floor including the continental shelf, continental slope, and the abyssal plains.
  • LEQ: Number 3

  • HOTS: Constructing Support or Deductive Reasoning can be used to demonstrate the ET LEQ.
  • Lesson Essential Question(s):

    What is the relationship between the type of eruption, the type of lava and the type of volcano?

    (A)

    How do we use volcanoes as evidence for the Theory of Plate Tectonics?

    (ET)
    Lesson Essential Question(s):

    How can I identify the various types of mountains?

    (A)

    What influence does the type of plate boundary have on the type of mountains that are formed?

    (A)

    How does the continued growth of the Himalayan mountains provide evidence for the Theory of Plate Tectonics?

    (ET)
    Lesson Essential Question(s):

    What are the major causes and effects of seafloor spreading and subduction zones?

    (A)

    How can I identify the difference between the continental shelf, the continental slope and the abyssal plain?

    (A)

    How do seafloor spreading and subduction zones work together to provide evidence for the Theory of Plate Tectonics?

    (ET)
    Vocabulary:

    hot spot, lava, magma

    Vocabulary:

    Vocabulary:

    Additional Information:

    The asterisk (*) next to the vocabulary terms above indicates essential FCAT vocabulary.

    Suggested Resources-

    Glencoe Earth Science program, classroom models, labs: textbook, teacher created and student conducted, laboratory write-up template, basic lab apparatus, the Internet and Unitedstreaming.

    View As PDF

    Acquisition Lesson:

    Extending Thinking Lesson:

    Vocabulary Report

    • cementation -

      Sedimentary rock-forming process in which large sediments are held together by natural cements that are produced when water soaks through rock and soil.

    • asthenosphere -

      Plastic-like layer of Earth on which the lithospheric plates float and move around.

    • hot spot -

      Unusually hot area at the boundary between Earth's mantle and core that forms volcanoes when melted rock is forced upward and breaks through the crust.

    • epicenter -

      Point on Earth's surface directly above an earthquake's focus.

    • lava -

      Thick, gooey, molten rock material flowing from volcanoes onto Earth's surface.

    • fault -

      Surface along which rocks move when they pass their elastic limit and break.

    • convection currents -

      Current in Earth's mantle that transfers heat in Earth's interior and is the driving force for plate tectonics.

    • compaction -

      Process that forms sedimentary rocks when layers of small sediments are compressed by the weight of the layers above them.

    • focus -

      In an earthquake, the point below Earth's surface where energy is released in the form of seismic waves.

    • magma -

      Hot, melted rock material beneath Earth's surface.

    • magnitude -

      Measure of the energy released during an earthquake.

    • lithosphere -

      Rigid layer of Earth about 100 km thick, made of the crust and a part of the upper mantle.

    • seismograph -

      Instrument used to register earthquake waves and record the time that each arrived.

    • *plate tectonics -

      Theory of global dynamics in which Earth's crust is divided into a smaller number of large, rigid plates whose movements cause seismic activity along their borders.