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The Earth's Crust; The Rock Cycle

Page history last edited by Mallory Burton 7 years, 5 months ago

BC Grade 7 Science IRP:

  • compare the characteristics of the Earth's core, mantle, and crust, and describe the formation of rocks
  • analyse the dynamics of tectonic plate movement and landmass formation
  • explain how the Earth's surface changes over time 


Student Links


Sqworl Page of Student Links

This is a selection from the resources listed below, organized on Sqworl pages for ease of student access.  Separate pages have been created for Layers of the Earth/Plate Tectonics and The Rock Cycle/Types of Rocks and Fossils.



World Book for Kids

WBFK has entries on earth, plate tectonics, core, crust, rock, soil, and fossil.  There's a link in the sidebar on the earth page to a hands on soil activity.  These pages can be printed or downloaded as .pdf files and imported to Kurzweil.


World Book for Students 

WBFS has an entry on earth that contains subsections on the earth's layers and types of rocks (see sidebar).  Students can double click on words to see their definitions.  The article can be printed or downloaded as a .pdf and imported to Kurzweil.


Breakup of Pangea

Oracle Thinkquest has a kid-friendly explanation of the breakup of Pangea and 4 types of evidence scientists used to piece the story together. 


Plate Tectonics of the Northwest

Burke museum in Washington has put together an outstanding account of plate tectonics, supercontinents Rodinia and Pangea, and the accretion of terranes in the Pacific Northwest.  The reading level is quite high but would provide a suitable challenge for a student with a passion for local geology who reads above grade level.


Field Trip Anyone?  Link Repaired Feb 2014

Here's a great geoTour that was done for Terrace several years ago.  (Terrace LAT Cathy McRae is one of the authors.) Most of the students will have been to Terrace/Kitimat and recognize the types of rock and the formations they describe.  I know how to find the abandoned limestone quarry on Old Remo road. 


Interactives and Games

BBC Rocks and Weathering Animation

This interactive animation from the BBC was reviewed by Kelley Tenkley, who also gives practical suggestions on how to use it.  It takes a while for the animation to load up, but it's worth the wait!


Harcourt Science Up Close 8 Interactive Lessons

The Harcourts Science Up Close site has several excellent lessons including The Rock Cycle, Earth's Layers, Metamorphic Rock Formation, Fossils, How Fossils Form, How a Fossil Forms, Petrified Wood,  How Ice Cracks Rock, and Soil Horizons.  These lessons have several accessibility features including optional speech and keyboard shortcuts.


Pangea Interactive

Move and rotate the continents in this interactive to see how they originally fit together in the super-continent Pangea.


Interactive Fossil Tour

Easy to understand guide to fossils and fossil formation.  This is an educational module sponsored by the National Science Foundation.  The information is presented at two levels, great for differentiation of learning.

Virtual Dinosaur Dig

In this interactive, students find a fossil and use virtual tools to extract it.

Virtual Museum Tour of Burgess Shales (English and French)

Outstanding photos and videos in this interactive tour of the Virtual Museum of Canada online exhibit.  Go on the underwater tour or view the fossil gallery featuring animations of the creatures.  There is also a link to the webcam at the actual site which clearly shows trilobite fossils in the heaps of shale.


Photos, Videos and Slideshows

Planet Foss Photo Challenges

This website challenges kids to take photos (and share them on the website) in response to particular science questions.  The challenges for Earth History are to take pictures that show:

1. Rocks

2. Landforms

3.  Unusual Geology

4.  Sediments

5.  Weathering

The site uses numbers instead of names to identify the photographers and does not allow photos of human faces.  Students can choose 6 different kinds of positive feedback to rate each other's photos.


Scholastic StudyJams! 12 Videos/Slideshows

The StudyJams site hosts 12 outstanding videos and slideshows with self-tests in its section on Landforms, Rocks, and Minerals.  Students find the teenage characters in these animations very engaging.  These include The Rock Cycle, Sedimentary Rock, Metamorphic Rock, Igneous Rock, Weathering and Erosion, and Soil.


Plate Tectonics (1:21)

Short video shows the breakup up Pangea and the main plates that continue to move. 

NFB Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes 16:40

This video, created by the National Film Board of Canada, is set to music which explains the changes in this area over the past 10,000 years. Thanks Caren R.


Clicker 5 (requires software)


Earth's Crust and Plates

In this gridset students learn and write about the earth's layers and plate tectonics.  Created to address grade 7 plos by Kathy Ryan. 


Earth's Crust Writing Activity

In this gridset students write about the earth's layers and types of rocks. Created to address grade 7 plos by Sharon O'Dornan.


Earth's Plate Movement

In this gridset students write about plate tectonics and landmass formation.  Created to address grade 7 plos by Kathy Ryan.   

Old Rocks Can Be Recycled

In this gridset students learn and write about properties and types of rocks, the rock cycle, fossils, and erosion.  Created to address grade 7 plos by Kathy Ryan. 




Notebook Lessons

A search for "rock cycle" on the SMART Activity Exchange returned 43 lessons, "earth layers" returned 87 lessons, "plate tectonics" returned 19 lessons, and "fossil" returned 63 lessons.  You can preview these lessons online before downloading to determine whether they are suitable.


Pictures and Diagrams

The Notebook Gallery contains 3 folders entitled Earth, Earth Sciences, and Physical Geology.  The Earth folder contains labelled and unlabelled diagrams of the earth's layers and crust.  The Physical Geology folder contains diagrams of various types of faults, landforms, deposits, erosion, and volcanoes.




The Physical Geology folder contains an interactive activity on the Rock Cycle. 



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