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Plate Tectonics and Earth Movement

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The Lesson Activities will help you meet these educational goals: Science Inquiry—You will conduct online research in which you will collect information, make observations, and communicate your results in written form. STEM—You will analyze real-world situations to grow in your understanding of science as a creative human activity. 21st Century Skills—You will employ online tools for research, use critical thinking and problem solving skills, and independently raise questions and pursue leads.


Write a response for each of the following activities. When you have finished, submit your work to your teacher. Check the rubric at the end of this document to make sure your work is meeting the expected criteria.

Plate Tectonics and Earth Movement
Watch this short video explaining how some areas where Earth’s plates meet are identified. Then observe how the plates that rest on the asthenosphere are believed to have moved since Earth’s formation.

Now, write a 500- to 750-word essay about the processes involved in plate tectonics. Be sure to include examples and evidence supporting the concept of plate tectonics.

Type your response here:

The plate tectonics theory was put forward by Alfred Wegener suggesting that the continents were at one point all conjoined in one supercontinent known as Pangaea. He then said that Pangaea had drifted apart through the movement of plates to give us the current places of continents we have today. Wegener’s theory was linked to a variety of evidence, however it took further research and evidence for this to become a leading theory. This means that although volcanic and seismic events help to prove the plate tectonics theory valid, there is also a range of other factors involved.

Vulcanicity is the surface presence of Magma within the Earth’s crust. Whereas seismicity is where the build up of pressure in the crust is released. Both volcanic and seismic activty when plotted on a map can be seen to follow certain patterns and it is this distribution that helps explain the plate theory. The distributions of earthquake events are found in broad, uneven belts around plate margins and it is the movement of the plates that cause the seismic events.

This rubric will be used by your teacher to grade your assignment.

Points possible: 20 maximum

Plate Tectonics and Earth Movement

correctly defined plate tectonics (2 points)
correctly defined plates (2 points)
provided an example of a plate (2 points)
accurately discussed convection currents (2 points)
accurately defined convergent plates (2 points)
provided an example of convergent plates (2 points)
accurately defined divergent plates (2 points)
provided an example of divergent plates (2 points)
noted fossil and rock evidence of tectonic actions (2 points) noted fault lines (2 points)

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