Plate Tectonics Cycle - Earth's Moving Force
by J.R. Blueford, Ph.D.









(1 week)

Volcanoes Produce Rocks

Volcanoes have Definite Shapes

Products of Volcanoes

Creating Rocks from Lava

3 Basic Types of Volcanoes

Volcanoes produce Different Rocks

Location of Volcanoes

(1 week)

Shaking during an Earthquake

Earthquakes Release Energy

Earthquake Faults

Seismic Waves cause Damage

Measuring Earthquake Intensities 

Wave Movements and Seismograms

Dividing the Earth by Waves

Plate Tectonics
(1 week)

Continents and Oceans

Moving Continents 

Evidence from Continents

Pressure in the Earth

Diverging, Converging, Transform Boundaries

Crustal Movement

Definition of Plate Boundaries

(1 week)

Earthquakes and Volcanoes cause Damage

Volcanic Eruptions

Where of you go for Help?

Historical Damage (Volcanoes)

Damage during Earthquakes

Mudslides and Volcanoes

"Earthquake Proof" Structures

In the Plate Tectonic Cycle students learn that the Earth is dynamic as it spins on its axis, revolving around the Sun. The Earth is restless inside, as it tries to cool its interior.  Emphasis in the elementary grades is to understand the divisions of the Earth, movements of the crust and upper mantle, and causes of earthquakes and volcanoes.   When convections currents come together in the (asthenosphere), convergent plate boundaries are formed on the Earth's crust (obduction and subduction). When the convection currents pull the crust apart in two different directions divergent plate boundaries are formed (rifting). A consequence of the Earth's surface moving faster along the equator than at the poles creates tension which in part, helps form transform boundaries.  Earthquakes and volcanoes are created by these complex interactions.

Volcanoes - The Earth is moving and volcanoes provide structural evidence. Students learn about the different types of volcanoes and the significance of where they occur.

Earthquakes - The moving Earth also creates earthquakes. However when an earthquake occurs it is just a release of energy that occurs for only a short period of time.

Plate Tectonics - The data collected from volcanoes and earthquakes allows scientists to understand that our Earth is moving in a very directed motion.

Hazards - Students need to be aware that all around the world there are risks involved with earthquakes and volcanoes.

Rock Cycle - Understanding the Earth's Crust