Goal Directed Learning: Infusion Level

5-8 Lesson

"Presentation Plate Tectonics" Using Google Earth and Shared Presentations

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Grade Level


Classroom Configuration

  • Whole group and one to one, using computers in a computer lab or mobile lab setting

Arizona State Content Standards

  • Science Strand 1: Inquiry Process
    1. Concept 1: Observations, Questions, and Hypotheses: Formulate predictions, questions, or hypotheses based on observations. Locate appropriate resources.
      1. PO 1. Formulate questions based on observations that lead to the development of a hypothesis.
      2. PO 2. Select appropriate resources for background information related to a question, for use in the design of a controlled investigation.
    2. Concept 2: Scientific Testing (Investigating and Modeling) Design and conduct controlled investigations.
      1. PO 1. Demonstrate safe behavior and appropriate procedures (e.g., use and care of technology, materials, organisms) in all science inquiry.
      2. PO 3. Conduct simple investigations (e.g., related to forces and motion, Earth processes) based on student-developed questions in life, physical, and Earth and space sciences.
      3. PO 5. Keep a record of observations, notes, sketches, questions, and ideas using tools such as written and/or computer logs.
    3. Concept 3: Analysis and Conclusions: Analyze and interpret data to explain correlations and results; formulate new questions.
      1. PO 1. Analyze data obtained in a scientific investigation to identify trends. (See M07-S2C1-07 and M07-S2C1-08)
      2. PO 2. Form a logical argument about a correlation between variables or sequence of events (e.g., construct a cause-and-effect chain that explains a sequence of events).
  • Concept 4: Communication: Communicate results of investigations.
    1. PO 1. Communicate verbally or in writing the results of an inquiry.(See W05-S3C3-01)
    2. PO 3. Communicate with other groups or individuals to compare the results of a common investigation
  • Strand 6: Earth and Space Science
    1. Concept 1: Structure of the Earth: Describe the composition and interactions between the structure of the Earth and its atmosphere.
      1. PO 2. Describe the properties and the composition of the following major layers of the Earth: - crust - mantle - core
      2. PO 3. Explain the following processes involved in the formation of the Earth’s structure: - erosion - deposition - plate tectonics - volcanism

Arizona Common Core State Standards: ELA
Conventions of Standard English
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
Text Types and Purposes*
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through selection, organization, and analysis or relevant content. 
Production and Distribution of Writing
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style or appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as need by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as will as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.
Comprehension and Collaboration
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. 
a.Come to discussions prepared having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
c. Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.
d. Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views.

Arizona Educational Technology Standards (2009)
  1. Strand 1 Creativity and Innovation
    1. Concept 2: Models and Simulations: Use digital models and simulations to examine real-world connections, explore complex systems and issues, and enhance understanding.
      1. PO 1. Summarize the relationship amongst interdependent elements of a digital model or simulation.
      2. PO 2. Analyze system processes and outcomes using models or simulations
      3. PO 3. Analyze and apply understanding of how one system, digital models or simulations operates by comparing it to another system of a different type that operates in a similar manner.
  2. Strand 2: Communication and Collaboration;
    1. Concept 1: Effective Communications and Digital Interactions Communicate and collaborate with others employing a variety of digital environments and media.
      1. PO 1. Communicate digitally with others by selecting and using a variety of appropriate communication tools.
  3. Strand 3: Research and Information Literacy
    1. Concept 1: Planning: Plan strategies to guide inquiry.
      1. PO 2. Evaluate diverse information sources.
  4. Strand 4: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Decision Making:
    1. Concept 2: Exploring Solutions: Plan and manage activities to develop solutions to answer a question or complete a project.
      1. PO 1. Plan, conduct and manage research using appropriate digital resources to develop solutions for a question.
      2. PO 2. Present defendable solutions and make decisions from multiple perspectives using collected resources and data.
  5. Strand 6: Technology Operations and Concepts:
    1. Concept 1: Understanding: Recognize, define and use technology processes, systems, and applications.
      1. PO 3. Choose technology applications appropriate for the audience and task.
      2. PO 4. Recognize and demonstrate ergonomically safe and sound use of equipment.
    2. Concept 2: Recognize, define and use technology processes, systems, and applications.
      1. PO 3. Apply formatting features while using spreadsheet programs to customize tables, charts, and graphs.
      2. PO 5. Create and edit visual and audio material to generate a stand-alone multimedia product.
      3. PO 6. Identify criteria for evaluating technical and design qualities of a web site and then create web-based content from the identified criteria


  1. Students will understand the effects of plate tectonic movement.
  2. Students will become familiar and/or more proficient at using Google Earth to study Earth’s geography and geology.
  3. Students will deduce and explain why most earthquakes and volcanoes occur near plate boundaries by viewing Google Earth.
  4. Students demonstrate plate tectonics and how it affects the earth’s movement by creating a shared presentation.
  5. Students will evaluate their own and other presentations by creating and completing an online rubric for their presentation.
  6. Students will participate in collaborative discussions through creation of a slideshow.
  7. Students will participate in class discussions and respond to questions in an appropriate manner
  8. Students will set a goal to research at least one effect of earthquake or volcano damage.
  9. Students will present a Shared Presentation to classmates.
  1. Show pictures/diagrams of cross-sections of tectonic plates with a projector, Interactive White Board using Internet sites, or software associated with interactive whiteboard.
    1. Describe parts of tectonic plate - continental crust or oceanic crust on upper part of athenosphere windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/interior/earths_crust.html&edu=elem
    2. Have students takes notes, draw, and label in their notebook
    3. Discuss Pangea and how plates have moved over time
    4. Using the projector or Interactive Whiteboard, show Earth on Google Earth
    5. Zoom in to better see oceanic crust and continental crust of tectonic plates
    6. Show mid-ocean ridges, but do not identify them to the students yet
    7. Show areas where oceanic and continental crust meet
    8. Students will respond to the following questions:
      1. Why does it look like there are “lines” (1) on ocean floor (where mid-ocean ridge is) and (2) where oceanic crust and continental crust meet?
    9. Students will write responses to these questions in notebook. They will use this information in their presentations.The teacher can prepare aforementioned questions relating to the lesson in a shared document or presentation.
    10. Students generate questions of their own to add to teacher’s questions.
  2. Students get laptops and go to website for animations of each type of plate movement. wwnorton.com/college/geo/earth3/animations.asp
    1. Show “Basic Plate Boundaries”, “Sea Floor Spreading”, “Formation of Ocean Crust”, “The Process of Subduction”, and “Hot-spot Volcanoes”
    2. Have students work in pairs on laptops to access and use above animations and any others on that page
  3. Continuing on Interactive White Board, teacher identifies the photos of  ‘Earthquakes’ and ‘Volcanoes’ -Students come to board and select these.
  4. Have students click on specific volcanoes or earthquakes and briefly read about them.
  5. Refer to Google Earth to show/explain where earthquakes and volcanoes are compared to plate boundaries and how plate movement would cause earthquakes and volcanoes to occur.
  6. Students navigate Google Earth in pairs
  7. Demonstrate and have students practice zooming in and out, turning earth, adjusting angle of view, searching for specific location, etc.
  8. Assign students to create guided questions to help others learn how to navigate in Google Earth as a part of their presentation.
  9. Students will create a goal to research at least one effect of earthquake or volcano damage.
    1. Students use Google Earth to explore earthquakes, volcanoes, and their locations.
  10. Students can find earthquakes and volcanoes on these geologic sites: Maunaloa, HI; Mount Everest, Nepal; Mount Saint Helens, WA (guided practice)
    1. Students create Shared Presentation (choosing their own tool) while keeping the intended audience (peers) in mind, that demonstrates the following:
      1. A tutorial on how to use Google Earth while studying plate tectonics (either written or with screen shots)
      2. An explanation of plate tectonics and a photo that demonstrates this concept
      3. How to locate 2 additional earthquakes and 2 volcanoes in Google Earth. (Photos or written information)
      4. The final slide must include an assessment titled: ‘Questions about Plate Tectonic Movement.’ Students refer to teacher’s questions and create their own so that they have a total of 5 questions about Plate Tectonics on the slide that the audience can answer with the information in the shared presentation. Students can present a Google Form embedded within their slide for students to answer, or they can email the form to class and gather data when finished. AND/OR Students can create a rubric for the information presented in their slideshow for other classmates to fill out. Online rubric making can be found at: Rubistar.
  11. Extension: Using the shared Google Calendar that the teacher created for the class or other digital planner, students will sign up for a date the following week to present their findings about the effects of earthquake or volcano damage in at least one area of the world. This research can be carried out in a follow-up lesson.
  1. Interactive White Board
  2. Laptop computers with Internet connection
  3. Google Earth application loaded on each computer
  4. student notebooks
  5. Access with student/teacher accounts in Google Applications, Prezi (prezi.com/), or other online sharing presentation tool.
  6. Rubistar (http://rubistar.4teachers.org)
  7. Norton Website for videos of plate movements http://www.wwnorton.com/college/geo/earth3/animations.asp
  8. Tectonic Plate image http://www.windows2universe.org/earth/interior/earths_crust.html
Shared final presentation with the teacher for correction. “Questions about Plate Tectonics” and correct answers gathered (Google form optional). Online rubric grading the quality of the student slideshow - self assessment, instructor, and whole class.


Technology Integration Matrix





Goal Directed