Lesson Plan : Earth's Mantle Convection

Teacher Name:
 Adams
Grade:
 Grade 7-8
Subject:
 Science

Topic:
 Convection Currents in the Earth's Mantle
Content:
 Convection currents, Earth's interior structure, Plate tectonics
Goals:
 The student will set up a model of a situation occuring in nature. The student will make predictions based on prior knowledge. The student will use appropriate techniques in measuring velocity. The student will communicate, critique, and analyze their work and the work of other students. The student will observe and record data. The student will suggest ways to improve the experiment. The student will recognize that scientists use models to understand processes that are not possible to directly observe
Objectives:
 1.)Students will gain a better understanding of how convection currents drive plate movement inside the Earth which leads to many of the landforms we observe around us. 2.) The student will diagram convection in the mantle with 100% accuracy 3.) The student will use evidence to develop reasonable explanations that are 80% accurate by the end of the lesson 4.) The Student will be able to Identify the 4 main layers of the Earth's interior with 100% accuracy by the end of the lesson.
Materials:
 Diagram of Earth's Interior Glass Bread Pans Bricks of consistent thickness Candles Oil Cardboard Pieces Blank Tectonic Plate Maps Foil, Glitter, Spices to use to measure velocity
Introduction:
 1.)Show Students pictures of the Earth's interior 2.)Discuss how heat moves 3.)Demonstrate how heat moves with warm/cool water blue and yellow food coloring and two erlenmeyer flasks 4.) Place warm over cool water and cool over warm and discuss the differences
Development:
 1.) Have students set up models 2.) Light candles and let oil warm up 3.) Have students make predictions 4.) Record Predictions
Practice:
 1.) Students will place pieces of alluminum, glitter, or a spice flake and measure it's travel velocity in cm/sec 2.) Students will trace and cut out two plate shapes 3.) Students will set plates in oil and draw and describe what they observe
Accommodations:
 Students will work in groups so that all students, regardless of ability, will be involved. Students will be assigned different roles according to their strengths. Students with ADHD will have time to be up and moving. Students with limited abilities will have the help of their group to discuss observations and make calculations
Checking For Understanding:
 1.) Explain how the model portrays the actual situation and how it is different. 2.) Complete the sketches which show how the convection currents cause movenent. 3.) Student reflections on what they have learned and how it can be applied to their daily lives.
Closure:
 1.) Have students research plate tectonics and connect convection in the mantle to movement of the Earth's plates. 2.) Have students brainstorm other experiments that could be created to model mantle convection
Evaluation:
 1.) Students will explain the conclusion of this experiment based on their predictions, measurements and observations. 2.) Students will sketch and label the mobel correctly 3.) Students will reflect on what they learned and how it can relate to their daily lives
Teacher Reflections:
 Groups of three would be better than groups of four. Use alluminum boats intstead of glitter-easiet to clean and won't be left over from class to class.

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