Lesson Plans - Geology
Lesson Plan 1: Erupt and erode
In this lesson students will
- Learn about the structure and function of volcanoes
- Learn about the structure and function of glaciers
- Understand how these natural phenomena create distinct natural landscapes
1. Discuss with/explain to students about the basic structure and function of volcanoes, emphasizing that when the volcano erupts, the lava flows out, cools down and makes rocks.
2. Using the links provided to allow students to see different
types of volcanoes, and relate these to the volcano found just off the
banks of the Yukon River.
3. Discuss with/explain to students about the basic structure and function of glaciers, emphasizing how their freezing and thawing scraped the earth and carved out river valleys.
4. From the links provided,
circulate or post pictures of glaciers to allow students to get a feel
for the size and shape of different types of glaciers.
Depending on expertise of teacher or interest of students,
spend some time learning new vocabulary and scientific concepts for either
volcanoes or glaciers. Discuss different volcanic events or glacial eras,
and explain how they formed the landscapes that we are familiar with today.
In this lesson students will
- Learn about artifacts
- Learn about the methods used to find and preserve artifacts
- Understand how culture can be preserved through careful exploration and discovery of the past
1. Ask students if they have ever come across an artifact (e.g. projectile point, arrowhead, horseshoe), or an item that has been in existence for many, many years. Gauge answers, and guide the discussion towards how these artifacts may have survived through time.
2. Explain to students that artefacts that are evidence of human existence have been preserved in the ground, and archaeologists can find them by digging up the soil and sifting through it to find items. Explain that palaeontologists also use this technique to find fossils of once-living creatures.
3. Describe to students that people learn about how native people lived by finding items that they used every day. A good example to use is an arrowhead, and it can prompt a discussion on how it was made, what it was used for, etc. Also discuss what parts of an arrow that you would not find in the ground (e.g. wooden shafts, feathers, leather, paint, etc).
4. Help students to understand that people are able to preserve their culture by discovering and exploring aspects of the past, and then teach others so that it is remembered through time.
1. Dig it Up
Spend some time with students comparing artifacts from different areas, and teach them how to guess their age by how deep they were found in the ground, how advanced or technologically 'new' they are. Have students look at objects from a similar time period found in different parts of the world, and discuss their relationships, if there are any. A good item to use is pot shards - they are often used for dating a site as well.