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SCI 2201: Concepts in Science Earth’s Internal Properties & Plate Tectonics Big Idea: The entire Earth is still changing, due to the slow convection of soft, hot rocks deep within the planet. Learning Goal: As a science literacy benchmark, in your teaching you should be able to help children understand the following concepts regarding the weather: The interior of the earth is hot. Heat flow and movement of material within the earth cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and create mountains and ocean basins. Gas and dust from large volcanoes can change the atmosphere. The solid crust of the earth—including both the continents and the ocean basins— consists of separate plates that ride on a denser, hot, gradually deformable layer of the earth. The crust sections move very slowly, pressing against one another in some places, pulling apart in other places. Ocean-floor plates may slide under continental plates, sinking deep into the earth. The surface layers of these plates may fold, forming mountain ranges. Earthquakes often occur along the boundaries between colliding plates, and molten rock from below creates pressure that is released by volcanic eruptions, helping to build up mountains. Under the ocean basins, molten rock may well up between separating plates to create new ocean floor. Volcanic activity along the ocean floor may form undersea mountains, which can thrust above the ocean's surface to become islands. Instructional Objectives and Guiding Questions: Try to meet some of these objectives and answer some of these questions prior to class… What is the history behind the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics? How do we know the Earth’s structure? Have we probed from crust to core? Illustrate and describe the Earth's composition or layers (crust, mantle, outer core, inner core). evaluate the theory of continental drift. evaluate the theory of plate tectonics. describe the structural geology of Earth’s folds and faults. interpret Earth’s physical geology at plate boundaries (divergent, convergent, transform).