Measure the Movement of Plates

Measure the Movement of Plates

You'll need to have a lot of patience for this project. If you stick with it, you'll have a great understanding of how the continents move! Ask an adult to help you find a location where it is safe and acceptable to use pins that will remain undisturbed for at least a month. You don't want to use a nice wall in the house!
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Investigate Weather

Investigate Weather

From Climate Change

How is weather different from climate? Weather can be described as day-to-day conditions. From a bright, sunny day to a snowy day, weather can change quickly. Climate, on the other hand, is made up of long-term weather patterns across many years. Let’s explore some of the characteristics of weather.

Make Your Own Shake Table

Make Your Own Shake Table

From Natural Disasters

Architects and engineers who design buildings in areas prone to earthquakes try to create structures that will be stable if an earthquake hits. a shake table is used to shake a model and see what happens. It makes the same motion as an earthquake. You can see what it’s like when you build your own shake table and then try to create structures that can withstand the force of moving earth beneath them.

What If?

What If?

From The Space Race

The Space race ended with a walk on the moon. What might have happened if the Soviet Union had won the race? What might have happened if the U.S. space program had continued? Do some brainstorming and come up with some ideas!

Can You Spot Mercury?

Can You Spot Mercury?

From Planetary Science

Although it's one of the brightest objects in the sky, seeing the closest planet to the sun isn't easy. As seen from Earth, it never strays far from the sun's blinding glare. Many famous astronomers are rumored to have never seen the elusive planet.



Mother Daughter Bookclub
“Why do earthquakes occur? What contributes to the eruption of volcanoes? How do tectonic plates move against each other? The answers to these questions and others related to how our planet formed mountain ranges, ocean trenches, certain types of rock and more can be found in Fault Lines & Tectonic Plates by Kathleen M. Reilly.

It’s the kind of nonfiction book that’s great for budding geologists or scientists of any kind, but particularly those who are curious about the physical world around them. Filled with fun facts and words to know, Fault Lines & Tectonic Plates also has 25 projects that kids can do at home. I recommend it for readers aged 9 to 12.” Read the complete review online.

School Library Connection
“Upper elementary students who are fascinated by the forces of nature may find this title filled with the information they crave. Teachers will find helpful activities to use in their classrooms. Recommended.

National Science Teachers Association Recommends
“Fault Lines & Tectonic Plates by Kathleen M. Reilly is a wonderful resource for the study of plate tectonics. Not only does it have awesome pictures to explain what it is saying, but the descriptions are very clear and easy for all students to read and understand. As a teacher I appreciate that it also provides a bunch of lab ideas to help explain various aspects of plate tectonics. I am especially excited to try the underwater volcano lab and the edible volcano model.” Read the complete review online.

Publishers Weekly
“Reilly provides a detailed examination of the movements of tectonic plates, and the effects of those movements, in this addition to the Built It Yourself series. Throughout, Reilly poses relevant questions ("Are there any benefits to earthquakes? Do they serve a valuable purpose for our planet?"), discusses scientists' hypotheses about Earth, and invites readers to get involved via 25 activities, which include cooking molten rock candy, making a cardboard box seismograph, and creating a Jackson Pollack-style painting of an erupting volcano. Thompson's cartoon spot illustrations break up the book's substantial text. It's a solid starting point for readers interested in Earth's geology”.  Read the complete review online.

School Library Journal
“Reilly uses the theory of plate tectonics to explain earthquakes, volcanoes, and more in this comprehensive look at earth science. Each chapter concludes with several hands-on activities to encourage understanding of the concepts discussed. The volume covers a lot of ground in a conversational tone and avoids sounding dry or textbook like. VERDICT A solid addition to earth science collections or where the series is popular.”

Booklist Online Exclusive
“Most people never consider what is happening in the ground beneath their feet, but in reality, there is a tremendous amount of science going on deep in the earth. Twenty-five hands-on experiments focus on the movement of tectonic plates, the formation of volcanoes, potential seismic energy, and the very real threat of earthquakes. Readers can generate potential energy, make their own edible volcano model, or chart fault lines around the globe. Essential questions introduce each chapter and set a contextual purpose for reading. Real-life events, relevant terms, and fun facts accompany each project, while very detailed scientific explanations are offered to guide budding scientists' observations. Scannable QR codes and keyword search suggestions offer easy access to electronic primary sources about the scientists and discoveries that have added to the field of seismography. This multidisciplinary STEM resource appeals to multiple modalities and learning styles and covers more obscure topics in physical geography and science.”


Detailed Book Description

If there's one thing you can rely on it's the surface of the earth, except when it moves, which is all the time! In Fault Lines and Tectonic Plates: Discover What Happens When the Earth's Crust Moves, readers ages 9–12 learn about earthquakes and volcanoes and how the earth's surface is always changing.

  • Natural disasters that happen around the world or close to home will become more understandable to children.
  • Introduces the relevant topics of geological principles to students in grades 4–6.
  • Explores the intersection between geology, engineering, and human needs.
Available In:
Hardcover, $22.95
Paperback, $17.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Timeline | Charts | Maps | Glossary | Resources | Index | Metric Conversions Chart
Specs: 8 x 10 size | 4-color interior | 128 pages
Subject: Science
Content Focus: Earth/Space Science



Discover Plate Tectonics!

Chapter 1
The Movement of Tectonic Plates

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4
Ridges and Trenches

Chapter 5
Plate Science History

Chapter 6
The Future of Plate Tectonics

Metric Conversions
Essential Questions