Web page descriptions for 2010
The website that I looked at was http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/. This site is titled Volcano
World and it contains a large amount of information on different types of volcanoes found
around the world. The homepage contains volcano news and what new findings have come out
recently. There is also a volcano of the month where people can find out more information about
a specific volcano. There are links on the homepage that go to other pages such as one for kids
which has some interactive games and a virtual field trip. There is a link for educators also that
contain a large amount of information and lesson plans. Some of the examples include
information on the Hawaii hot spot volcano and things such as Mt. St. Helens. One of the links
looks at the current activity of the volcanoes of the world. This link brings up articles on
different volcanoes that are showing activity or an eruption around the world. A fun link on the
homepage that I spent a fair amount of time with was the “Find a Volcano” link which has an
interactive map of the world and all the known volcanoes. When you zoom to a continent or
region you can then select a volcano from the list of all the volcanoes in that area and learn all
sorts of information about it. The site also contains an index with volcano topics which would be
very helpful in finding information. There is also a frequently asked questions link which is
another great source for information that answers some common questions that kids may ask.
There were also some more involved questions for older students. Overall I think this site would
be awesome for middle school earth science students. In fact in my placement last year at
Woodland Middle School I was shown this site by the Earth Science teacher and he uses a
number of things from it and uses it as a resource quite a bit to find out new things about
Web Page Review
The web page I reviewed was the PaleoMap Project (http://www.scotese.com/). This website at
first glance is a little overwhelming with all the links that are available to click on and explore.
Once you get a grasp on how the site is organized it is pretty easy to navigate around.
The first section on this web page is on Earth History and it gives nice maps for each time period
up to the present date. The maps are easy to see and shows how the land has moved since the
Earth was first created. After the Earth history section there are many 3D interactive maps that
you can view, these are good for getting different perspectives on how tectonics has helped shape
the land. My favorite part of this site is the Animations link. They have some great interactive
animations where you can move the tectonic plates with your mouse and it gives the density
surrounding the plates. They even have a map of how the Earth will look in 250 million years!
The site includes a lot of teaching materials for purchase and good lab ideas. There is a great
research section that could also be useful in finding more information on tectonics. I would rate
this site an 8 overall and say that it could be used from 6th grade all the way through freshmen in
college. It does a great job of incorporating visuals into the lessons by having so many diverse
maps. I wish I would have had some of these maps to look at when I was studying plate
Site I found: http://mjksciteachingideas.com/plate.html
Advanced Earth Sciences for Teachers
Global Volcanism Program Website Summary
As part of the Smithsonian Institution, the Global Volcanism Program (GVP) acts to
record, archive, and transmit information about currently active volcanoes as well as the Earth's
volcanic history over the last 10,000 years but from what I saw their timescale is even broader.
Their website is the main tool they use to transmit this data. Anything you want to know about
any known and studied volcano on this great globe you can find through this website. Easy to
navigate and intuitively laid out it's a gem for the impatient and candy for the information junky.
After recently spending time in Guatemala I wanted to find out about the active
volcanoes within the borders of that country. From the “Home” of their website I was able to use
a “Quick Link” to access a volcano map. From that map I was able to view pictures and
information on all of the volcanoes, lava domes, and other volcanic features in Guatemala. Of
course you can do this for any country or area you're interested in. The GVP provides a brief
summary of any individual volcanic feature but if one were performing a more thorough
investigation they also provide a list of citations dedicated to that feature.
This site would be an incredibly valuable resource to someone teaching the subject of
volcanism or the effects of plate tectonics. For teachers with high-speed internet access in the
classroom and a way to project their monitor image, the “This Dynamic Planet” interactive map
would allow students to see topographical relief both above and below sea level along with
markers indicating volcanic features. This map also labels all of the plates and indicates the
direction(s) in which each plate move(s) so it's easy to see that plate interactions and volcanic
activity are correlated. There is also a “Types and Processes Gallery” that provides thorough
descriptions and photographs of different types of volcanoes and pyroclastic flows. I would use
this website for teaching students in middle- to highschool.
On a scale of 1-10 I would give this website an A.
Through a brief internet search I was able to find another website dedicated to the
dynamic nature of Earth. This was a great interactive site and would allow students to explore
various parts of the earth as they so desire. Check it out at
This website focuses on plate movement and appears to be designed for a young
audience, perhaps about sixth grade level, as it has an abundant amount of bright colors, bubble
font, and simplistic language. The main page gives a very brief overview of the theory of plate
tectonics, but this summary does not include why the plates move or the history of plate
movement. The user can then navigate to a certain type of plate interaction/movement, or click
next to be brought though all of them. Convergent boundaries are discussed first, and following
in the vein of the rest of the website, the description of the mechanisms of convergent boundaries
is very shallow; topics like density and abduction are not included. Also, many different
examples of real-world convergent boundaries are given, but no pictures were included, which
seems odd for a site that appears to be designed for younger students. The convergent boundaries
section ends with the possible dangers of living on or near a convergent boundary, the death tolls
of a few earthquakes and possible ways to reduce life loss are given. Divergent boundaries are
discussed next, the summary adequately describes this type of plate movement and this section is
full of vocabulary words that would have been very helpful earlier in the website. The final topic
is transform boundaries. This section gives a small summary of what happens at these
boundaries, sites a few examples of transform boundaries, and again includes a section on
earthquakes and the subsequent death toll.
There are also other sections of the website that cover other geological topics and there is
a educators section called the “Teacher’s Lounge,” but it requires a password to enter it.
I have to give this website a 3/10 because the it makes multiple references to real world
examples of plate movement without providing a single photograph, it did not describe the
reason for plate movement, it focused a large amount of text on death tolls despite the apparent
age of the intended audience, and key terms that should have been stated on the first page were
buried in the penultimate and last pages.
A new website recommendation
4110: Advanced Earth Science for Teachers
Through my review of “A Science Odyssey” webpage entitled Mountain Maker, Earth
Shaker, I found valuable resources and activities that would provide students with a chance to
explore visually and hands on the movement of tectonic plates. The homepage provides a text
version of an activity that has the student take a hard-boiled egg and crack the shell to
demonstrate the physical characteristics of the Earth’s mantle and crust structure. This flows into
a discussion on the history of the plate tectonics concept and touches a small amount on Alfred
Wagener’s theory from 1912. The Mountain Maker, Earth Shaker activity itself allows the
student to push and pull apart different tectonic plates, while introducing concepts such as
divergent, transform and convergent as they relate to plate movement. This activity piece
provides students with a chance to make a visual connection between terms and there meaning,
which in research has proven to be beneficial in retention and understanding of material. The
website also provides additional areas to check out including, “Introduction to Plate Tectonic
Theory”, “The Sea Floor Spread”, “The Continental Slide”, “The Continental Crush” as well as”
Slippin’ and a Slidin’”. As I attempted the activities and read through the information presented
within the website, I felt as though the activities would be appropriate for students at the 8th
grade level. In reviewing the Minnesota State Educational Standards, I found the concepts being
presented by the website to be consistent with the requirements of 8th grade, Earth and Space
Science. With these two areas coinciding, I feel that this website could provide a great
introductory activity for the subject of plate tectonics.
Website Rating: 6
3. Earth 1. Earth 1. The 184.108.40.206.1 Recognize that the Earth is
and Space Structure and movement of composed of layers, and describe
Science Processes tectonic plates the properties of the layers,
results from including the lithosphere, mantle
interactions and core.
among the 220.127.116.11.2 Correlate the distribution of ocean
lithosphere, trenches, mid-ocean ridges and
mantle and mountain ranges to volcanic and
core. seismic activity.
18.104.22.168.3 Recognize that major geological
events, such as earthquakes,
volcanic eruptions and mountain
building, result from the slow
movement of tectonic plates.
February 1, 2010
The website I looked at is http://scign.jpl.nasa.gov/learn/. I thought this website was set up very
well because it was easy to locate what you were looking for from the homepage. It has a side
bar with links to all of the different pages on the side of each page so it would be an easy website
for students to navigate. The plate tectonics page is divided into many different sections the first
being the structure of the Earth. These pages give many visual diagrams and explanations of the
structure of the Earth. One criticism of the Plate Tectonics section is that the explanations are
fairly short and do not provide a lot of detail. Another thing that I did not like was the link at the
end of the unit that said “Activities”. This did not actually give any activities for a teacher or a
student to use. This would be a great starting point for research, but further research would be
needed to make a complete knowledge base. The visuals and animations for this unit are
extremely helpful and would be useful to students.
Another prominent unit on the website is on Earthquakes. This is set up similar to the
Plate Tectonics unit. I like the design of the unit because it flows well from one topic to another.
Again I am disappointed in the activities page because it only provides one activity. Though
there is only one activity it did look like a good application of what was discussed in the lesson.
Students are required to use math and what they know about earthquakes to calculate how many
earthquakes it would take to build a mountain. They look at graphs and seismicity to determine
how long it would take.
My overall thoughts on this website were that it was a good starting point for students. I
did not really like the layout of the website very much, because of its design. It was not visually
stimulating or eye catching, but did provide some basic knowledge. I would rate this website at
about a 5 or 6. It is a great place to start for students but does not provide activity ideas for
teachers. As a teacher I would possibly use this website as a place to send my students for
background knowledge on a topic.
Finally, another website I found that provides many animations on plate tectonics is:
The website, www.platetectonics.com, examines the concept of plate tectonics. The front page
of the website lists the current date, as well as a brief section dedicated to the story of plate
tectonics. Below that, are links to different resources that will help teachers explain to students
what plate tectonics are. They include research opportunities, models available for purchase for
the classroom, online books for reference, and a view at the ocean floors in depth. In addition,
there is a search engine on the front page that will search different articles for any questions you
may have. Finally, there is a place on the homepage (and also on the toolbar on the left handed
side) where you can subscribe to get updates on earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.
On the left hand side, there is a tool bar that contains the different places for research, a
link to the book called Plate Tectonics, a link to an exploration guide to the ocean floor, patent
info of Tectonic Globe and finally a link to Tectonic Globe. The tab for research included a
short list of different links that were common definitions/concepts when looking at plate
tectonics. The book “The Plate Tectonic” is an online resource where students can go to read
more about plate tectonics including pictures and illustrations. Included under the ocean floor
tab is a picture in which you could click on different regions of the world, and get a close up
view of the area, as well as commentary on what is going on with the crust of the Earth.
Tectonic Globe is a globe for purchase that shows the “Earth’s crustal tectonic features in vivid
I think that this website would be geared towards a middle school grade level, but also to
high school level depending on how you choose to use the website. However, on a scale of 1-10,
I would rate the website at a 4 because while it could be useful, I don’t think that they included
as much information as they could’ve on plate tectonics in addition to a lack of activities for
educators to use.
ThinkQuest Website on Plate Tectonics:
This website is very informative but put into simple terms for easy understanding. It is
easy to navigate through and has helpful features such as a hands on activity, terms that students
can click on throughout the text to get the definition and a set of review questions. This website
would be appropriate for 8th grade geology students due to its higher thinking content and
abstract concepts. Overall I would give this website an 8 because it is very comprehensive and
provides helpful visual aids for students to understand complex concepts. Some of the content
within the website include descriptions of: The Earth’s interior using the analogy of an apple- the
apple skin (crust), pulp (mantle), and core. It describes the differences in temperature, what each
layer is composed of and how the lithosphere is formed as well as the two branches of the
lithosphere, continental and oceanic crust.
Continental drift, an idea by Alfred Wagner, and how Pangaea broke into different plates
and drifted to create the word we see today by means of convection currents.
The eight major plates of the world using a diagram.
Seafloor spreading which occurs when two plates move apart creating an oceanic ridge and uses
the Mid-Atlantic ridge as an example.
Subduction (when a plate is pushed under another) that denser plates subduct under less dense
plates. It explains as the plate subducts it is heated and it melts into magma which rises to the
surface and creates volcanoes.
Personally I would use this website as a geology teacher as an introduction to a unit on
plate tectonics because it does a great job of explaining the concept in simple terms that most
students would be able to understand.
A website that I found about plate tectonics is at:
This website contains lots of information regarding earthquakes. The website contains detailed
maps showing where earthquakes happen and what depth. This of course follows the maps we
looked at in class has earthquakes at the edges of the many plates on earth. The website does go
further by having links and more information on earthquake awareness. The links listed by area
are Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Intermountain West, Central &
Eastern US, National Earthquake Information Center ,Albuquerque Seismo Lab. Each of these
links contains information about the research conducted in the regional offices, regional seismic
network monitoring, and local activities of interest. Also the website contains something I
thought to be a great idea with a earthquake fact of the day. The fact of the day I looked was It
was recognized as early as 350 BC, by the Greek scientist Aristotle, that soft ground shakes more
than hard rock during an earthquake. The last part of the website is on the right side. Here is a
list of major earthquakes in the recent past. As we all know of the devastation in Haiti it is the
current listing as a major earthquake. I feel like this site is good for someone that knows a little
about earthquakes. The maps of where the earthquakes hit is readable by just about anyone. The
problem is that some of the language used in the site is better suited for what I think to be as
High School students. I would rate the site a 7 as the information seemed to be extensive and
reliable. I feel that for anyone looking to gain information about earthquakes this would be an
Another site would be http://geology.com/plate-tectonics/
I would say that this site is for the more knowledgeable geologists.
I would rate this website at 8 out of 10. This website explains key terms that students of all ages
need to know to understand how plate tectonics work. It contains many pictures to give students
a visual of what is being explained in writing. I thought some of the pictures should include
more detail about what is shown in the picture. There is an elevation map with white squares
showing different earthquake environments. I think it would be beneficial to a student if they
included what direction the plate was moving and explain more about what type of environment
that area includes. There was also a heat related graph showing that as crust moves away from
the ridge it will cool. I think it would help to have a scale on the side to show the temperatures
in degrees in case an individual is not familiar with the color scale.
I like that this website has an earthquake Richter magnitude scale. I thought it gave a
great explanation. It included a short and long explanation so it could reach to individuals with a
variety of knowledge in geology. One range on the scale was confusing because it simply said
“under 6.0 = slight damage to well-made buildings and major damage to poor-constructed
buildings”. The ranges below 6.0 stated that there would be little to no damage. These
statements seem to contradict each other but, the rest of the scale seems appropriate.
I think this site could be used for middle school age and older. I think a seventh grader
would have the vocabulary to understand the website. It has many diagrams to support the
writing and enable students to see what is being talked about. Some of the diagrams may need
some explanation from the teacher, but the student could refer back to the website later to study
for an exam and review terminology.
Here’s another website. http://www.extremescience.com/PlateTectonicsmap.htm
Assignment #1-Plate Tectonics
February 1, 2010
The website I was assigned to explore was http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/
geology/tectonics.html. The website begins with an introduction explaining a little about plate
tectonics, which leads to two links: History and Mechanism. The History section begins to
explain Alfred Wegener and his discoveries in Pangaea and Continental Drift. Then it also
describes Arthurs Holmes continuum of Wegener’s theory of thermal convection under the
mantle. Which leads us to a link of Mechanisms, this begins by explain in more depth Holmes’s
convection theory. It also goes on to explain Mid-Oceanic Ridges, Geomagnetic Anomalies,
Deep Sea Trenches, and Island Arcs; which is all about understanding the world of plate
Then when you return to the main front page there are some amazing graphics of plate
tectonics and continental drift. There are links that range from different time frames that show an
image of the world in a time lapsed version of the movement of the continent Pangaea and how it
spread out to the multiple different continents. On the webpage are links to the paleontological
history of each era.
I do like this website. It does a great job explain geological concepts for people who
have never studied it before. I also really enjoyed the visual imagery that the website gives;
since most people are visual learners. However, I would estimate that this website is for students
that are in high school or at a college level. I felt that some of the vocabulary is a little advanced
for many middle school aged children. Overall, I would give this website a six out of ten. Since
it would only be really useful for older age groups, but also it has lots of information about other
geological topics besides plate tectonics.
Another website that I found on plate tectonics was http://geology.com/teacher/plate-
tectonics.shtml . I found that this website would be very beneficial in teaching the concepts of
plate tectonics, because the website lists different types of hands on activities and lesson plans
that work wonderfully with plate tectonics.