Teachers Page

1. The students will use their powers of observation and reasoning to learn about Plate tectonics.
2. The students will be able to use technology to organize their observations and analyze their data.
3. The students will be able to use math skills to find when their coiuntry will disappear
4. The students will be able to use the Internet as a resource for gathering data.

Background
• The theory of continental drift is used to explain similar rocks, fossils, and mountain ranges and changes in climate on the continents.
• Sea-floor spreading enable scientists to explain how continents can move
• The theory of plate tectonics states that the earth's crust is broken into moving plates. It provides scientists with a way of explaining many features of the earth's crust.
• Many of the features of the earth's crust are caused by plates coming into contact with one another.
• Using evidence, scientists are able to plot the past and future positions of the continents.

What each scientist should find:
• Paleontologist: identical fossils in continents that are separated by thousand of kilometers. They should have name and pictures of them, as well as location. They should also check for weather patterns (for example, coal in Antartica)
• Geophysicist: lining up of iron mineral grains on sea floor parallel to the mid-ocean ridge. Check pattern of earthquakes around the world. Should calculate rate of movement of plates to find when country will disappear.
• Petrographer: identical rock sequences in 2 different continents. Check pressure-temperature relationship for location of metamorphic rocks in plate boundaries.
• Oceanographer: check sea-floor spreading, check thickness of sediments increasing when going further away from rift zone
• Cartographer: try to match continents to reconstruct Pangaea. Do not forget to include continental slopes (gives better match)
• Volcanologist: by checking the pattern of volcanoes location in the world, the volcanologist should be able to determine the location of plate boundaries

Do not focus on earthquakes too much. They are a part of the lesson, not the only object of the lesson.

Suggested sequence of events:
1st Period:
• Present the dilemna to all students
• Organize groups of students: identify all paleontologists, geophysicists...and so on then make sure each country as all the scientists.
• First team meeting: choose facilitator, time keeper, redactor. Request a report on how they are organizing themselves to work, and their ideas (before any work/research is done) on what is happening to Japan.
• Explain to students how to keep a log.

End of 1st Period, 2nd Period:

• Each student works on his own to gather information from Internet. It should be monitored, if possible. All the links are in the Resources web page and link directly to sites related to this subject. The students should write a paragraph on each web site that is related to their profession and explain how the site can help in their quest.

3rd Period:

• Second team meeting: students should share their findings. They should start to develop hypotheses. Have them written down and collect their report.
• Students should go back (individually or in group) on Internet to check on their hypotheses.
• Students should start to work on their individual and team project.

4th Period:

• Organize more team meetings if needed.

4th and following periods:

• If students have access to Power Point or a similar product, encourage them to use it for their presentation.
• Each presentation should last 20 minutes: around 10 minutes for the team work and 2 minutes for each individual work.
• Draw a chart on the board to compare each group's estimate of the time frame of Japan's destruction. Discuss in a follow-up lesson the discrepancies.