This Investigation Set is designed for students to explore convection currents and their effect on plate tectonics. The instruction in this set encourages students to synthesize evidence from multiple sources to explain their own observations from experiments as well as phenomena in the natural world.
Target Grades & Subject(s): Grades 6-12; Science
- Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
- Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of rocks, continental shapes and seafloor structures to provide evidence of plate motions. (MS-ESS2-3)
- Develop a model based on evidence of Earth’s interior to describe the cycling of matter by thermal convection. (HS-ESS2-3)
- Science and Engineering Practices (SEP)
- Use and construct models for representing ideas and explanations. (NGSS, SEP 2)
- Construct explanations that are supported by multiple sources of evidence and consistent with scientific principles. (NGSS, SEP 6)
- Use appropriate and sufficient evidence and scientific reasoning to defend claims and explanations about the natural world. (NGSS, SEP 7)
Before teaching Part 1: Add this text series to your workspace Convection Detection
- To introduce the investigation set, show students this video. As students are watching the video, have
them record their observations and answer the following question: “What is happening below the
surface that explains your observations?” Have students share out their responses in small groups and
with the whole class.
Download the complete teaching guide Convection Detection