Lesson Plan

The Pangaea Puzzle

A lesson for middle school science classrooms exploring the evidence for Pangaea and continental drift.
Jake K.
Classroom teacher
Elkhorn Grandview Middle School
Omaha, NE
Show More
My Grades 6, 7
My Subjects Science
Objectives

Students will be able to...describe Alfred Wegener's continental drift hypothesis.

Subjects
Science
Grades 6 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Creating

1. Each student will get a dictionary page cut into 6 pieces. They should be able to solve this puzzle rather quickly.

2. When all students have solved their puzzle, instruct them to "trim" 3 or 4 of the pieces with scissors.

3. Have them switch with their partner, and try to solve the new puzzle.  This will likely be much harder.

4. Have them answer the reflection questions on their science starter page.

Student Instructions

1. Solve your puzzle.

2. "Trim" 3 or 4 pieces and swap with your partner.

3. Answer the following questions:

Q: Which puzzle was easier to put together? Explain

Q: Can you name an earth process that this represents?

 

2 Direct Instruction

Have students us their 1:1 Chromebooks to navigate to this page.  When there, they must write 3 main points from the slides and define the following words in their Google Doc Notes

-Pangaea

-Continental Drift

 

Student Instructions

1. Watch the slideshow about continental drift.

2. Record 3 main points from the slides in your Google Doc Notes.

3. Define the following words in your Google Doc Notes

-Pangaea

-Continental Drift

3 Individual Practice

Have students use their 1:1 Chromebooks to go to the link and try to put the continents together.  They should spend at least 10 minutes exploring the map and experimenting by putting puzzle pieces in different spots.

Student Instructions

Go to the link using your Chromebook and try to place the puzzle pieces of the continents together in their correct spots.

4 Closure

Have students navigate to our Google Classroom using their 1:1 Chromebooks and answer the following question:

What similarities did you find between trying to put together a dictionary page puzzle and trying to put together a continent puzzle?

Student Instructions

Navigate to our Google Classroom using your Chromebook and answer the following question:

What similarities did you find between trying to put together a dictionary page puzzle and trying to put together a continent puzzle?