Design a Model of Earth and Plate Tectonics



Grades 7-10


CRITICAL THINKING REQUIRED! In this activity, student groups are challenged to DESIGN A MODEL of plate tectonics. Because they are only designing the model and not building it, the possible materials are only limited by their imagination!

Groups will discuss:

  • The best types of materials to use to represent Earth’s layers, plate tectonics, and related landforms.
  • How they would physically represent each feature.
  • How the model would be constructed.

While this sounds a bit challenging for middle school students, this resource makes it very straightforward. This worksheet leads students step-by-step through the process of designing the model. It guides them to think about each section individually, so the process is not as overwhelming as it may sound. Students simply follow the steps one after the other in order to design their model.

NGSS Standards Addressed:

  • MS-ESS2-1
  • MS-ESS2-2
  • Developing and Using Models

Teacher Notes:


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