Earth Science Activities: Earthquakes, Plate Movement and Mountain Making

Last week I explained how we made an Earthquake Shake Table and shared a quick video on how we made ours.  We first tested it with marshmallow structures.  A couple days later, we made “brick” structures out of sugar cubes and peanut butter.  We put on the documentary, Deadliest Earthquakes, and set to work.

EarthquakeActivity

We all built our structures and then brought out our shake table to test them out!

BrickBuildings-SugarCubes-PB

The most exciting structure we tested was ED’s. The first time they pulled the shake table, one brick fell off the top. With the second earthquake, the entire wall fell down!

EarthquakeShakeTable

As we finished up our unit we talked about the plate movements again.  We reviewed the three types of plate boundaries:

  1. divergent boundary — plates move apart. Most divergent boundaries are found in the ocean such as the mid-ocean ridges.
  2. convergent boundary — occurs where plates push together
  3. transform boundary — occurs where plates scrape past each other.

We pulled out our Earth science notebook pages and went over those again. We also talked convection currents and talked about the experiment we did in November showing plate movement:

EarthScienceUnit-PlateMovement

Then we went over the four types of mountains. We talked quite a bit about fold mountains again.  This was one of the activities we did. On a deep plate, we added a small bit of water and placed two graham crackers on top. Slowly, we pressed the two graham crackers together with slow-but-steady pressure:

Volcanoes-Earthquakes-Activity

This Earth science activity can also be done with towels. Just be sure to press them together slowly, not quickly. When we compared these to a picture of the Alps, the kids could really understand how the two tectonic plates converging could make mountains rise (and fold too).

FoldMountainActivity

We finished out the unit making sure we had finished all of our Earth Science notebook pages. These pages are available in the 50+ Page Earth Science Packet.

Earth Science Worksheets-Types of Mountains Volcanoes

One last thing before I go. I thought I should share some of the books we used for this part of our Earth Science Unit:

We especially liked the books below. These are affiliate links:

EarthScienceBooks

Our 50+ page Earth Science Packet is here!! 

Learn how to make a earthquake shake table, more than a dozen hands-on activities on the layers of the earth, volcanoes, earthquakes, plate movement and more!

Topics include: Solar System, Layers of the Earth, Earth’s Axis and the Seasons, Latitude and Longitude, Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, 4 Types of Mountains

Earth Science Packet

EarthSciencePacket-50pages

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Earth Science Unit - Earthquake Shake Table

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See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page. Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter! ~Liesl

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

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2 Responses

  1. Liesl says:

    I just bought the earth science packet and laughed when I saw who created it. My boys said, “Mom did you make all that?” Liesl

    • homeschooldenadmin says:

      That’s so funny! My daughter read a book last Spring by an author named “Liesl Shurtliff.” (The book was called Jack: the True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk) She loved the book a lot and thought it was SO awesome it was written by another Liesl. She decided to write a letter to the author (and mentioned that her Mom’s name is Liesl too). She was thrilled when the author wrote her back this summer! There sure aren’t very many of us (named Liesl) out there. :)

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