Plate Tectonics and Large Scale Systems Science Games

5 games

In this series of games, your students will learn about tectonic plates, how they move, and what kinds of natural features they create. Plate Tectonics and Large Scale Systems learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demonstrated by research.

Scroll down for a preview of this learning objective’s games and the concepts.

Concepts Covered

The geosphere includes Earth’s crust, mantle, outer, and inner cores. Earth’s mantle is made up of hot, soft, solid rock. The crust contains rock, soil, and sediment. The innermost layers of the Earth are composed of mostly iron and nickel. The pressure and temperature increase with depth beneath the Earth’s surface.

Different landforms on Earth include mountains, hills, valleys, canyons, deltas, sand dunes, and plains. A plateau is a region of high, flat ground. A plain is a large region of flat land. A delta is a fan-shaped piece of land that forms at the mouth of a river from the deposition of sand and mud. Mountain ranges are groups of mountains connected by high elevation land. A hill is an elevated area of land that is not as high as a mountain. A valley is a low elevation area of land located between mountains or hills, and a canyon is a deep valley located in a mountain range that is surrounded by steep mountainsides.

Mountains can form when tectonic plates collide with each other, pushing land upwards. Deep ocean trenches are regions along the ocean floor where rock in Earth’s crust sinks back down into Earth’s mantle. Deep ocean trenches and mountain ranges form in patterns across the surface of the ocean floor. Most earthquakes and volcanoes occur in bands that are often along the boundaries between continents and oceans. Earthquakes occur along faults when tectonic plates shift relative to each other, causing the Earth to shake.

A preview of each game in the learning objective is found below.

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