Earth teaching resources

Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to think hard about rocks, global warming and the changing atmosphere (GCSE and Key Stage 3)

The rock cycle

Key Stage 3 worksheet on modelling the rock cycle. There are a number of different demonstrations you can use to model the rock cycle. I like the crayon rock cycle. Take time to ensure students are clear on what the different parts of the model represent. I’m not convinced that this works well as a whole-class practical as there is so much stuff to handle this can distract from the concepts we are wanting students to learn. (PDF)

Using ice cores to teach global warming, the green house effect and the evolving atmosphere

Ice cores represent a great way to study the Earth’s atmosphere. The ice encloses small bubbles of air that contain a sample of the atmosphere from back in time. Using chemical tests scientists can then  measure directly the past concentration of gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) in the atmosphere. Students can plot graphs using this data and then correlate carbon dioxide levels with average global temperatures. There is an excellent page on ice cores on the British Antarctic Survey website.

There’s a great practical investigation from the ASE where students perform chemical tests on an ‘ice core’. Download the secrets of the ice activity  from the STEM Learning centre.