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Lesson 11:  Towards a theory for formation of the Earth’s Crust
Lesson plan
A look at the how the Earth’s crust came about. Examining and challenging old and new hypotheses as to the origin of our planet’s surface. Pupils have all the facts and must support arguments with correct data.
Please read the lesson plan below, then read the teachers’ notes, followed by the resources page. You can navigate between the 3 pages for each lesson using the links at the top right of this page
Chemistry Lesson 11: Towards a theory for formation of the Earth’s Crust
Curriculum Key: AQA 12.6   OCR P1h, P2c Edexcel Topic 7
1. Recap basic Earth’s structure.
2. Recap accepted theory of Plate Tectonics.
3. Take part in evidence selection and presentation activity.
Resources needed
PowerPoint presentation (copied for each group if necessary)
10 sets of ‘evidence cards’
OHTs, pens, balloons, tape.
Starter: 10 minutes
Recap structure of the Earth. Student comes to the front and completes diagram. Could talk about each layer as well. Continue to mind map ideas about plate tectonics
Teacher input/assessment
Assessment of individual student in gap filling.
Main Activity 1: 15 minutes
Introduce 5 theories of formation of the Earths crust. Split into 5 groups and allocate one theory per group. Groups sift through evidence cards and pull out evidence to support their theory

Possible demonstrations
• cover an inflated balloon in tape. Allows the balloon to deflate and see what happens!
• Blow up a balloon with spots on it. Watch as the spots move apart.
• Use a convection square to demonstrate convection
Teacher input / assessment
Circulate around the room and listen in on individual discussions. Assess ability of students to select evidence and argue for or against it.
Main Activity 2: 15 minutes
Preparation of a short (2 minute) presentation on their theory. 2 people per group can present.
Teacher input / assessment
Watch presentations. Assess communication skills.
Plenary: 10 minutes
Students present theories.
Allow 2 minutes reflection perhaps focusing on the learning outcomes.
Teacher input / assessment
Discussion at the end.
Learning Outcomes:
All students must: Take part in selection of evidence. Contribute to presentation.
Most students should: Be able to give some feature of plate tectonic theory.
Some students could: Prepare and deliver a presentation based on a theory.
Key Skills: Communication, selection of evidence
Key words: Plate tectonics, evidence, bias
Homework: Name and explain other occasions where the property of the material chosen is relevant to the task it performs.
More able: Active part in presentation
Less able: Revision of simple Earth structure
Possibly differentiate by task according to the theory assigned to groups
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