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Unit Guides and Downloads » Plate Tectonics

Plate Tectonics Plate Tectonics

Plate Tectonics Unit Guide

Chapter 7                                                                                             Approximate Length: 4 Weeks


High School Earth Science Objectives


·         E3.3A Explain how plate tectonics accounts for the features and processes (sea floor spreading, mid-ocean ridges, subduction zones, earthquakes and volcanoes, mountain ranges) that occur on or near the Earth’s surface.

·         E3.3B  Explain why tectonic plates move using the concept of heat flowing through mantle convection, coupled with the cooling and sinking of aging ocean plates that results from their increased density.

·         E3.3C Describe the motion history of geologic features (e.g., plates, Hawaii) using equations relating rate, time, and distance.

·         E3.3d  Distinguish plate boundaries by the pattern of depth and magnitude of earthquakes.

·         E3.2A: Describe the interior of the Earth and where the magnetic field of the Earth is generated.

·         E3.2C Describe the differences between oceanic and continental crust.

·         E3.2D Explain the uncertainties associated with models of the interior of the Earth and how these models are validated.


Key Vocabulary (All of Chapter 7)



Earthquakes                            Convection                              Density                       Magnetic Reversal

Oceanic Crust                         Continental Crust                    Magnetosphere           Transform Boundary

Lithosphere                             Magma/Lava                           Inner Core                  Seismic Waves

Mantle Convection                 Mid-Ocean Ridges                  Mesosphere                Magnetic Reversal

Mountain Ranges                    Plate Boundaries                     Outer Core                 

Plate TectonicsTheory             Slab Pull                                 Ridge Push                Volcanoes

Sea Floor Spreading                Subduction Zones                   Tectonic Plate            Upper Mantle Continental Drift                     Pangaea                                   GPS    

Transform Boundaries            Convergent Boundary              Divergent Boundary


General Homework

Week 1:  Study 7-1 and 7-2, complete all homework assigned in class, and study for quiz.

Week 2:  Study 7-3 and complete all homework assigned in class, and study for quiz.

Week 3:  Study Chapter Summary and prepare for test.



Study Tips

Terms to Learn & What You’ll Do (located at beginning of every section), Section review questions at the end of each section, Chapter Highlights at the end of each chapter, chapter review questions, study packet (collection of work and notes), design flash cards, quiz a partner.


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8th Grade Earth & Space Science
Mason Middle School
235 Temple Street
Mason, MI 48854