Island Rotation: Lesson Plan 3

This Island Rotation: Lesson Plan 3 lesson plan also includes:

How far have California's Channel islands moved? What was the rate of this movement? Class members first examine data that shows the age of the Hawaiian island chain and the average speed of the Pacific Plate. They then watch West of the West's documentary, Island Rotation, and using evidence from the film, from the Hawaiian Islands example, and the provided web resources, construct an explanation for how the Channel Islands broke away from mainland California and for how long it would have taken the Channel islands to move to their current location.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Provide groups with a map, similar to the one in the video, that includes the California coastline and the Channel Islands
  • Begin the unit by having class members research and present information on Alfred Wegener and Dan McKenzie, on Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics


Classroom Considerations
  • Presumes class members have experience using equations to calculate movement and to make predictions
  • The five-page packet includes a detailed plan, links to the Geological Society web site, a graphic organizer, images, and an equation for determining the rate of movement
  • None
Common Core