Unit Plan

Plate Tectonics: Fourth Grade Lesson Plans and Activities

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet
This Plate Tectonics: Fourth Grade Lesson Plans and Activities unit plan also includes:

The pre-lab portion of the lesson introduces emerging geologists to the various layers that make up Earth. After completing a sheet on the identification of the layers, class members simulate plate boundaries and their movements with clay, sand, and wax paper. During the post-lab, individuals discover how volcanoes are formed at converging plate boundaries before completing the final worksheet.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Add the following words to your word wall: converging plates, diverging plates, continental crust, inner core, outer core, mantle, plate tectonics, transform, subduction, and abduction
  • Instruct learners to research various plate boundaries and fault lines around the world, and the type of geologic events that occur at them
Classroom Considerations
  • Some teacher background preparation may be necessary for more robust instruction
  • Provide calculators for calculating the thickness of layers in the pre-lab
  • The third in a series of four lessons that make up a unit on the plate tectonics cycle
  • Have learners refer to pages 7-9 in the workbook for this portion
  • Both pre-lab and lab come with answer keys
  • Hands-on and engaging
  • Background information may be insufficient for some teachers
Common Core