Anticipatory Set: Show the students the video on teachertube listed below. Have them take notes on lateral, divergent, and convergent plates while reading through the thinkquest site on plate tectonics.

Group Size: Whole class

Learning Objectives:
The students will demonstrate the differences in the types of plate movement.
The students will create a flip book showing this movement.

Guiding Question:
What kinds of movement does the Earth plates create?

What geological features does this create?

Video of plate tectonics

Plate Tectonics Thinkquest

Plate Boundary Map:


  1. Watch the Video:
  2. Allow the students to read through the following thinkquest:
  3. Review and clarify with the class the definition of convergent, divergent, and lateral plate movement.
  4. Pass out white construction paper cut to any size you like to show the animation of the moving plates.
  5. Create a pad of paper by reinforcing the top of the paper with tape so the pages won't fall out during flipping.
  6. Instruct the class to keep their drawings simple.
  7. Draw the first picture on the last page of the booklet. To make a picture look like it's moving, you have to make it move a little each time on each page.
  8. This process is to not be rushed and will take up to three days.

Creation of accurate flip book that illustrates the correct movement of the plates.

Answer Key or Rubric:
Convergent: two plates move towards each other and collide. The crust is destroyed due to the impact and is also called a destructive boundary.

Divergent: two plates move away from each other and the magma from the mantle rises up to the surface. This causes new crust to form.

Lateral or Transforming: two plates slide laterally past each other.

Benchmark or Standards:

Students will develop an understanding of...

  • Structure of the earth system
  • Earth's history
  • The solid earth is layered with a lithosphere; hot, convecting mantle; and dense, metallic core.
  • Land forms are the result of a combination of constructive and destructive forces.
  • Major geological events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from plate motions

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