This is an eclectic selection of ideas and activities looking at a variety of Earth Science topics at a variety of scales, encompassing quickie demos and assignments and more extensive ones. Our workshop included many “other” science teachers, teachers who teach Earth Science without much geological background, as well as Earth Science specialists, and so I have tried to provide ideas for a variety of classes. As I considered the Ohio Graduation Competencies it occurred to me that there are great geological examples for topics which are taught in other science classes, particularly chemistry and physics, and so I hope that all science teachers will find something of value here.
There are many published activities for Geology and Earth and Space Science, both in journals (for example, Journal of Geoscience Education) and published by professional societies (for example, American Geological Institute; Society for Sedimentary Geology), as Geology faculty have made K-12 teaching a professional priority over the past decade and more. Professional geologists tend to be keen on sharing of teaching ideas and materials and I include references to some of the available materials at the end of the section.
This section is organized more or less from the small scale to the large, following a big-picture introduction. We will start, however, with a thinking activity which I find addresses aspects of the History and Nature of Science subscale. It is a good ice-breaker at the beginning of a science class particularly for students who think science does not offer anything to them.