Forces That Shape the Earth: Plate Movement
About the Forces That Shape the Earth: Plate Movement Lesson
This lesson covers basic concepts of plate tectonics, including Pangaea Theory, Alfred Wegener, supporting evidence, types of plate movement and resulting geography.
• Student will be able to explain the Theory of Pangaea and describe evidence that supports this theory
• Student will list the three primary types of plate movement
• Student will be able to describe the resulting geographical elements that result from plate movement
The earth?s surface, even under the oceans, is made of plates. Plates are like pieces of hard shells, much like the pieces of shell on a hard-boiled egg, as you get ready to peel it. Just as those are somewhat moveable on a cracked egg, the plates on the earth?s surface also move.
Theory of Pangaea
In the early twentieth century, a scientist named Alfred Wegener noticed that, if you cut the continents out of a map, they would fit nicely together into one large super continent. He named this super continent, Pangaea. He predicted that Pangaea existed about 200 million years ago. Using that time period, he looked at what animals lived during that time and began to search for fossils on each continent. He was able to find fossils of the same kinds of animals on both continents where they would have been joined so his theory was supported.