for 3-5 year olds: Pebble pals, Rock garden, Soil and water
for 5-7 year olds: Being a rock hound, Rock friends, Rocks from rivers, Chill out, Meet Seddy
for 7-12 year olds: A volcanic recipe, Is there a volcano nearby? Make your own fossil
for older children: Make your own meteorite detector, Earth treasure hunt, Rock around the block, Help my face is erupting!
Earth Science is an exciting subject to teach in class and out doors, and nowhere in the world has more to offer than Scotland! Your pupils will probably be excited and interested in topics such as volcanoes and fossils, but there are plenty of opportunities to go much further and explore the richness of Scotland’s story, connecting the rocks beneath the surface with the shape of the land and the way that people have lived in the past and present.
A Curriculum for Excellence encourages teaching in Earth Science to link science and social science topics and to explore the landscape of Scotland and elsewhere. There are many resources and organisations available to support teaching in Scottish schools. And with a better understanding of the Earth, developing an informed attitude towards the environment becomes easier too.
GeoBus is a free educational outreach project for schools developed and run by the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews. GeoBus is available to visit all secondary schools in all educational authorities around Scotland. Teaching packages cover broad areas of Earth science aimed at supporting STEM subject teaching generally, and highlighting career opportunities in Earth science and other STEM subjects www.geobus.org.uk.
The Earth Science Education Unit (ESEU) offers free CPD workshops for the Curriculum for Excellence, including Scotland Rocks! (lower Primary) Scotland’s Rocky Journey (upper Primary – Secondary) and Scotland on a Plate (Secondary) www.earthscienceeducation.com.
The Ecology Centre in Fife offer innovative environmental education programmes, including outdoor learning with a focus on life on Earth www.theecologycentre.org.
Other useful websites
- British Geological Survey Education – a large section targeted at schools covering various topics on general geology and British geology www.bgs.ac.uk/discoveringGeology/home.html. You can use the Geology of Britain viewer to find out more about your local geology.
- TES Teaching Resources is where teachers share and download free lesson plans, classroom resources, revision guides and curriculum worksheets, and it has lots of links to good quality geology teaching resources [http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resources/]
- Earth Science World Image Bank – a fantastic resource of free photographs for educational use [http://www.earthscienceworld.org/imagebank/]
- Oxford University Natural History Museum Learning Zone – a great site full of information and activities on rocks, fossils and minerals [http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/thezone/index.htm]
- Rockwatch – a national club for those pupils who are fascinated by all things geology [http://www.rockwatch.org.uk/]
- Scotese Palaeomaps – Christopher Scotese is one of the world’s leading palaegeographic scientists (recreating past maps). His website gives maps and animations of earth at different times in geological history, including the Pangaea super-continent [http://www.scotese.com/earth.htm]
- Earth Science Teachers’ Association – www.esta-uk.net includes a comprehensive resource section with links to other sites, lots of practical ideas for teaching Earth Science and sources of books, maps, equipment and specimens.
Other resources: downloadable simplified geological map of Scotland, which is free to use for educational purposes.