Convergent, Divergent, and Transform Plate Boundaries - a Hands - on Lab for Middle School

My latest lab that I did with my 8th graders was Plate Tectonics. They have to study convergent, divergent, and transform boundaries. They also need to know what events happen at each boundary. This lab is the perfect way to learn it, show it, and get messy!
 To prepare for this lab each student will need the following materials.

Materials:
Plate
Two full graham crackers broken in half
Cool whip
Paper towels/baby wipes for easy clean up
** I like to put a little bit of red and orange food dye in the cool whip. This helps to make it look more like the mantle.

For the lab, each plate needs to have the cool whip spread across the plate. (smaller plates will be easier and cheaper). The cool whip will represent the mantle and the graham crackers will represent continental and oceanic crust. Then the student’s will slide the crackers around on top of the cool whip to represent each plate boundary.

During the lab the students will model a transform boundary by rubbing the crackers together. Then, for divergent they push down very gently, and slide the crackers apart. This will show how magma seeps up at divergent boundaries. Last, they will use a little water to help model convergent boundaries. With the last boundary, the students will see how mountains are created and/or how subduction happens.



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For complete instructions and a worksheet, check out my TPT resource Earth's Plate Boundaries Lab



If you do not have this book for teaching science RUN. It is a must have. (affiliate links in images)


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