The Project that understood how to move the Earths continents.

A bit ago we did a project about plate tectonics and underground convection currents. Before the project had started I Only knew a little bit about how earthquakes or volcanoes formed and the project taught me a lot about it. So let me tell you about what we did and what I did in the Tectonics project.

What I did

At first we learned about convection currents and about how lighter or less dense substances go up and heavier or more dense substances go down. To showcase this we built convection racers which were dragged by water from one side to the other side of a tank with the water flowing in a circle because one side was being heated and the other side was being cooled. It went well and I think was more of a trial to see what we knew about convection currents. After that for the next week we studied and later started our books. At first we just read sections of a textbook and listened as our teacher told us about how underground convection currents moved tectonic plates and how earthquakes and volcanoes formed. During this time we also did some quizzes about earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis formed. They were easy as we had just learned what we had answered. Then came the time to do the book. The first thing we did for the book was create a mind map for all the variables of what our books had to be. I chose to do a book with a few pictures about something which I made up. So, a fiction story with a few pictures about something I wanted to be interesting to a grade five myself. I hadn’t, for my personal enjoyment read a picture book ever since grade three so I planned only to put in pictures if they were needed to explain something. Then came the book outline, what we wanted it to be about. I thought of what I had read at the time and at the time I was reading a book series about war so I decided to make my book about war. But before that I had already made another “blueprint” for the book which was more of something for kindergarteners than grade fivers but instead of that I went with the latest idea instead. Looking back at it I should’ve chosen to make a book for kindergarteners because the grade fiver which I got assigned to didn’t even like my storyline. But it’s better to learn by failing than to not learn by getting lucky and believe me I have learned. Not only have I learned what to do to not make a story boring/unsuccessful but I’ve also learned about plate tectonics and tectonic plates not to forget underground convection and lava hotspots like Hawaii which goes further and further South-West over thousands of years as the plate on top of it goes ever further north. Anyways if you want to read my short story which is not bad here it is.


The mind map

The mind map as I already said is about what we (the students) wanted to make our books about. For me this was a long book with few words. This book would be based on a planet with twice as much tectonic movement and volcanic activity which was  caused by stronger and faster convection currents under the Earth’s crust. This higher amount of pressure on the crust would mean that the releases of pressure would occur more often, therefore making there be twice as many earthquakes. The higher amount of pressure would also mean that the magma or lava (once it came out) would come out in volcanoes more often. All of this would make the storyline go on faster for the restless grade fivers we were going to read our books to. In the book we had some big ideas which we had to put into it. I had some of those in my mind map as well.

The key concepts. These key concepts were things that we had to put into our books. The key concepts there are the ones that I chose tried to put into my book.

The types of books. There are many types of books and they all have their ups and downs. I chose a book with a few pictures because I didn’t read or rather look through enough picture books to write one and a magazine is just not my thing. chapter books are always over one hundred pages and take months to write, and I can’t draw the graphics in graphic novels. Board books are for babies and therefore out of the question.

Book genres. Now on to book genres or the different types of stories. There are two main genres. Fiction (made up) and non-fiction (reality). In between them there are many sub categories such as sci-fy and history. I chose to make something up and go with fiction. Then I made up a planet making my book science fiction. But my book was just like humanity so it wasn’t really science fiction but because it’s set on a planet with different circumstances it is science fiction.

What I chose. I chose a planet that like I said has twice pressure and strength of the convection currents I did this to make the story go by quicker. The storyline would be a nation at war because what captivates a grade fiver more than war? The kind of book  would be a book with a few pictures and  the pictures would be of maps and plans. So just book. The countries and issues would be the same as the ones on Earth but it wouldn’t be earth. So the genre was more or less science fiction.

The core competencies of what I learned.

First off, the key concepts that we learned. I learned all about earth related natural disasters. Although I may not know all the words for every kind of situation of plate boundaries I know about everything from tsunamis to volcanic hotspots like the one underneath Hawaii. I showed the key concepts in the book on various pages. I did most if not all of the work in class one way or another. Sometimes I wouldn’t exactly know where to go from and I didn’t get much work done. But then I would re-orient myself and keep going. The book I made would be rated T for teen because I thought of the books that I read and they were all about 700-1000 page adult books. So my book was definitely not a kids book. I shared my book well but the kid lost interest after around ten minutes. But he didn’t seem to want to do that activity in the first place so I did my sharing and I told showed him how the tsunamis formed and how volcanoes either go up. Through cracks in the earth or force their way out. I also showed him how I could make the book for something a little extra.

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