Secondary School, Loughboy, Kilkenny.
Teacher: Breda Donohoe.
Class; Transition Years. Mixed Ability.
Periods: Taken on a modular basis, two periods a week.
Rational for the Choice of Subject. This is a subject
that is covered in Junior Cert. in a very general, simplified
form. It constitutes a larger element in Leaving Cert. Geography
and I chose it because of this. Many students will not take
Geography at Leaving Cert level, and still do this module. The
understanding of earthquakes and plate tectonics is fascinating
and of relevance to a student's general knowledge, this is my
second reason for covering this subject in my geography module
for Transition Years.
Click here for Sample Questions
Click here for answers
Oral introduction to the concept of Plate tectonics. Earthquakes;
location, relationship to tectonic plates, damage effect. Examination
of two earthquakes in depth. Volcanoes and tsunamis; their relationship
to plate tectonics. A study of one volcanic site and one site
of tsunamis. Plate tectonics; continental drift, constructive
and destructive faults.
Rationale for Topics Chosen. The rationale here is to
go from the known, i.e. earthquakes and volcanoes to the unknown.
Students will build on their knowledge incrementally and can
link knowledge acquired in the classroom to regular news items
on the media relating to earthquakes currently happening. Preparation.
Since almost all of this module is taught with computers, I
have had to start from scratch, rooting out sites and information.
The growing pains here were enormous, firstly we did not have
any link with the internet for almost two months, expecting
it every day. This was a time when I was searching sites at
home for information. When we did eventually get linked up to
the net, it often did not work, in fact for some further weeks
it worked less often than it did work. Now I do not have any
trust in it working on the day, and always have a contingency
plan before I approach each of the classes. I had lesson plans
made out for different sites and have not used them, for that
reason. Where possible I have copied the sites on to my hard
disk at home, brought them into school and set them up on the
server to be used by the class. This has presented its own difficulties,
as it is difficult to put diagrams and maps onto floppy disks.
All in all this module has taken more of my out of school time,
this year than all my other classes put together, and that for
two periods a week. On top of this I would have to add the many
hours that Jerry O'Dwyer, the I.T. co-ordinator has given to
me in this area and to others working on the SIP project.
Method Used. First day I give an oral introduction to
Plate Tectonics. Then I present information sites with questions
attached. Finally I expect students to do a Powerpoint presentation
on what they have learned or take part in a table quiz on the
facts researched on each topic.
Class Management. On day one I open the module with an
oral presentation on the topic, here I use the desks in the
middle of the room. This is the only day I use the desks in
the middle of the room. Students ideally work independently
on their own computers. If they are stuck at a question I allow
them consult with others, after satisfying myself that they
have tried. At this stage I know that my questions work.
Desks. If the class were to be smaller next year, i.e.
if there were four transition years, I would recommend that
there would be fewer tables in the room to allow ease of movement
for the teacher. They are useful for classes where the computers
are not used, or for part of classes.
Resources; software and websites.
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Powerpoint
- Blank World Map
Click here for lesson
plans (there will be web addresses included with these lesson
plans where appropriate images can be accessed.)