2. Plate Patterns - Logistics

20-30 min add volcano data to map
20-30 min learn about mid-ocean ridges and add them to the map
45-50 min trace and color code plate boundaries and label with the names of tectonic plates



  • Copies of the USGS/NPS World Earthquake Map for each student (download a copy of the “World Earthquake Map” from the USGS/NPS website under PDF documents)
  • Overhead transparency version of the World Earthquake Map
  • 1 teacher copy of the USGS/NPS World Plates Map for reference (download a copy of the “Earth’s Tectonic Plates” from the USGS/NPS website under PDF documents)
  • 1 teacher copy of the Mid-Ocean Ridges Map for reference (print a copy from the USGS website).
  • Overhead projector
  • 4 colors of overhead projector pens
  • 1 copy of the Volcano List for the class, cut into strips with one line per strip.
  • Large world map used in The Big One activity (An alternative strategy is to use a copy of the “This Dynamic Planet” poster from the USGS, $14 + $5 handling).
  • Colored pencils or markers
  • Red 1/4” to 1/2” removable color dots (available in most stationary stores and drug stores for labeling maps and documents, each package usually contains 4 colors of dots: red, yellow, green and blue – only red is needed for this activity)
  • Masking tape or the somewhat less sticky blue or green painters’ tape
  • Optional: photos or a brief video clip of the mid-ocean ridges (see Sources section for good sources of images and videos)