5. Seafloor Spreading - Logistics

30-50 min hypothesize plate motions
20-25 min build seafloor spreading models and discuss evidence
30-35 min study models and describe types of plate boundaries

Inferring the direction of plate motion will occur in groups of 2 or 3. Making models of seafloor spreading takes place individually.


  • Cardstock paper
  • Copy of Seafloor Spreading Model Pieces on cardstock for each student
  • Colored pencils
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Students’ color coded World Earthquake Maps from Plate Patterns lesson
  • Large labeled world map from Plate Patterns lesson or a copy of the “This Dynamic Planet” poster from the USGS, $14 + $5 handling 
  • Optional: Pictures, animations or other information showing seafloor spreading, magnetic survey maps of the ocean floor, or age maps of the ocean floor (see sources section for resources).