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Pangea – Middle School Science Unit – NGSS MS-ESS2-2 and MS-ESS2-3

Pangea Unit for Middle School

Pangea unit for Middle School Science

About 300 million years ago, Earth didn’t have seven continents, but instead one massive supercontinent called Pangaea, which was surrounded by a single ocean called Panthalassa.

The explanation for Pangaea’s formation ushered in the modern theory of plate tectonics, which posits that the Earth’s outer shell is broken up into several plates that slide over Earth’s rocky shell, the mantle.

Over the course of the planet’s 3.5 billion-year history, several supercontinents have formed and broken up, a result of churning and circulation in the Earth’s Mantle, which makes up most of the planet’s volume. This breakup and formation of the supercontinent have dramatically altered the planet’s history.

Pangea and continental drift are so fun to learn about!  Make it even easier to teach Pangea to your middle school science class with this complete unit! Students will learn about plate tectonics, the theory of continental drift, seafloor spreading, and Pangea.

If you follow the schedule I provide for you, this unit will stretch over eight days!
Continental Drift and Pangea
This resource has a lesson plan, slide show, printable hands-on activity on using fossil evidence, QR code research, response pages, and interactive notebook flaps.

The Mid Ocean Ridge and Sea Floor Spreading

Sea Floor Spreading Interactive Notebook Fold

It’s a standards-aligned unit that will meet the standards for NGSS MS-ESS2-2 and 2-3 as well as Utah SEEd 7.2.2 and 7.2.5!

MS-ESS2-2. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales.



Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions


Utah SEEd

Standard 7.2.5

Ask questions and analyze and interpret data about the patterns between plate tectonics and:

(1) The occurrence of earthquakes and volcanoes.

(2) Continental and ocean floor features.

(3) The distribution of rocks and fossils.


Utah SEEd

Standard 7.2.2 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales. Examples of processes that occur at varying time scales could include slow plate motions or rapid landslides. Examples of processes that occur at varying spatial scales could include uplift of a mountain range or deposition of fine sediments.

Students will enjoy a great hands-on research-based project to get students thinking about fossil records and how they help to show geologic changes over time.
Reading passage on geologic changes over time.
You can begin the unit with an informative PowerPoint slide show.  They will collect evidence from the presentation and their own research using QR codes or URLs.


Pangea Puzzle Pieces to show fossil evidence

Using Fossil Evidence

Then, the students will look at the fossil evidence and try to match up the ancient landmass pieces to try to form the supercontinent, Pangea.  This activity is really engaging!
Students will reflect on the fossil evidence and changes to the Earth’s surface in interactive notebook flaps and response pages that get them to think about the pros and cons of Alfred Wegener’s Theory of Continental Drift.
Venn Diagram Foldable

Your free time is so precious – don’t spend it creating a unit on Pangea.  I’ve done the work for you!

Other teachers LOVE this unit.  Check out two of the dozens and dozens of perfect ratings:

“I bought this as a nice little supplement for my usual stuff, but this is really well planned and carefully aligned to address the standards. Love this.”
-Connie S.
“My students loved the lab and reading passages and the interactive notebook inserts. Aligns well with Utah SEEd 7th grade.” -Margaret B.

Try this unit in your classroom TODAY:

This unit is available for download in two places:

  1. Teaching Science with Lynda on Teachers Pay Teachers
  2. Here on

Both downloads are identical in every way – if you download directly from this site, you’re giving me the maximum amount of support!

Either way, your satisfaction is guaranteed.

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Thank you, and I hope you enjoy using this unit in your classroom!

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