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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.

MS-ESS2-3.

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 

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 teachingscience.us

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.

This site uses 100% secure checkout with PayPal, and after checkout your download is instantly available.

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

Start Here

Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.

 
Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning

Expedition Fourth

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:44:55-07:00

Expedition Fourth

Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.   Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning
My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.

 
Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer

Heidi J

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:45:49-07:00

Heidi J

My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.   Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer
I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!

 
Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit

Tina S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:05:39-06:00

Tina S

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!   Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit
The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!

 
Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2

Richard S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:07:52-06:00

Richard S

The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!   Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2
As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.

 
Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4

Sharon M

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:24:44-06:00

Sharon M

As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.   Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4
5
3
Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams