Overview: Island Formations

In this unit, students locate the Hawaiian Islands on world and regional maps, using latitude and longitude coordinates. They create a class wall map and bar graphs showing a connection between islands’ sizes and ages. Students also study plate tectonic theory and hot spots, discuss tectonic activities, and learn to differentiate between volcanoes resulting from tectonic plate shifts and those resulting from hot spots. They also ponder the different forces of nature that shape islands through slow or fast changes, and reinforce that knowledge through games.

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Big Island of Hawaii, crustal plates, island formation, Hawaiian islands, hot spot, latitude, longitude, moving plates, Pacific plate, subduction, tectonic plates, volcanoes