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Lesson 3




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World Builders Session Two



Forming the Rocky Surface of Your Planet

     Your planet formed as clumps of matter were pulled together by gravity. Eventually the gravitational forces caused heat to be released, and your planet became molten. The heaviest elements, including much of the iron, were pulled to the center of the molten ball. Lighter elements floated to the top, where they later became the continents. As the planet cooled, a rocky crust formed on the outside: as the rock cooled further, cracks developed. Under the crust the rocky material was still very hot, and so somewhat plastic, like very thick cookie dough. The plates of rock that had cracked apart on the surface floated on this hot material, and could slowly drift apart or collide.


Your group will work to

  • decide on the high and low places on your planet
  • draw maps to show land and water areas
  • draw relief maps of your planet, showing mountains, lakes, rivers
  • write a description of the geological features of your planet
  • draw sketches of your planet's landscapes

Homework: Bring to class next session:

  • a written description of the geology of your planet.
    Include information on the land and water areas.
  • Use SuperPaint or another graphic program to draw relief maps of the planet.
    Bring your maps in gif format and/or on disk.
    There will be help in class on image conversion with GraphicConverter.
    Also bring at least half a dozen printouts of your maps to class.

© 1999. Elizabeth Anne Viau. All rights reserved. This material may be used by individuals for instructional purposes but not sold. Please inform the author if you use it at eviau@earthlink.net