Friday, April 20, 2012

Snake Butte in North-Central Montana

This week's resource is a landmark in north-central Montana that serves as an example of how to make geology more interesting by providing real-world connections. The geology of Snake Butte is fascinating with its columnar jointing and unique "boulder train". But by showing students that it played a important role in a historical construction project, and explaining why it is important to a culture, Snake Butte becomes even more interesting and relevant to students. CLICK HERE to learn about Snake Butte's interesting connections to people.

This example will be more meaningful to those who have seen the butte and for those who live in Montana. However, this approach is something to think about as you teach students about geology in your area. I've tried to promote this strategy in Montana with a "picture of the week" web site. Teachers in Montana simply decide which picture (from the list) will be the "picture of the week" for their classes, they post the number in their classroom, and then students use the generic worksheet to complete the assignment. A copy of the worksheet can be printed from the web site:

It would be very beneficial to Earth Science education in your state if your state had a similar resource. The development of such a site would be a great project for a state science teachers, or Earth science teachers, association.

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