Comparing Plate Tectonics

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11124

The Earth sure has its share of ups and downs and ins and outs! Choose one of three creative projects to display your knowledge of the hows, whys, and whats of the different plates and their effects!


Earth Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

  • Can you identify each of the plate tectonics shown above?

Throughout this series of Related Lessons, found in the right-hand sidebar, you have learned about tectonic plates and their movements.

There are three main types of tectonic plate movements: convergent, divergent, and transform.

  • Why is it important to know about the different types of tectonic plate movements?

Plate tectonics are important because they shape the Earth’s surface and create natural disasters. Due to their effect on the Earth, humans in certain parts of the world must make accommodations to their lives based on these boundaries.

Review what you have learned about these boundaries.

  1. Print a copy of the Graphic Organizer - Triple Venn Diagram from Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.
  2. Label each circle on the Venn diagram with the name of one of the plate movements.
  3. As you watch SciShow’s video Earthquake Science, and the Disaster That Created It, compare and contrast convergent, divergent, and transform boundaries.


After you have completed the video and Venn diagram, review the Venn diagram with a teacher or parent.

Then, look at the images at the beginning of the lesson. Name each of the plate tectonics illustrated, and explain how you were able to identify the type of movement being displayed.

When you are ready, move on to the Got It? section.

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