The Theory of Pangea
Pangea and Continental Drift
Grade 5
 
Introduction:
          Scientist for hundreds of years have tried to figure out why the earth's continents are shaped and positioned on the earth as they are now. In the 1700's scientists thought that a series of major natural disasters, like floods and volcanic eruptions, caused the continents to drastically change.
 
 

In the 1800's scientists thought that gradual changes in earth's crust as well as natural disasters shaped the earth's continents to create their current shape. 
 
 

In the early 1900's a new theory was developed. This theory was the theory of continental drift. The theory of continental drift begins about 200 to 225 million years ago with the super-continent Pangea. The theory of Pangea is the idea that all the continents were once joined together as one giant super-continent, which eventually started to split apart and create the smaller, spread out, continents that we have now.


 
 
 
 
 
Your Challenge:
Today you are going to investigate the theory of Pangea.
  • What does the word Pangea mean? 
  • What scientist came up with this theory? 
  • What evidence supports the theory of Pangea?
In your web-quest report you should answer the questions above. You should also find pictures that show what happened to the earth's surface during the separation of Pangea.

 
 
 
 
The Journey:
To start your report, try these sites!
Historical Perspectives http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/historical.html
Pangea Super-continent  http://www.geology.com/pangea.htm
Science @ NASA
Continents in Collision: Pangea Ultima
http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2000/ast06oct_1.htm
MESOZOIC FOSSILS http://www.chara.gsu.edu/~weinman/mesozoic.html

 
To continue your research...
Try these key phrases in a search engine!
Search Engines: Phrases to look up:
google.com Pangea Theory
yahoo.com Plate Tectonics
dogpile.com Continental Drift
looksmart.com Continent Formation

 
 
Questions? Comments? Click here to e-mail Lauren at lebrown@zoo.uvm.edu