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 This activity encompasses several different skills such as interpreting maps, plotting longitude and latitude and critical thinking.

I usually do this activity after we have already done previous plate tectonic activities. The students should have a basic understanding of the three types of boundaries. They should be familiar with divergent, convergent and transform boundaries along with the structures that occur at these boundaries.

==> You can view my blog post on sciencebysinai.com Move the Plates! Teaching Plate Tectonics is Fun! on how I structure this unit. I like to start by looking at images on Google Earth and comparing them to the plate tectonics boundary map.

Students may need some instructions on how to read longitude and latitude before beginning this plotting. I have found that my students quite often forget what is 0° latitude and 0° longitude. I remind them that everything above the equator is north and everything below is south. We find the Prime Meridian, which passes through Europe, and we discuss how everything to the left of it is West and everything to the right is East. I usually do the first plot or two with the students.

Students look at the charts with the 20 largest earthquakes recorded and look for the longitude and latitude of that point. It is much easier to print out this activity then to do it on devices. The students usually use their fingers to find the point on the map. I have included the world map for them to use as a reference so that they know that they are in the right area of the world.
For example, several of the plot points are in Japan so they can find Japan on the world map and then check the longitude and latitude to make the plot point more exact. This tends to give the students more confidence that they are doing the correct plots.

When the students have finished the 20 plot points they should notice a pattern right away. They will see that the plot points cluster around the Pacific plate. (Ring of Fire). Before they begin the reflection questions, you can have them hold their plot map next to the plate boundaries map to see the distinct patterns.

The reflection questions concentrate on the clusters of plots that they did in South America, Japan and Alaska.