100 Days of Science # 65-- How to Teach Plate Techtonics With Graham Crackers

While learning all about the Earth's layers the boys and I talked a lot about plate tectonics. We had read often about the movement of the plates causing Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and land formations and we decided to carry out a little hands on experiment of our own.

Using some leftover frosting from Alec's cake model of the Earth's layers we smeared a good layer of frosting on a plate.  This layer of frosting simulated the movement of the mantle.  We then broke a graham cracker into two pieces to simulate the plates of the earth.  

Then we experimented with moving our crackers around.  Sometimes when they were pushed together a bit of the mantle came out-- like lava flowing up from underneath.

When we pulled them apart me made channels.

Sliding them past one another we could hear them grinding little pieces off each other and talked about how that might make things on top of it move and shake too.

Sometimes one of the plates slipped under the other; forming small mountains. 

Alec wanted to see how it worked when more than two plates collided since all those plates must converge at some point.

It was a fun and quick lesson and the boys really enjoyed eating their frosty graham crackers when they were done.

Edible lessons are so much fun!

Others in this series:
58.  Exploding Snow and Water Baggies 
59.  Exploring Properties of Minerals
60.  Visiting the Hartford Science Museum
61- 63.  3 Difference Bridge Challenges
64.  Making Models of the Earth's Layers 


  1. This has everything: good visual teaching and a snack at the end!

  2. This is so so smart! I'm going to remember this for when Jacob is a little older!

    1. It was quick and easy too and the boys just love anything that involves food.


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