• Bryce Canyon Amphitheater

    Bryce Canyon

    National Park Utah

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • U.S. Highway 89 Bryce Canyon to Grand Canyon

    Road damage south of Page, Arizona will impact travel between Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon National Parks. Click for a travel advisory and link to a map with suggested alternate routes: More »

  • Sunset Campground Construction

    From April-July 2014, three new restroom facilities will be constructed in Sunset Campground. Visitors may experience construction noise and dust, as well as some campsite and restroom closures. 'Sunset Campground' webpage has additional information. More »

  • Bryce Point to Peekaboo Connector Trail Closure

    Due to a large rockslide, the connecting trail from Bryce Point to Peekaboo Loop is closed. Trail will be reopened once repairs are made. The Peekaboo Loop is open, but must be accessed from Sunset or Sunrise Point.

  • Wall Street Section of Navajo Loop Closed

    Due to dangerous conditions (falling rock and treacherous, icy switchbacks), the Wall Street section of the Navajo Loop Trail is CLOSED. It will reopen in Spring once freezing temperatures have subsided.

  • Backcountry Campsite Closures

    Due to bear activity at select campsites in Bryce Canyon's backcountry, two backcountry campsites have been closed until further notice: Sheep Creek and Iron Spring.

Plate Tectonics

Lyle Hercularis pushing along

This unit teaches students why some
landforms are located in certain regions and
why we have earthquakes.



  • Students will see how river channels change.
  • Students will be shown how different valleys are formed.
  • Instructors will explain how fan shaped landforms are made.
  • Students will be shown how rocks react to different tectonic forces.
  • Instructors will explain how plateaus are formed.
  • Using all information about landforms, students will play the classic memory game.


1. Cracking Crustal Questions: Discusses different plate compositions and the boundaries that are associated with plate interactions. This activity is a presentation for the class or small groups.

2. Floating Continents: Introduces one explanation of how plates move.This is a demonstrative activity to be performed in front of the class or in small groups with teacher supervision.

3. Puzzling Plate Tectonics: Uses old ideas and data to understand how scientists developed the plate tectonics theory. The activity uses those ideas and allows students to realize on their own what scientists of the past realized about crustal plates.

4. Whose Fault is it?: Presents three major fault types and allows students to use props to discover different fault interactions.

5. Surfing Rock Waves: Discusses how rocks behave when reacting to nearby earthquakes. Students to use common objects to experiment with two motions associated with earthquakes.

6. Shaking and Quaking: Allows students to create a device for monitoring earthquake movement of a high scale.

7. Creating Flat Topped Mountains: Discusses how plateaus can be formed by plate tectonics and erosion. It allows students to see how plate interactions result in large scale landforms.

8. Building Mountains: Allows students to create mountains by applying forces on foam and blocks.

9. Earth's Pimple Problem: Teaches how volcanoes are formed and the three volcano types.


GEODETECTIVE Home - Plate Tectonics Discovery Chest - Plate Tectonics Kid's Page

Contact our Education Outreach Specialist here.

Did You Know?

Hoodoos stand as sentinels with their magic

The geologic term, hoodoo, lives on at Bryce Canyon National Park as perpetuated by early geologists who thought the rock formations could cast a spell on you with their magical spires and towering arches. More...