Rocks on the Move: Beach Ball Earth

An inflatable Earth beach ball is a very useful teaching tool when introducing a unit on plate tectonics. This three dimensional model is fairly easy to make. You will need a small beach ball globe (12" diameter with dark blue oceans), a white-out pen, and a world map showing the major tectonic plates. The photos on this page and our simple world tectonic plate map will help you draw the plate boundaries. Our Beach Ball Earth lesson plan serves as an introduction to a plate tectonics unit, or the start of the Tectonic Vacation Project.

 
Park Range Roxi Farwell hold a beach ball globe featuring tectonic plates.

Park Ranger Roxi Farwell holding a beach ball globe featuring tectonic plates.

 
A close up of the tectonic beach ball globe, showing the southern pacific region.

Here we see the tectonic plates of the South Pacific.

 
Tectonic globe showing the North American Plate, including the Juan de Fuca and Rivera microplates at either end of the San Andreas Fault.

The tectonic globe showing the North American Plate, including the Juan de Fuca and Rivera microplates at each end of the San Andreas Fault.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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