Mini Lesson

What are Tectonic Plates?

Mini Lesson

Watch the NASA Space Place video Tectonic Forces and answer the questions.

Answer the following questions.

  1. What is the name of the supercontinent that began to break up about 180 million years ago?
  2. What happened when the Americans and Africa drifted apart?
  3. What causes Earth's tectonic plates to move? 
  4. What happens when tectonic plates move apart at the bottom of the ocean? 
  5. Where does the creation of new oceanic crust occur?
  6. Where is old ocean floor destroyed or recycled?
  7. What happens when the seafloor is created and destroyed? 
  8. As the continents keep moving, what do scientist think might happen? 

Teacher Note

Teachers who are interested in receiving the answer key, please contact MND from your school email address at