Clay Planet Model

This is your final assessment for the Plate Tectonics unit. It will be counted as a test score. By joining two clay pinch pots the student will construct a clay model of a planet. The planet will have several tectonic plates. These plates interact with one another using the three plate boundaries we have studied: convergent, divergent and transform.

Boundary types

The model will have at least one example of the following boundary types:

  1. Divergent
  2. Transform
  3. Oceanic - oceanic convergent
  4. Continental - oceanic convergent
  5. Continental - continental convergent


The model should have integrity. How the boundaries interact, consistent with plate tectonic theory, should be obvious to the observer. If asked the student should be able to explain and justify the model.

Tectonic Features

The features of a boundaries, such as volcanic arcs, mountain building or trenches, are accurately placed on the model consistent with plate tectonic theory.


The clay model exhibits good workmanship and care in construction.


Attribute Above Standard (5 pts) Meets Standard (3 pts) Below Standard (1 pt) Subtotal
Boundaries: All boundary types represented. One boundary type missing. More than one boundary type missing
Integrity: Model accurate. "It works". One or two errors, but the model is still plausible. More than two errors
Features: All features accurately placed and appropriate. One or two features incorrect. Two or mor features incorrect.
Workmanship No unintentional marks. Good joining. Few unintentional marks. Careless construction.