Introduction: Pangaea Map for Education

An excellent lesson for any age in the history of our planet. Following the continental drift theory introduced in 1596 by Abraham Ortelius, again in 1912 by Alfred Wegener, and contributions by Arthur Holmes mantel convection theory and plate tectonics this easy diy map will provide a great way to learn geology, history and deductive reasoning. The map is a fun hands on placment of the continents and with supportive evidence of fossil records and geological features like volcanic ash dispersement, glacial deposits and magnetic orientation of minerals in the rock can all provide an in-depth and comprehensive look at the subject.


Printout of Pangaea era continents
Foam board
Cutting mat
X-Acto knife
Blue paint & paintbrush
Spray acrylic sealer

Step 1: Find and Cutout Your Continents.

Perform an internet search for "printable pangaea cutouts". You should find several options for varying educational levels. Pangaea existed from about 335 million years ago in the late Paleozoic era till about 175 million years ago in the early Mesozoic era when it started to break up. Print out some images that will work for your project and make sure to print one sided only. Using an X-Acto knife and cutting mat, carefully cutout your continents.

Step 2: Shape Your World.

Using your X-Acto knife and cutting mat, cut your foam board to the shape of an oval to make the base of the map. Before cutting, place your continental cutouts in orientation to get a size reference. Early Panthalassa ocean covered about 70% of the planet and early Pangaea favored the southern hemisphere. When cutting out the foam board, it may help to use a large bowl or plate as a template to make the rounded ends of the oval.

Step 3: Give Your World an Ocean.

Using your paintbrush, paint your foam board map cutout blue to represent the Panthalassan Ocean and Tethys Sea. Younger kids can help with this task. Allow the paint to fully dry before proceeding.

Step 4: Give Your World Some Land.

Use your paste to adhere the continental cutouts to your world map. Use care around those delicate edges. Place them as accurately as possible but use your own judgement on spacing the continents to illustrate the breakup of Pangaea. With assistance young kids can help with this step too.

Step 5: Finish Your World.

If you choose to put labels on the continents or the oceans do so now. I preferred to omit labels so I can test my children with what they know instead of just reading labels. Finally, use a spray acrylic sealer to protect the finished map. Let it dry and now you've got a beautiful world to use to explain Pangaea, continental drift, mantel convection, plate tectonics and the supporting evidence for these theories. Many lessons can be based on this and any age or grade level can benefit from this project. Have fun and keep learning.

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