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Plate tectonics is the theory that Earth's outer shell is divided into several plates that glide over the mantle, the rocky inner layer above the core. The plates act like a hard and rigid shell compared to Earth's mantle. This strong outer layer is called the lithosphere.
Developed from the 1950s through the 1970s, plate tectonics is the modern version of continental drift
There are seven major tectonic plates
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Tectonic plate is a massive, irregularly shaped slab of solid rock generally composed of  both continental and oceanic lithosphere. 
there are seven major and many minor plates.
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