• Earth Science Semester 1


    Subject: Earth Science
    Grade: 9 
    Timeline: 18 weeks
    Semester 1 Title: Earth's Structure and Development

    Semester 1-Earth's Structure and Development Overview: 
    Students in Earth Science continue to develop knowledge in three core disciplinary ideas in the Earth and Space Sciences including: Earth's Place in the Universe, Earth's Systems, and the Earth and Human Activity.  Semester 1 focuses on Earth's Systems. In Earth's Systems the students answer the question "How and why is Earth constantly changing?"  The sub-ideas include: Earth materials and systems, plate tectonics and large scale system interactions, the roles of water in Earth's surface processes,  weather and climate, and biogeology. 
    Semester 1-Earth's Structure and Development Objectives:
    The objectives of this unit are to apply the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Crosscutting Concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries, uniting core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering.
     
    2.  Cause and Effect- Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects. 
    5.  Energy and Matter- The total amount of energy and matter in closed systems is conserved. Energy drives the cycling of matter within and between systems. 
    6.  Structure and Function-The functions and properties of natural and designed objects and systems can be inferred from their overall structure, the way their components are shaped and used, and the molecular substructures of its various materials.
    7.  Stability and Change- Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable. Change and rates of change can be quantified and modeled over very short or very long periods of time.  Some system changes are irreversible.  Feedback (negative or positive) can stabilize or destabilize a system.
     
    Interdependence of Science, Engineering, and Technology- Science and engineering complement each other in the cycle known as research and development (R&D).  Many R&D projects may involve scientists, engineers, and others with wide ranges of expertise.
     
    Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World- New technologies can have deep impacts on society and the environment, including some that were not anticipated.  Analysis of costs and benefits is a critical aspect of decisions about technology.

    Focus Standards:
    Biology Keystone Eligible Content
    BIO.B.3.3.1 - Distinguish between the scientific terms: hypothesis, inference, law, theory, principle, fact, and observation.
    Eligible Content may be assessed using knowledge and/or skills associated with the Nature of Science.
     
    NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas
    Earth's Systems
     ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System.  Cyclical changes in the shape of Earth's orbit around the sun, together with changes in the tilt of the planet's axis of rotation, both occurring over hundreds of thousands of years, have altered the intensity and distribution of sunlight falling on the Earth.  These phenomena cause a cycle of ice ages and other gradual climate changes.
    ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems.  Earth's systems, being dynamic and interacting, cause feedback effects that can increase or decrease the original changes.  Evidence from deep probes and seismic waves, reconstructions of historical changes in Earth's surface and its magnetic field, and an understanding of physical and chemical processes lead to a model of Earth with a hot but solid inner core, a liquid outer core, a solid mantle and crust.  Motions of the mantle and its plates occur primarily through thermal convection, which involves the cycling of matter due to the outward flow of energy from Earth's interior and gravitational movement of denser materials toward the interior.  The geological record shows that changes to global and regional climate can be caused by interactions among changes in the sun's energy output or Earth's orbit, tectonic events, ocean circulation, volcanic activity, glaciers, vegetation, and human activities.  These changes can occur on a variety of time scales from sudden (e.g. volcanic ash clouds) to intermediate (ice ages) to very long-term tectonic cycles.
    ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions.  The radioactive decay of unstable isotopes continually generates new energy within Earth's crust and mantle, providing the primary source of the heat that drives mantle convection.  Plate tectonics can be viewed as the surface expression of mantle convection.  Plate tectonics is the unifying theory that explains the past and current movements of the rocks at Earth's surface and provides a framework for understanding its geologic history.  Plate movements are responsible for most continental and ocean-floor features and for the distribution of most rocks and minerals within Earth's crust.
    ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth's Surface Processes.  The abundance of liquid water on Earth's surface and its unique combination of physical and chemical properties are central to the planet's dynamics.  These properties include water's exceptional capacity to absorb, store, and release large amounts of energy, transmit sunlight, expand upon freezing, dissolve and transport materials, and lower the viscosities and melting points of rocks.
    ESS2.D: Weather and Climate.  The foundation for Earth's global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflections, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy's re-radiation into space.  Gradual atmospheric changes were due to plants and other organisms that captured carbon dioxide and released oxygen.  Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.
    ESSD2.E: Biogeology.  The many dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual co-evolution of Earth's surface and the life that exists on it.
    PS4.A: Wave Properties.  Geologists use seismic waves and their reflection at interfaces between layers to structures deep in the planet.
     

     
    Concepts - Students will know:
    • The four spheres that make up the Earth.
    • How information is communicated within the sciences.
    • That atoms are the basic building blocks of matter.
    • The rock cycle and formation of rocks and minerals.
    • The external systems that shape and change the Earth's surface and the impacts on the environment and humans.
    • That using different models can show the Earth.
    • The theory of plate tectonics and the effects their interactions have on the Earth.
    • How volcanoes can physically change the Earth's Surface.
    • How earthquakes can physically change the Earth's Surface.
    • Understand Geologic evidence to support change over time.

    Competencies -Students will be able to:

    • Describe the four spheres of the Earth's system.
    • Differentiate between the four major branches of Earth Science.
    • Explain the steps to the scientific method.
    • Measure, compute, and convert using the metric system.
    • Explain how to write numbers using scientific notation.
    • Describe the structure of atoms and function of an atom.
    • Understand how atoms combine.
      Differentiate between the characteristics and energy levels of the four states of matter.
    • Define the concept of isotopes.
    • Describe the chemical bonds that unite atoms to form compounds.
    • Identify characteristics of matter.
    • Define a mineral.
    • Describe how minerals form.
    • Classify minerals according to their physical and chemical properties.
    • Identify rock-forming minerals by inspection, using physical properties such as color, luster, and crystal shape.
    • Investigate how minerals are used.
    • Compare and contrast intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks (include cooling rates along with grain size and texture).
    • Describe the composition of magma.
    • Classify different types and textures of igneous rocks.
    • Recognize the affects of cooling rates on the grain sizes of igneous rocks.
    • Describe some uses of igneous rocks.
    • Sequence the formation of sedimentary rocks.
    • Describe the types and formation of clastic, chemical, and organic sedimentary rocks.
    • Recognize the importance of sedimentary rocks.
    • Compare and contrast different types and causes of metamorphism.
    • Distinguish among metamorphic textures.
    • Explain how mineral and compositional changes occur during metamorphism.
    • Understand how rocks continuously change from one type to another in the rock cycle. Describe the influence of agricultural/soil science on farming practices in Pennsylvania.
    • Describe and identify conditions that contribute to wind erosion.
    • Distinguish between weathering and erosion.
    • Identify variables that affect the rate of weathering.
    • Identify erosion and deposition as primary agents of changing earth's surface features.
    • Describe and identify soil forms and characteristics of formation.
    • Compare and contrast the conditions that produce valley and continental glaciers.
    • Describe one piece of early evidence that led people to to suggest that Earth's continents had once been joined.
    • Discuss evidence for continental drift.
    • Explain the significance of magnetic patterns on the seafloor.
    • Explain the process of seafloor spreading.
    • Explain the theory of plate tectonics.
    • Compare and contrast the three types of plate boundaries and the features associated with each.
    • Summarize how convection in the mantle is related to the movements of tectonic plates.
    • Compare and contrast the processes of ridge push and slab pull.
    • Describe factors that affect the formation of magma.
    • Compare and contrast the different types of magma and lava.
    • Describe the major parts of a volcano.
    • Compare and contrast shield, cinder-cone, and composite volcanoes.
    • Contrast volcanism that occurs at plate boundaries and hot spots.
    • Explain how most earthquakes result from strain that builds up along faults or plate boundaries.
    • Distinguish among three types of faults.
    • Describe how energy released in an earthquake travels as three different types of waves.
    • Explain how seismograph is used to record earthquake waves.
    • Explain how seismic waves have been used to determine the structure and composition of the Earth's interior.
    • Compare and contrast earthquake magnitude and intensity and the scales used to measure each.
    • Explain why data from at least three seismic stations are needed to locate an epicenter.
    • Describe the geologic time scale.
    • Distinguish among the following geologic time scale divisions: eon, era, epoch, period.
    • Apply principles for determining relative age to interpret rock sequences.
    • Explain several different methods used by scientists to determine the absolute age of rocks.
    • Illustrate how fossils can be used to correlate rock layers.
    • Extension: Consult topographic/geographic maps to observe current geologic surface structures.

    Assessments:
    Formative, Performance Tasks with rubric, Summative, grade calculation

     
    Elements of Instruction:
     
    Developing and Using Models-Modeling in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed world(s). 
    Using Mathematical and Computational Thinking-Mathematical and computational thinking in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to using algebraic thinking and analysis, a range of linear and nonlinear functions including trigonometric functions, exponentials and logarithms, and computational tools for statistical analysis to analyze, represent, and model data.  Simple computational simulations are created and used based on mathematical models of basic assumptions.
    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions-  Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 9-12 and builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to explanations and designs are supported by multiple and independent student-generated sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.
    Engaging in Argument from Evidence- Engaging in argument from evidence in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to using appropriate and sufficient evidence and scientific reasoning to defend and critique claims and explanations  about the natural and designed world(s).  Arguments may also come from current scientific and historical episodes in science.
    Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information- Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to evaluating the validity and reliability of the claims, methods, and designs.
    Planning and Carrying Out Investigations- Planning and carrying out investigations in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to include investigations that provide evidence for and test conceptual, mathematical, physical, and empirical models.
    Analyzing and Interpreting Data- Analyzing data in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency and the use of models to generate and analyze data.

     
    Differentiation:
    • Each lesson has differentiation options for each portion of the lesson. Additional differentiation options are listed with directions and student masters in the Teacher’s Guide.
    • Remediation could include: using word walls, using flip charts or foldables, structured notebooks, peer teaching, teaming with the math department for graphing.
    • Extensions could include: independent research, inquiry based experiments, exploration of topics online.

     
    Interdisciplinary Connections:
    Writing in the Sciences is connected to Literacy Common Core Shifts.  Students could use notebooking or journaling, reading informational text and answering text-dependent questions, writing laboratory experiment plans and lab reports, academic and content specific vocabulary.  Problem Solving in the Sciences is connected with Mathematics Common Core Shifts.  Measurement, graphing data, and calculations.