• Earth Science Semester 2


    Subject: Earth Science
    Grade:9 
    Timeline: 18 weeks
    Semester Title:  Earth's Systems and Processes 

    Earth's Systems and Processes Overview: 
    Students in the Earth Science course continue to develop knowledge in three core disciplinary ideas in the Earth and Space Sciences described in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) including: Earth's Place in the Universe, Earth's Systems, and the Earth and Human Activity. Semester 2 focuses on Earth's Place in the Universe and the Earth and Human Activity.  In Earth's Place in the Universe students answer the question, "What is the universe, and what is Earth's place in it?" The sub-ideas students investigate include: the universe and its stars, Earth and the solar system, and the history of the planet Earth.  In Earth and Human Activities the students formulate an answer to the question, "How do Earth's surface processes and human activities affect each other?" The sub-ideas include: natural resources, natural hazards, human impact on on Earth Systems, and global climate change. 

    Semester 2 Objectives: The objectives of this semester 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.
     
    Earth and Human Activity
    2.  Cause and Effect- Empirical Evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects.
    4.  Systems and System Models- When investigating or describing a system, the boundaries and initial conditions of the system need to be defined and their inputs and outputs analyzed and described using models.
    Stability and Change- 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.
     
    Earth's Place in the Universe
    1.  Patterns-Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns.
    3.  Scale, Proportion, and Quantity-The significance of a phenomenon is dependent on the scale, proportion, and quantity at which it occurs.  Algebraic thinking is used to examine scientific data and predict the effect of a change in one variable on another (e.g., linear growth vs. exponential growth.
    5.  Energy and Matter-Energy cannot be created or destroyed-only moved between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems. In nuclear processes, atoms are not conserved, but the total number of protons plus neutrons is conserved.
    7.  Stability and Change-Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable.
    2.  Cause and Effect- Empirical evidence is required to differentiate between cause and correlation and make claims about specific causes and effects. 

    Focus Standards:
    Biology Keystone Eligible Content
    BIO.B.3.3.1 - Distinguish between the scientific terms: hypothesis, inference, law, theory, principle, fact, and observation.
    BIO.B.4.1.1  - Describe the levels of ecological organization(ie., organism, population, community, ecosystem, biome, and biosphere).
    BIO.B.4.1.2 - Describe characteristics of biotic and abiotic components of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
    BIO.B.4.2.1 - Describe how energy flows through an ecosystem (e.g., food chains, food webs, energy pyramids).
    BIO.B.4.2.3 - Describe how matter recycles through an ecosystem (i.e., water cycle, carbon cycle, oxygen cycle, and nitrogen cycle).
    BIO.B.4.2.4 - Describe how ecosystems change in response to natural and human disturbances (e.g., climate changes, introduction of nonnative species, pollution, fires).
    BIO.B.4.2.5 - Describe the effects of limiting factors on population dynamics and potential species extinction.
    Eligible content may be assessed using knowledge and/or skills associated with the Nature of Science.
     
    NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:

    Earth and Human Activity

    ESS2.D Weather and Climate
    Current models predict that although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.
    ESS3.A Natural Resources
    Resource availability has guided the development of human society.
    All forms of energy production and other resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental and geopolitical costs and risks as well as benefits. New technologies and social regulations can change the balance of these factors.
    ESS3.B: Natural Hazards
    Natural hazards and other geologic events have shaped the course of human history; [they] have significantly altered the size of human populations and have driven human migrations.
    ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
    The sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources.
    Scientists engineers can make major contributions by developing technologies that produce less pollution and waste and that preclude ecosystem degradation.
    ESS3.D:Global Climate Change
    Though the magnitudes of human impacts are greater than they have ever been, so too are human abilities to model, predict and manage their current and future impacts.
    Through computer simulations and other studies, important discoveries are still being made about how the ocean, the atmosphere, and the biosphere interact and are modified in response to human activities.
    ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions
    When evaluating solutions, it is important to take into account a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, and to consider social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

     
    Earth's Place in the Universe

    ESS1-A:The Universe and Its Stars.

    The star called the Sun is changing and will burn out over a lifespan of approximately 10 billion years. The study of stars' light spectra and brightness is used to identify compositional elements of stars, their movements, and their distances from Earth. The Big Bang Theory is supported by observations of distant galaxies receding from our own, of the measured composition of stars and non-stellar gases, and of the maps of spectra of primordial radiation (cosmic microwave background) that still fills the universe. Other than the hydrogen and helium formed at the time of the Big Bang, nuclear fusion within stars all atomic nuclei lighter than and including iron, and the process releases electromagnetic energy. Heavier elements are produced when certain massive stars achieve a supernova stage and explode

    ESS1-B:Earth and the Solar System

    Kepler's laws describe common features of the motions of orbiting objects, including their elliptical paths around the sun. Orbits may change due to the gravitational effects from the Sun. Orbits may change due to gravitational effects from, or collisions with, other objects in the solar system.

    ESS1-3.C: The History of Planet Earth.

    Continental rocks, which can be older than 4 billion years, are generally much older than the rocks of the ocean floor, which are less than 200 million years old.  Although active geological processes, such as plate tectonics and erosion have destroyed or altered most of the very early rock record on Earth, other objects in the solar system, such as lunar rocks, asteroids, and meteorites, have changed little over billions of years. Studying these objects can provide information about Earth's formation and early history.

    ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions.

    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.

    PS1.C: Nuclear Processes.

    Spontaneous radioactive decays follow a characteristic exponential decay law. Nuclear lifetimes allow radiometric dating to be used to determine the ages of rocks and other materials.

    PS3.D: Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday Life

    . Nuclear fusion processes in the center of the sun release the energy that ultimately reaches Earth as radiation.

    PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation.

    Atoms of each element emit and absorb characteristic frequencies of light. These characteristics allow identification of the presence of an element, even in microscopic quantities.

    Concepts - Students will know:
    • The tools used in Astronomy.
    • The characteristics of the Earth's moon.
    • The relationship between Sun-Earth-Moon Systems.
    • The basic structure of the Solar System.
    • How the sun affects life on Earth.
    • Basic star types and their life cycle.
    • What the Milky Way Galaxy is like as well as other galaxies.
    • The changes that occur from a stream's origin to final outflow.
    • How freshwater lakes are formed.
    • Understand the geologic activity associated with the system they're in.
    • The origin, composition, and movement of the oceans.
    • That the Water Cycle is an important agent of energy transfer.
    • The composition, structure, and properties that make up the Earth's Atmosphere.
    • The factors that affect weather patterns over the Earth's surface.
    • The factors that affect climate.
    • Explain conventional/alternative energy resources and conservation of energy resources.
    • The organization of an ecosystem.
    • Classify biomes.
    • How ecosystems change in response to natural and human impact.
    • How populations affect Earth's resources.

     
    Competencies -Students will be able to:
    • Describe the ways space is studied past, present, and future.
    • Identify the relative positions and motions of Earth, the Sun, and the Moon, including phases of the moon and lunar and solar eclipses.
    • Apply Kepler's and Newtonian laws to the motion of our heliocentric solar system.
    • Explain the structure of the Sun and its energy source.
    • Describe star distribution, distance and classification of stars.
    • Describe the life cycle of a star, specifically Earth's Sun.
    • Determine the size and shape of the Milky Way, as well as Earth's location within it.
    • Describe how astronomers classify galaxies.
    • Describe the different theories about the formation of the universe, including the Big Bang Theory.
    • Explain how surface water moves materials and impacts humans and developments.
    • Describe physical features of stream development.
    • Identify Pennsylvania's major watershed and river systems.
    • Explain the formation and dynamics of lakes and wetlands.
    • Identify the effects of human activity on lake development.
    • Describe how groundwater is stored and moves underground.
    • Explain what an aquifer is.
    • Compare sources of potable water used by people in Pennsylvania.
    • Explain groundwater erosion and deposition.
    • Explain how groundwater is withdrawn from aquifers by wells.
    • Describe the major problems that threaten aquatic ecosystems.
    • Compare and contrast the physical and chemical properties of seawater.
    • Explain ocean layering.
    • Describe the properties of waves, how tides form, and the movement of ocean currents.
    • Explain shoreline features and how they are modified by marine processes.
    • Describe atmosphere/ocean interaction.
    • Describe how matter and energy flow through Earth's systems, including the carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and water cycles.
    • Describe the formation of the Earth's early atmosphere and key gases.
    • Identify three methods of transferring energy through the atmosphere.
    • Describe the various properties of the atmosphere including temperature, air pressure, and density.
    • Describe cloud formation and the different types of cloud groups.
    • Relate the Coriolis Effect to weather patterns.
    • Explain how warm, cold, stationary, and occluded fronts affect weather patterns.
    • Analyze weather data to predict weather patterns.
    • Describe and interpret weather maps and reports.
    • Describe different types of climate data.
    • Explain why climates vary.
    • Describe the criteria used to classify climates.
    • Compare and contrast different climates.
    • Distinguish among different types of climatic changes and why they occur.
    • Analyze weather data to predict weather patterns.
    • Describe and interpret weather maps and reports.
    • Describe different types of climate data.
    • Explain why climates vary.
    • Describe the criteria used to classify climates.
    • Compare and contrast different climates.
    • Distinguish among different types of climatic changes and why they occur.
    • Identify how humans impact the global climate.
    • Compare and contrast natural and human impact on climate change.
    • Distinguish and identify renewable and nonrenewable resources.
    • Describe why land is considered to be a natural resource.
    • Recognize that the atmosphere is an Earth resource.
    • Explain the importance of fresh water.
    • Analyze how water is distributed and used on Earth.
    • Recognize how the Sun is the source of all energy.
    • Describe the forming of fossil fuels.
    • Identify alternative energy resources.
    • Compare the advantages/disadvantages of various alternative energy resources.
    • Recognize the need for conservation of energy resources.
    • Identify the levels of organization in an ecosystem.
    • Compare and contrast biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem.
    • Trace the flow of matter and energy within an ecosystem.
    • Identify biomes based n their distinct characteristics.
    • Describe the stages of primary and secondary succession.
    • Summarize the typical pattern of population growth of organisms and what happens when they reach carrying capacity.
    • Identify environmental factors that affect population growth.
    • Describe the environmental problems created on land resources by human activity.
    • Describe the environmental problems created on water resources by human activity.

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

    Elements of Instruction:
     
    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.  Analyze data using computational models in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims.
    Using Mathematics 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.  Create a computational model or simulation of a phenomenon, designed device, progress, or system.  Use a computational representation of phenomena or design solutions to describe and/or support claims and/or explanations.
    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
    Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to explanations and designs that are supported by multiple and independent student-generated sources of evidence consistent with scientific knowledge, principles, and theories.  Construct an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students' own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.  Design or refine a solution to a complex real-world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations.
    Engaging in Argument from Evidence
    Engaging in argument from Evidence in 9-12 build on K-8 experiences and progresses to using appropriate and sufficient evidence and scientific reasoning to defend and critique claims and explanations about natural and designed world(s).  Arguments may also come from current scientific or historical episodes in science.  Evaluate competing design solutions to a real-world problem based on scientific ideas and principles, empirical evidence, and logical arguments regarding relevant factors 9e.g. economic, societal, environmental, ethical considerations).
     
    Connections to Nature of Science
    Scientific investigations Use a Variety of Methods
    Science investigations use diverse methods and do not always use the same set of procedures to obtain data.  New technologies advance scientific knowledge.
    Scientific Knowledge is Based on Empirical Evidence
    Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence.  Science arguments are strengthened by multiple lines of evidence supporting a single explanation.
    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:
    The topics covered in Semester 2 of Earth Science relate to the Ecology topics covered in Biology especially the topics related to natural resources, environmental impact, climate, and biomes. 
    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.

    Additional Resources / Games:
     Pennsylvania Department of Education - www.education.state.pa.us
     Standards Aligned System - http://www.pdesas.org/