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Earth's Surface Teacher Resources
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How does the color of a surface affect the heating of the earth? Middle school science classes experiment with color and surface albedo to determine the relationship. The website has tabs for an overview, teacher's instructions, background and extension ideas, and a student lab sheet. It is richly detailed and will provide an apt activity for your earth science curriculum.
Students depict the various layers of the Earth through an interactive art project. In this Earth's layers instructional activity, students listen to the book How to Dig a Hole to the other Side of the World and make speculations of why the center of the earth is made up of iron and nickel. Students use colored sand to create an art project showing the various layers of Earth.
Students discuss the use of satellites and GPS for navigation, tracking, and creating detailed maps. They view satellite images of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Mammoth Cave, and the Grand Canyon using Google maps. After viewing the images, they describe the natural forces that shaped the landforms. Partners research other landforms shaped by natural forces and draw pictures with descriptions.
Students explore the ways Earth's surface is shaped by hydrologic, climate and tectonic forces by participating in a whole class discussion. They respond to prompts that lead them to conclusions about the relationships between landforms and the geologic and biologic processes that create the landforms.
In this black hole worksheet, learners use the equation for time dilation to solve 8 problems including determining the time it takes to receive a GPS signal from space, the time delay for the GPS-Earth system, the distance a radio signal will travel and the ratio of dilation in space to dilation at earth's surface.
Fourth graders explore the Earth's changing surface. In this earth science lesson, 4th graders conduct a scientific experiment that replicates the wearing away of minerals. Students write paragraphs that make connections between the experiment and how the Earth's surface changes.
Pupils complete research and solve problems that show the factors that determine the temperature of the earth's surface including the effect of greenhouse gases. They look at the relationships between solar energy, atmosphere, and how solar energy is reflected and absorbed.
Middle schoolers identify and explain that remote sensing can detect changes on the Earth's surface that occur over time, and name at least three: urbanization, deforestation, and succession. They select a global change issue to investigate and prepare a short presentation to the class with audio-visuals about their issue(s) or what are the hot topics in current events.
Introduce your young meteorologists to black carbon produced by the burning of fossil fuels by showing the video, "Changing Planet: Black Carbon." Viewers discover that deposition of this carbon on polar ice impacts the absorption of sunlight and increases heat in the atmosphere. Learners then simulate this phenomenon in a lab activity comparing the heat produced on paper samples containing increasing amounts of black dots. This is a timely and telling investigation to include in your earth science curriculum.
Students plan and construct a "mini-lab" to measure the reflectivity of different earth surfaces. They measure reflectivity of materials, including ice, soil, rocks, etc., and then extrapolate from what they have learned to consider the impacts of melting ice on the Arctic.
Young scientists explore the Earth from the inside out. The Earth's inner and outer core are studied, as are the movements of the tectonic plates that are the cause of so many earthquakes and volcanos. This nine-page plan contains many excellent worksheets and activities that are age-appropriate for first graders. This is an ambitious topic to cover for such young learners, but I believe this lesson is written in just the right manner.
Students explore earthquakes. For this natural disaster and engineer career education lesson, students identify features of the earth's surface that increase the likelihood of an earthquake. Students use visual aids to locate the earth's layers and identify tectonic plates. Students define vocabulary and explain earthquake cause and effect relationships following an engineer's presentation of his role in designing materials that withstand natural disasters such as earthquakes.
Students research plate tectonics and the impact of changes to the Earth's surface. In this Earth science lesson plan, students visit the given websites to learn about plate tectonics. Students write a journal entry for the sites and then study a PowerPoint for the topic. Students complete a worksheet for the topic.