Georgia Performance Standards Framework for Shaky Ground 6 th Grade

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1 The following instructional plan is part of a GaDOE collection of Unit Frameworks, Performance Tasks, examples of Student Work, and Teacher Commentary. Many more GaDOE approved instructional plans are available by using the Search Standards feature located on GeorgiaStandards.Org. Subject Area: Earth Science Grade: 6th Standards (Content and Characteristics): Focus Standard(s): S6E5. Students will investigate the scientific view of how the earth s surface is formed. a. Compare and contrast the Earth s crust, mantle, and core including temperature, density, and composition. d. Describe processes that change rocks and the surface of the earth. e. Recognize that lithospheric plates constantly move and cause major geological events on the earth s surface. f. Explain the effects of physical processes (plate tectonics, erosion, deposition, volcanic eruption, gravity) on geological features. S6CS7. Students will question scientific claims and arguments effectively. d. Recognize that there may be more than one way to interpret a given set of findings Supporting Standards: S6CS1. Students will explore the importance of curiosity, honesty, openness, and skepticism in science and will exhibit these traits in their own efforts to understand how the world works. a. Understand the importance of and keep honest, clear, and accurate records in science. b. Understand that hypotheses are valuable if they lead to fruitful investigations, even if the hypotheses turn out not to be completely accurate descriptions. S6CS6. Students will communicate scientific ideas and activities clearly. S6CS8 Students will investigate the characteristics of scientific knowledge and how it is achieved. c. As prevailing theories are challenged by new information, scientific knowledge may change and grow. S6CS9. Students will investigate the features of the scientific process of scientific inquiry. Students will apply the following to inquiry learning practices: a. Scientific investigations are conducted for different reasons. They usually involve collecting evidence, reasoning, devising hypotheses, and formulating explanations. JULY 2008 Page 1 of 9

2 Enduring Understanding: The layers of the earth, crust, core, and mantle have different physical properties. The surface of the earth changes over time. Earth surface changes may be abrupt or gradual constructive or destructive. Lithospheric plates on the scale of continents and oceans constantly move. At the boundaries of the plates, the earth s crust is in motion. There are three major types of plate boundaries: convergent, divergent, and transform. Earthquakes and volcanoes often occur along the boundaries between lithospheric plates. The Theory of Plate Tectonics connects the evidence for the formation, movement, and destruction of the plates. Essential Questions: Describe physical properties of the crust, mantle, and core. How does the locations of earthquakes relate to the locations of plate boundaries? How does the movement of lithospheric plates cause major events on earth s surface? What evidence do scientists have that lithospheric plates move? Why do mountains often occur in ranges thousands of kilometers long? ADMINISTRATION PROCEDURES Outcome / Performance Expectations: General Teacher Instructions: Students will be able to develop diagrams to describe the three types of plate boundaries convergent, divergent, and transform. Students will be able to formulate explanations for how the locations of earthquakes and volcanoes relate to the locations of plate boundaries. Background Information for Teachers The Earth's inner core is a solid sphere composed mostly of iron. It is about 2,400 kilometers (1,500 mi) in diameter and is believed to be as hot as 6650 C (12000 F). This heat is probably generated by the radioactive decay of uranium and other elements. The inner core is bordered by a liquid outer core that is 4700 C (8500 F). Surrounding the outer core is the mantle, which is composed of hot, molten rock called magma. The churning of the magma, caused by the heat rising from the core, generates pressure on the Earth's surface layer, or crust. The crust is very thin compared to the other layers, ranging in thickness from only about 3.2 kilometers (2 mi) in some areas of the ocean floor to some 121 kilometers (75 mi) deep under mountains. JULY 2008 Page 2 of 9

3 The crust is composed of plates on which the continents and oceans rest. These plates move slowly on the magma beneath them. The plates may move apart, collide, and slide past each other, resulting in phenomena as hydrothermal vents, volcanoes, and earthquakes. Prerequisites: Before beginning the unit, students should know about the theory of plate tectonics and be able to identify the three different plate boundaries. Pre-Unit Activity: Edible Tectonics This is a fun activity to jump start the Shake n Quake tasks. Students will benefit from a concrete model of the layers of the earth which illustrate the contrasting physical properties of the brittle crust, ductile asthenosphere and thick mantle. The Edible Tectonics activity provides a manipulative to demonstrate earth s layers as well as plate motion at each boundary type. This activity also presents an opportunity to explain the types of forces acting on plates (push, pull, slide) at plate boundaries that change the surface of the earth. Materials Needed: Safety Precautions: Shake n Quake Show an image of plate boundaries on a map or use a globe with tectonic boundaries. It is helpful to have a class discussion of plate tectonic features to assess student s understanding. Distribute the Shake n Quake worksheet, which requires students to draw a diagram each of the three types of plate boundaries and write a description of what they have drawn. These tasks are designed to improve the students ability to develop/use diagrams and charts; review, summarize, and explain information and data. The task culminating question, How does the location of earthquakes relate to the locations of plate boundaries? require students to formulate explanations using evidence from a United States Geological Survey map image of recent earthquakes. The culminating question should have students focus on the earthquakes as a whole. Do they occur in wide bands or narrow lines? Where? Students should look at the boundary lines themselves. What physical characteristics can they observe? With each observation, ask students to point out where they are making the observation so students may start to associate certain patterns with plate boundaries. Milky Way candy bar; Edible Tectonics activity instructions Map or globe showing lithospheric plate boundaries. Shake n Quake Worksheet: N/A JULY 2008 Page 3 of 9

4 Task with Student Directions: See Shake n Quake Worksheet Resources: Homework / Extension: The U.S. Geological Survey provides scientific information about natural resources and natural hazards. Online resources, including lessons, data, maps, and more, to support teaching, learning and education (K-12). Extension: 1) Students can research where deep and/or shallow earthquakes occur. 2) For advanced students: upon completion of where deep/shallow earthquakes occur, explain what factors are related to depth of an earthquake. 3) To improve literacy, choose an earthquake science word to research and write about. 4) Jello can be a visual (and tasty) tool to help children understand the difficult concept of seismic waves. See the following link for directions Parent's Guide - J. JULY 2008 Page 4 of 9

5 Shake N Quake Plate Boundaries In the boxes below draw a picture of the three different types of plate boundaries. Plate boundaries are best described by the interactions of the two plates. In your drawing include the following: a. Arrows that show the direction of plate movement. b. Where you think earthquakes occur at each boundary. 1. Divergent Boundaries 1b. Write a description of what you have drawn: 2. Convergent Boundaries JULY 2008 Page 5 of 9

6 Write a description of what you have drawn: 3. Transform Boundaries Write a description of what you have drawn: 4. The following image shows a map of recent earthquakes on Earth. The black dots mark the locations of individual earthquakes. How does the location of the earthquakes relate to the location of plate boundaries? JULY 2008 Page 6 of 9

7 How does this information help support or deny the theory of plate tectonics? JULY 2008 Page 7 of 9

8 Edible Tectonics One Stop Shop For Educators Edible Tectonics Use a small size Milky Way bar to represent the Earth. The outer chocolate is the brittle lithosphere. The caramel is the ductile asthenosphere. Have the students use their fingernail to put cracks into the chocolate to represent tectonic plates. Then ask them to pull apart the candy bar, this represents diverging boundaries. Then ask them to push it together, this represents a converging boundary like the Himalaya Mountains. Then ask them to take their left hand and move it away from them and their right hand toward them, this represents a transform boundary like the San Andreas Fault. Then tell them to eat it and enjoy as they reflect on what they just learned. EDIBLE TECTONICS JULY 2008 Page 8 of 9

9 JULY 2008 Page 9 of 9

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