Unit: Inside the Earth Inquiry Task Topography of the Oceans

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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. Standards (Content and Characteristics): Unit: Inside the Earth Inquiry Task Topography of the Oceans S6E3. Students will recognize the significant role of water in earth processes. c. Describe the composition, location, and subsurface topography of the world s oceans. S6E5. Students will investigate the scientific view of how the earth s surface is formed. f. Explain the effects of physical processes (plate tectonics, erosion, deposition, volcanic eruption, gravity) on geological features including oceans (composition, currents, and tides). S6CS3. Students will use computation and estimation skills necessary for analyzing data and following scientific explanations. a. Analyze scientific data by using, interpreting, and comparing numbers in several equivalent forms, such as integers and decimals. b. Use metric input units (such as seconds, meters, or grams per milliliter) of scientific calculations to determine the proper unit for expressing the answer. d. Draw conclusions based on analyzed data. S6CS5. Students will use the ideas of system, model, change, and scale in exploring scientific and technological matters. a. Observe and explain how parts are related to other parts in systems such as weather systems, solar systems, and ocean systems including how the output from one part of a system (in the form of material, energy, or information) can become the input to other parts. (For example: El Nino s effect on weather) S6CS6. Students will communicate scientific ideas and activities clearly. c. Organize scientific information using appropriate tables, charts, and graphs, and identify relationships they reveal. S6CS9. Students will investigate the features of the 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. b. Scientists often collaborate to design research. To prevent bias, scientists conduct independent studies of the same questions. July 26, 2007 Page 1 of 5

2 c. Accurate record keeping, data sharing, and replication of results are essential for maintaining an investigator s credibility with other scientists and society. d. Scientists use technology and mathematics to enhance the process of scientific inquiry. e. The ethics of science require that special care must be taken and used for human subjects and animals in scientific research. Scientists must adhere to the appropriate rules and guidelines when conducting research. Enduring Understanding: Underneath the ocean, the Earth has plains, mountains, and valleys, which are often larger than those on dry land. Essential Question(s): How are the geological features that exist on land similar to the geological features on the ocean floor? Pre-Assessment: After viewing the video, Oceans: Earth s Last Frontier (unitedstreaming.com Discovery Education), students label the geographic features, plains, valleys, and mountains to a relief map of Earth. Outcome/ Performance Expectations Write a concept statement How would you formulate an expert idea? Write a concept statement / question What kind of situation would cause this concept to become apparent in students understanding? Identify the learning goals for this inquiry-based task. Students will be able to: Describe the subsurface topography of the world s oceans. Students will be able to explain the effects of plate tectonics and the location of ocean floor topographic features. List examples of how students may incorporate their ideas into experiments. There exist a similarity between topographical features observed on dry land and ocean floor topography. Solicit from students: What are the longest mountain ranges on the planet? What are major landforms on the continents? Possible student responses: Mountains, plains, valleys. Direct students to look at relief maps, pay attention to continental boundaries, the middle of continents, etc. Write questions or statements to assist students develop and explain their ideas (i.e. aid in conceptualizing their knowledge-making exploration). 1. What are the topographic features of the ocean floor? 2. How are the geological features that exist on land similar to the geological features on the ocean floor? July 26, 2007 Page 2 of 5

3 Identify necessary data and observations What data would demonstrate the mastery of the concept by ALL students in the classroom? Write procedures that will cause students to organize data Test a procedure using known concepts. 3. How might plate tectonic movement produce volcanic mountains on the seafloor? Refer to pre-assessment activity to confirm students understanding of topographic features; plains, valleys, and mountains. Identify relevant observations and data collected by students to aid in conceptualizing their knowledge-making exploration. In addition, lists misconceptions that arise and may prohibit students internalizing their own understandings, and what steps should a teacher take to overcome these misconceptions? Students should be familiar with continental shelf, continental slope, abyssal plains, mid-ocean ridges, trenches. Students should know the location of oceanic topographic features. Students should know that physical processes which change the earth are inclusive of continents and ocean floor. Students should also address common misconceptions: The ocean floor is flat. The Earth is getting larger as the plates spread apart. List sample procedural statements that students may use to organize their data. Have students use print and web sources to research the topography of the ocean floor. Ask students to choose one type of seafloor feature continental shelf/slope, abyssal plains, trenches, mid-ocean ridges. Challenge them to learn more about the feature and consider these questions: 1) Where in the ocean are the features located? 2) What earth processes formed the feature? 3) Describe the topographic shape of the feature. 4) What is a similar feature on dry land? The following website is a good starting point: When students have completed their initial research, ask them to draw a diagram, in the form of a cross section. (Review video chapters on Continental Shelves, Continental Slopes and Abyssal Plains and Trenches, Underwater Mountain Ranges to show them cross-section graphics. After they draw their cross-section diagrams ask them to write a one page report about the conditions which formed the subsurface topography. Have them include information about the location, rock composition, and processes of formation for each topographic feature. July 26, 2007 Page 3 of 5

4 Write questions or activities to use or apply the concept (represent, model, visualize, or design new experiments). Have students choose partners. Ask them to share their diagrams and reports with their partners and answer any questions. Then have each student summarize his/her partners diagram and report for the class, including at least three interesting and relevant facts. Assessment Rubric: 3 points Students were engaged ; produced a complete diagram and report, including all the requested information; accurately summarized partner s diagram and report, and cited three interesting and relevant points. 2 points Students participated in class discussions; produced adequate diagram and report, including most of the requested information; satisfactorily summarized partners diagram and report and cited two relevant points. 1 point Students participates minimally in class discussion; created an incomplete diagram and report with little or none of the requested information; were not able to summarize partner s diagram and report or recall any interesting, relevant points. Homework/Extension Video link to Oceans: Earth s Last Frontier AssetID=48231ECC-F7E3-4E8D-B4D9-6B3E2EE02955 Write a story of a family who decides to live on the ocean floor. Where would they likely choose to live? What would be some challenges/advantages to living on the ocean floor? What areas would they be likely to avoid, why? ELL Students Students with Disabilities Gifted Students Adjust teacher talk to increase comprehensibility: face students, pause frequently, paraphrase often Give students more direct information to help them understand how to attack the task Increase % of student talk about topic (more content related) Relate content to real life Provide student with outline of procedure steps Offer an alternative mode of response ( oral) Provide peer partner Give students a checklist of the questions/steps in the task to check off steps as they complete them Provide sentence starters such as If I traveled the ocean floor beginning at the beach in Savannah Break work into manageable parts Use flexible seating arrangements to allow for creativity as some students generate original ideas and higher order thinking skills while moving July 26, 2007 Page 4 of 5

5 Invite students to explore different points of view and compare the different perspectives Determine where students interest lie on this particular topic and capitalize on this inquisitiveness Brainstorm with students about what types of projects they would like to explore to extend their learning beyond the classroom July 26, 2007 Page 5 of 5

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