Georgia Performance Standards Framework for Science Grade 6. Unit Organizer: Geology: Inside the Earth (Approximate Time: 7 Weeks)

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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. Unit Organizer: Geology: Inside the Earth (Approximate Time: 7 Weeks) OVERVIEW: Surface and subsurface processes that are involved in the formation and destruction of earth materials are identified in this unit. STANDARDS ADDRESSED IN THIS UNIT Focus Standards: 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. 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 including oceans (composition, currents, and tides). Supporting Standards: S6E5. Students will investigate the scientific view of how the earth s surface is formed. g. Describe how fossils show evidence of the changing surface and climate of the Earth. ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGS Students will understand that: the earth is layered with a partly molten, metallic core; a mantle that though solid, is hot enough to flow; and a colder, rigid lithosphere. lithospheric plates on the scales of continents and oceans constantly move. major geological events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from these plate motions. some changes in the earth s surface are abrupt (such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) while other changes happen very slowly (such as uplift and wearing down of mountains). January 2007 Page 1 of 6

2 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: Topical Essential Questions: How are the earth s layers alike and different? What challenges stand in the way of sending explorers to the center of the earth? How does the movement of lithospheric plates cause major events on earth s surface? What evidence do scientists have that continents were once joined together? Why do mountains often occur in ranges thousands of kilometers long? What can fossils tell us about movements of the plates in the past? KNOWLEDGE: The earth is layered with a lithosphere (crust and uppermost mantle), convecting mantle, and a dense metallic core. Each layer differs in composition, density, and temperature. Temperature and density increases as depth increases. The composition of the earth changes with depth and layers. The crust is the upper part of the rigid lithosphere and is of different composition under land as opposed to the ocean floor. Below the rigid lithosphere, the mantle consists of hot rock of tar-like consistency, which slowly moves or flows. The outer core is molten and the inner core is a dense solid. The lithosphere is divided into separate plates which move very slowly in response to the mantle. Heat from the mantle and core creates convection currents. This plate movement causes major geologic events such as volcanoes, earthquakes, and mountain formation. At the edges or boundaries of the plates, the earth's crust is in motion. The theory of plate tectonics connects the evidence for the formation, movement, and destruction of the plates. At divergent plate boundaries such as the mid-atlantic ridge, new ocean floor is created. January 2007 Page 2 of 6

3 At convergent plate boundaries known as subduction zones, a trench and deep earthquakes mark the zone where a slab of oceanic lithosphere descends into the mantle, and volcanoes and mountain ranges form on adjacent land. When continental crust meets continental crust at a convergent boundary, a collision occurs, resulting in folds, faults, and high mountains. Transform boundaries are where plates slide past each other. They connect other plate boundaries and are characterized by earthquakes. CONCEPTS: Plate Tectonics, geologic events/time, Earth processes LANGUAGE: Plate Tectonics, Magma, Continental Drift, volcanic activities, convection currents, plate boundaries, fossil evidence, Subduction Rifting Transform faults Map of plate boundaries Earthquakes Volcanoes MISCONCEPTIONS The world map is unchanging; or a major change - such as California separating from North America - could happen within my lifetime. Earth has always looked as it does now; Earth began with a supercontinent called Pangaea, which broke up to make the present continents. The mantle is molten everywhere; volcanoes happen whenever the crust is thin enough for magma to break through. PROPER CONCEPTIONS Moving plates cause major changes in a world map over tens of millions of years. Pangaea was the most recent of a succession of supercontinents that have formed and broken up over time. The mantle is solid but capable of flow (like hot asphalt or fudge). Only under special conditions (at hot spots and along plate boundaries) does the mantle or crust melt to make magma, which may then rise to the surface to make a volcanic eruption. Earthquakes are random spasms in the earth which suddenly create major crustal features. January 2007 Page 3 of 6 Earthquakes represent sudden breaks in crust continuously stressed by plate movement. Gradually over time, the same movements result in major crustal features.

4 EVIDENCE OF LEARNING: By the conclusion of this unit, students should be able to demonstrate the following competencies: Culminating Activity: Goal: To show your knowledge of plate movement and their causes and the uplifting and wearing down of mountains Role: You are a child in a family that is being forced to relocate Audience: Your family Situation: Your mom's job is forcing your family to relocate due to a closing of her office. Your family is given the choice of moving to either California or Hawaii. Your parents have asked each of their children to create a presentation of information related to each of these states. Your parents are very concerned about volcanic and earthquake activity in these areas. Since you have taken Earth Science, your parents have asked you to focus on these aspects of each state. Performance: Presentation using "Inside the Earth Project Rubric" January 2007 Page 4 of 6

5 Inside the Earth Project Rubric Plate Movement In addition to including accurate details about lithospheric plate movement and the causes of major geological events at each location, information is also given that compares these events at each location with those common in Georgia Project includes accurate details about lithospheric plate movement and the causes of major geological events at each location Project does include accurate information about lithospheric plate movement and the causes of major geological events at each location, but lacking details; or only provides information about one location Project either does not include information about lithospheric plate movement and the causes of major geological events at each location; or includes inaccurate information Uplifting and Wearing Down of Mountains In addition to including accurate details related to the formation and wearing down of mountains at each location, project also gives a comparison of these events at each location with those common in Georgia Project includes accurate details related to formation and wearing down of mountains at each location Project does include accurate information related to the formation and wearing down of mountains at each location, but lacking details; or only provides information about one location Project either does not include accurate information or is missing information about the formation and wearing down of mountains January 2007 Page 5 of 6

6 TASKS The collection of the following tasks represents the level of depth, rigor and complexity expected of all physical science students to demonstrate evidence of learning. Task: Description: Discussion, Suggestions for use: Possible Solution : SAMPLE OF STUDENT WORK January 2007 Page 6 of 6

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