Georgia Performance Standards Framework for Natural Disasters 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 feature located on Georgia.Org. Unit Organizer: Natural Disasters (4 weeks) OVERVIEW: By the end of fifth grade, students should be aware that when liquid water disappears, it turns into a gas (vapor) in the air and can reappear as a liquid when cooled, or as a solid if cooled below the freezing point of water. Also, they should be aware that clouds and fog are made of tiny droplets or frozen crystals of water. They should have had encounters in their science study that help them understand that air is a material that surrounds us and takes up space and whose movement we feel as wind. Students should know that the weather is always changing and can be described by measurable quantities such as temperature, wind direction and speed, and precipitation. Large masses of air with certain properties move across the surface of the Earth. The movement and interaction of these air masses is used to forecast the weather. They should also be able to explain the water cycle, specifically the processes of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. In addition to their studies on weather, students at this level should be able to identify surface features caused by constructive processes and destructive processes such as earthquakes. In this unit, students will understand that common natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, and earthquakes are a result of Earth s processes. In terms of their knowledge of weather occurrences, they will understand that hurricanes and tornadoes are the result of rapid evaporation occurring in conjunction with extreme changes in air pressure. They will understand how global wind patterns and the Coriolis effect influence hurricane formation and paths of travel. They will also learn how air pressure plays a role in tornado formation. In their study on earthquakes and tsunamis, students will discover that these phenomena occur most often along the boundaries of moving lithospheric plates. While tsunamis are associated with earthquakes, other dangers associated with earthquakes are landslides, sinkholes, and other collapse features. Associated with all natural disasters to be studied is the occurrence of flooding, which is the major cause of loss of life. Students will view websites and demonstrations to learn how the disasters form and interpret historical data to determine the safest locations in the United States to avoid such disasters. July 2008 Page 1 of 10

2 STANDARDS ADDRESSED IN THIS UNIT Focus Standard(s): S6E4. Students will understand how the distribution of land and oceans affects climate and weather. a. Demonstrate that land and water absorb and lose heat at different rates and explain the resulting effects on weather patterns. b. Relate unequal heating of land and water surfaces to form large global wind systems and weather events such as tornados and thunderstorms. c. Relate how moisture evaporating from the oceans affects the weather patterns and weather events such as hurricanes. S6E5. Students will investigate the scientific view of how the Earth s surface is formed. 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 Standard(s): S6E6. Students will describe various sources of energy and with their uses and conservation. a. Explain the role of the sun as the major source of energy and its relationship to wind and water energy. 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. g. Describe how fossils show evidence of the changing surface and climate of the Earth. S6E3. Students will recognize the significant role of water in Earth processes. a. Explain that a large portion of the Earth s surface is water, consisting of oceans, rivers, lakes, underground water, and ice. b. Relate various atmospheric conditions to stages of the water cycle. d. Explain the causes of waves, currents, and tides. July 2008 Page 2 of 10

3 STANDARDS ADDRESSED IN THIS UNIT (continuation) Characteristic of Science: 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) b. Identify several different models (such as physical replicas, pictures, and analogies) that could be used to represent the same thing, and evaluate their usefulness, taking into account such things as the model s purpose and complexity. S6CS6. Students will communicate scientific ideas and activities clearly. c. Organize scientific information using appropriate tables, charts, and graphs, and identify relationships they reveal. Nature of Science: S6CS10. Students will enhance reading in all curriculum areas by: c. Building vocabulary knowledge Demonstrate an understanding of contextual vocabulary in various subjects. Use content vocabulary in writing and speaking. Explore understanding of new words found in subject area texts. d. Establishing context Explore life experiences related to subject area content. Discuss in both writing and speaking how certain words are subject area related. Determine strategies for finding content and contextual meaning for unknown words. July 2008 Page 3 of 10

4 ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGS Students will understand that: Unequal heating of the Earth causes air to move from areas of high pressure (cold air, high density) to areas of low pressure (warm air, low density) to create wind. Tornadoes are funnels of high speed winds associated with thunderstorms. Hurricanes form as a result of major global wind patterns and the Coriolis effect, but their paths are determined by local weather systems. Hurricanes form as a result of evaporation in warm oceans and seas in tropical regions of the northern and southern hemispheres. Some changes in the Earth s surface are abrupt (such as earthquakes) while other changes happen very slowly (such as deposition, weathering and erosion) Earthquakes occur along plate boundaries and are a result of tectonic plate movement. Tsunamis are most commonly the result of earthquakes associated with movement of oceanic crust. July 2008 Page 4 of 10

5 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: How does wind form? Why are tornadoes uncommon in mountainous regions? How do tornadoes form? Where are hurricanes most likely to occur? Why do earthquakes occur? Why do tsunamis not commonly occur on the east coast of the United States? How are natural disasters dispersed? CONCEPTS: Wind production, global wind patterns, Coriolis effect, plate tectonics, characteristics of oceanic and continental crust, wave formation, heat energy, unequal heating of land and water LANGUAGE: Jet stream, trade winds, doldrums, westerlies easterlies, sea breeze, land breeze, coriolis effect, air pressure, high pressure, low pressure, hurricane, evaporation, tornado, vortex, strike-slip fault, reverse fault, normal fault, focus, p-waves, s-waves, epicenter, Richter scale, July 2008 Page 5 of 10

6 MISCONCEPTIONS Hurricanes only occur in the United States. Tsunamis only occur in Asia. Earthquakes only occur in the United States in California. Tornadoes are funnel shaped clouds that touch the ground. PROPER CONCEPTIONS Hurricanes occur in tropical regions around the world; however, they have different names in different parts of the world. Tsunamis can occur on all Pacific shorelines. Earthquakes can occur in all parts of the United States; however, those in California usually stronger and more frequent. Tornadoes are wind. The funnel shape of the cloud is caused by the tornado. July 2008 Page 6 of 10

7 EVIDENCE OF LEARNING: Culminating Activity: Students will choose a city in the United States to advertise as the Safest Place in America. This title will be due to the rarity of natural disasters in that city. Students will create an advertisement (television commercial, poster, travel brochure, multimedia presentation) for the city explaining why that city is safer. The rationale for the city s selection must demonstrate knowledge of hurricane, tornado, and tsunami formation as well as the reason behind earthquakes. The advertisement must contain an outline map of the United States with natural disaster danger zones illustrated. The map should be color coded and contain a legend indicating the symbols or colors for each type of natural disaster. The following link may be used to find information for map completion. GOAL: Convince audience that the chosen city is the safest place to live in the United States. ROLE: Real Estate Agent AUDIENCE: Citizens looking to relocate their families in a city free from the dangers of natural disasters. SITUATION: An advertisement for the safest city in the United States PERFORMANCE: Television commercial, travel brochure, or multimedia presentation illustrating the absence of natural disasters in the chosen city with a convincing rational for why hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis are unlikely to occur in the given city. Information will include scientific knowledge regarding the formation of such disasters as well as an outline map of the United States illustrating where these disasters have historically occurred in the United States. July 2008 Page 7 of 10

8 RUBRIC: The Safest Place to Live in the United States Teacher Name: Student Name: CATEGORY Position Statement Map Hurricanes Tornadoes 4 Above The position statement provides a clear, strong statement of the author's position on the topic. Map shows historical locations for all 4 types of natural disasters and contains a legend. A clear explanation is given for hurricane formation including conditions necessary for formations as well as an explanation for hurricane path determination. A clear explanation is given for tornado formation including an explanation of what causes wind. 3 Meets The position statement provides a clear statement of the author's position on the topic. Map shows historical locations for 3 types of natural disasters and contains a legend. given for hurricane formation including conditions necessary for formations as well as an explanation for hurricane path determination. given for tornado formation including an explanation of what causes wind. 2 Approaching A position statement is present, but does not make the author's position clear. Map shows historical locations for 2 types of natural disasters and contains a legend. given for conditions necessary for formation. A clear explanation is given for tornado formation. 1 Below There is no position statement. Map shows historical locations for 1 type of natural disaster. There is no explanation given for hurricane formation. No explanation is given for tornado formation. Score July 2008 Page 8 of 10

9 CATEGORY Earthquakes Tsunamis Transitions 4 Above A clear explanation is given for earthquake occurrence including types of faults and fault locations. A clear explanation is given for tsunami occurrence including an explanation of the difference between tsunami waves and normal current waves. A variety of thoughtful transitions are used. They clearly show how ideas are connected 3 Meets given for earthquake occurrence including types of faults. given for tsunami occurrence including an explanation of the difference between tsunami waves and normal current waves. Transitions show how ideas are connected, but there is little variety 2 Approaching given for earthquake occurrence. given for tsunami occurrence. Some transitions work well, but some connections between ideas are fuzzy. 1 Below No explanation is given for earthquake occurrence. No explanation is given for tsunami occurrence. The transitions between ideas are unclear OR nonexistent. Score July 2008 Page 9 of 10

10 UNIT RESOURCES July 2008 Page 10 of 10

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