Our Changing Earth
Age 10-12: Concept 1 - Environment and Cycles: Unit 3

What does the geography of your environment look like? Does it have mountains, cliffs, sandy beaches? Do you know how the rocks and soil beneath your feet formed? These were all formed by the slow rock cycle -- changes that rocks go through as they move around both inside the Earth and on its surface.

In this unit, you will learn about changes in the Earth -- fast changes like volcanoes and earthquakes and slow ones like rain wearing away tiny bits of rocks. You'll also learn about the three types of rocks and how they fit into the rock cycle.

Prerequisites

  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 6th or 7th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Familiar with the five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the fifth or sixth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: The Rock Cycle
  • Lesson 2: Inside the Earth
  • Lesson 3: Igneous Rocks and Volcanoes (2 Days)
  • Lesson 4: Earthquakes and Moving Plates
  • Lesson 5: Metamorphic and Sedimentary Rocks (2 Days)
  • Lesson 6: Weathering (2 Days)
  • Lesson 7: Erosion
  • Final Project: Presenting the Rock Cycle (2 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze evidence to explain observations, make inferences and predictions, and develop the relationship between evidence and explanation. (Science)
  • Design and conduct investigations to demonstrate an understanding of scientific inquiry. (Science)
  • Identify and observe effects of events that require time for changes to be noticeable, including growth, erosion, dissolving, weathering and flow. (Science)
  • Identify and observe effects of events that require time for changes to be noticeable, including growth, erosion, dissolving, weathering, and flow. (Science)
  • Identify past events that led to the formation of the Earth's renewable, non-renewable, and inexhaustible resources, including coal, oil, gas, and minerals. (Science)
  • Interpret how land forms are the result of a combination of constructive and destructive forces such as deposition of sediment and weathering. (Science)
  • Interpret how landforms are the result of a combination of constructive and destructive forces such as deposition of sediment and weathering. (Science)
  • Know how to explain major features of their area's geology (including mountains, faults, volcanoes) in terms of plate tectonics. (Science)
  • Know that beaches are dynamic systems in which the sand is supplied by rivers and moved along the coast by the action of waves. (Science)
  • Know that Earth is composed of several layers: a cold, brittle lithosphere; a hot, convecting mantle; and a dense, metallic core. (Science)
  • Know that earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and floods change human and wildlife habitats. (Science)
  • Know that lithospheric plates the size of continents and oceans move at rates of centimeters per year in response to movements in the mantle. (Science)
  • Know that major geologic events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from plate motions. (Science)
  • Know that moving water erodes landforms, reshaping the land by taking it away from some places and depositing it as pebbles, sand, silt, and mud in other places (weathering, transport, and deposition). (Science)
  • Know that natural processes, including freezing, thawing, and root growth, cause rocks to break down into smaller pieces. (Science)
  • Know that plate tectonics accounts for important features of Earth's surface and major geologic events. (Science)
  • Know that some changes in the Earth are due to slow processes, such as erosion, and some changes are due to rapid processes, such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. (Science)
  • Know that the effects of an earthquake on any region vary, depending on the size of the earthquake, the distance of the region from the epicenter, the local geology, and the type of construction in the region. (Science)
  • Understand that earthquakes are sudden motions along breaks in the crust called faults and that volcanoes and fissures are locations where magma reaches the surface. (Science)
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