I. Course number: 813

II. Course title: EARTH SCIENCE

III. Course level: Grade 9

IV. Course philosophy

In the ninth grade Earth Science course, we will learn about the Earth they live on, the universe they are a part of, and why there is a growing need to conserve our natural resources.

In using a hands-on approach through cooperative learning groups, students will become self-directed learners. With student as worker, teacher as coach they will establish an adequate knowledge base which will allow them to support their investigations and develop scientific explanations. Activities are aimed at encouraging students to develop high level thinking.

The "National Science Education Standards" envision change throughout the system. (see attachment). This course reflects these changes.

V. Course standards

Essential Question:

WHY DO WE CALL EARTH A DYNAMIC PLANET CONSISTING OF MANY INTERACTIVE CYCLES OF CHANGE?

VI.: Course outline:

Unit standard

Essential questions: 

 

HOW HAVE CYCLES OF CHANGE CREATED THE GIFTS OF THE EARTH?

 

How far must we go to find the gifts of the earth? 

How long will they last? 

How does change in one part of the earth affect other parts? 

How might global warming affect the evolution of living things?

 

Skills: 

 

Explain the importance of rocks and minerals. Discuss how our rocks and minerals form. Describe the origins of the earthÝs resources. Draw a geologic time line. Distinguish between spreading, subduction, converging, and sliding zones. Describe how fossils are used as clues to events in the EarthÝs past. 

 

Topics to be studied

 

Crystals, Minerals, Rock Cycle, Plate tectonics, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Glaciers, Importance of water, Fossil Fuels, Geothermal energy, Geologic evolution.

Resources:

 

Textbook, Labs, Mineral and Rock kits, Fossil activities, films, filmstrips, experiments, library research, internet

Learning method:

 

Discovery approach, lecture, cooperative learning groups, use of manipulatives, Laboratory experimentation, use of computer, research

 

Student demonstrations required:

 

Students will be able to correctly identify 10 minerals and 10 rocks given them by performing simple tests. Students will perform experiments demonstrating their understanding of earthquakes, volcanoes and plate tectonics. Students will maintain a notebook.

Assessment of standard achievement: 

Students will submit lab reports, research reports, pass quizzes and tests.

Appropriate time frame: 14 weeks

Unit standard: 

Essential question

 

HOW DO TOPOGRAPHIC MAPS REPRESENT A DYNAMIC EARTH? 

Skills: Draw, define, and label latitude and longitude lines. Read, and utilize degrees, minutes, and seconds. Identify compass direction. Use map scales, contour intervals in determining elevations and distances on maps.

 

Topics to be studied

Locating places, elevations, distances, slope, profiles

Resources:

National Geologic Survey Quadrangle maps of Narragansett, Block Island, and others, symbol sheets, compasses, transits, field trip to Block Island.

Learning Method:

Proper use of maps, transits, and compasses. Lecture, notes, worksheets.

Student demonstrations required:

Students will be able to use maps in determining distances and elevations.

Assessment of standard achievement

Lab reports, pass quiz or test, demonstrate the proper use of a transit.

Appropriate time frame: 4 weeks

Unit Standard:

Essential questions: 

 

WHAT QUALITIES MUST A PLANET HAVE IN ORDER FOR LIFE TO EXIST? 

 

Where do we find these qualities in our solar system?...our universe? 

 

What effect do man-made and natural satellites have on planets? 

 

How and What do we use to study the electromagnetic spectrum? 

What lies beyond our solar system?

 

 

Skills: 

 

Hypothesize the origin of the solar system; the universe. Describe the identifying features of each planet. Explain the effect moons have on the planets. Identify tools used by astronomers and how they work. Describe the birth of stars. Measure circumference of the earth.

 

Topics to be studied:

 

Ancient and modern astronomers, measurement of the circumference of the earth, planets, moons, rotation, revolution, electromagnetic spectrum, tools (telescopes), stars, eclipses.

 

 

Resources:

 

Films, textbook, library research to make astronomy time line, laboratory activities, spectroscopes, star charts, globes, internet access, field trip.

 

Learning method: 

 

Discovery approach, lecture, cooperative learning groups, use of manipulatives, laboratory experimentation, use of computers, research,

 

 

 

 

 

Student demonstration required

 

Completed time lines from each group will be presented and displayed.

Students will perform laboratory experiments using spectroscopes, star charts. Groups will successful use the internet to connect and obtain information from NASA.

 

Assessment of standard achievement:

 

Students will submit time lines, research reports, completed laboratory reports, pass quizzes and tests.

 

Appropriate time frame: 3 weeks

 

 

 

 

Unit Standard:

 

Essential questions:

 

WHAT CAUSES DYNAMIC WEATHER PATTERNS? 

 

How can severe storms be predicted accurately?

 

Skills: 

 

Identify factors that interact to cause weather. Describe the factors that affect air pressure. Explain the difference between local and global wind patterns. Identify the basic cloud types. distinguish between specific humidity and relative humidity. Describe how fronts affect weather patterns. Explain how weather forecasts are made.

 

Topics to be studied:

 

Atmospheric layers, conduction, convection, advection, radiation, the greenhouse effect, forms of precipitation, the coriolis effect, land and sea breezes, fronts, storms, weather maps

 

Resources:

 

Demonstration, Laboratory activities using psychrometer, hygrometer, barograph, wind vane, anemometer. USGS weather maps, newspaper clippings, internet resources, graphs, films, speakers (opt.)

 

 

 

Learning method:

 

Discover approach, cooperative learning groups, use of manipulative, laboratory experimentation, use of computers, outdoor observations using weather instruments

 

Student demonstration required: 

 

Students will be able to predict future weather from studying past weather data. Students will demonstrate the proper use of all weather instruments.

Students will be able to extract information from weather maps.

 

Assessment of standard achievement: 

 

Students will submit lab reports, complete worksheets, pass quizzes and tests, participate in a group project.

 

Appropriate time frame: 6 weeks

 

 

 

Unit Standard:

 

Essential questions: 

 

HOW WILL THE DYNAMIC CHANGES IN THE OCEAN AFFECT LIFE ON EARTH? 

 

What benefits might we gain from studying the oceans? 

What requirements would have to be met in order for man to create a biosphere in the ocean? 

 

How has man interfered with the marine food chain? 

 

What implications does this hold for the future?

 

Skills: 

 

Identify the major oceans. Measure salinity. describe the features of the ocean basins. Draw wave model. What determines the size of waves. Describe the types of currents and their causes. What process are effecting the gradual changes of the ocean floor? Diagram the food web. 

Describe the role of phytoplankton, zooplankton, benthos, nekton, and bacteria. Discuss the economic value of the ocean to our sport fishing and recreational industries.

 

Topics to be studied:

 

Chemical oceanography, physical oceanography, geological oceanography, and biological oceanography. The food web of Narragansett Bay.

 

Resources

 

Narragansett Bay, Films, laboratory activities, Providence Journal, internet research, textbooks, Save the Bay pamphlets

 

Learning method:

 

Laboratory experimentation, lecture, field trip, computer use, guest lecturer, worksheets, films, textbook, library research.

 

Student demonstration required

Students will be able to diagram the food web, perform lab experiments,

cooperatively work as a group to make a presentation to the class.

Assessment of standard achievement:

Submit lab reports, make a class presentation, pass quizzes and test.

 

Appropriate time frame: 9 weeks