• Earth’s Changing Surface

    This unit introduces student to the processes that create the astonishing variety of landforms across our planet. Through a range of hands-on explorations, students discover the slow processes and the subtle forces that carve, shape, and weather the earth’s surface. Throughout the unit, the engage in the activities of geologists: making careful observations, analyzing them, and drawing conclusions. By the end of the unit, the students will share their image of landscapes as unchanging and develop a view of the earth’s surface as dynamic and constantly changing.

Big Ideas

  • Lesson 2 

    Big Idea – Landforms are the result of changes to the Earth’s surface.

    The students will consider how some changes to the environment around us happen quickly while others happen over a long period of time.


    Lesson 3 and 4

    Big Idea – Moving water, ice, and wind break down rock, transport materials, and build up the earth’s surface.

    Day 1) The students will become familiar with the parts of a river and understand that moving water erodes and deposits rock and sediment.

    Day 2) The students will brainstorm ideas for materials that could be used to change their river tables.

     

    Sediment Transported by Flowing Water

     
     
     

    Lesson 5: Abrasion Wears Down Rock 

    Big Idea – Moving water, ice, and wind break down rock, transport materials, and build up the earth’s surface.

    Day 1) The students will review and discuss their observations of erosion and deoposition. They will engage in the question: "What happens to rocks over time?"

    Day 2) The students further explore this question by conducting a simple investigation about abrasion and explore water's effect on abrasion.

     
    Lesson 6: Glaciers Carve the Land

    Big Idea – Moving water, ice, and wind wear down rock, transport materials, and build up the earth’s surface.

    1) The students will examine images of glaciers to discuss how they are formed, how they move, as well as their similarities and differences. 
    2) Students will model how ice can pick up and transport sediment and rocks, abrading and eroding the earth's surface in the process.
     

    Lesson 7: Wind Erodes Hoodoos 

    Big Idea – Moving water, ice, and wind wear down rock, transport materials, and build up the earth’s surface.

    Day 1) The students will examine pictures of landforms shaped by wind and speculate how wind shapes landforms through abrasion and erosion. They will use a "windstorm" box to model windblown sand.

     

    Lesson 8: Wind Deposits Dunes 

    Big Idea – Moving water, ice, and wind break down rock, transport materials, and build up the earth’s surface.

    Day 1) The students will examine snad dunes and other landforms made by wind deposition and discuss how windblown materials can build up or erode the earth's surface. They will use a "windstorm" box to model sand dune formation and to bserve how plants help stabilize sand dunes.

    Lesson 11: Plate Movements Form Mountains 

    Big Idea – Movements of the earth's crust shape the surface of the earth.

    The students will discuss their ideas about mountain formation and learnd about the layers of the earth. They will be introduced to plate tectonics.
    Brett  Haley

    Play the video to listen as Professor Paul demonstrates they layers of the earth.
     

Rock Cycle

River Table - Time Lapse

Landforms in Music

Extra Credit

  • Research a famous landform from the list below. Provide at least 10 facts about the chosen landform. Also, include at least 2 facts to address the cultural impact the landform has/had on society. 

    • Crater Lake, Oregon
    • Devil’s Tower, Wyoming
    • Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls, New York
    • Kilauea volcano, Hawaii
    • Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
    • Mt. Rainier, Washington
    • Nantucket Island, Massachusetts
    • Uluru (Ayers Rock), Australia
    DUE Wednesday, January 27