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The Earth is a dynamic system, constantly changing through a multitude of systems; the geologic, hydrologic, atmospheric and biologic systems are all integral to one another. Despite the fact that we inhabit this blue planet many of us are unaware of how even the simplest of systems work between one another and how even a small perturbation in one system can ripple through them all. The curriculum that follows will outline the systems of the earth and draw upon their interconnectedness to bring about a new found understanding of our environment and the critical modern day issues we are facing now and in the future. Through a multitude of hands-on and investigative lessons and activities this series will help students take their prior knowledge and combine it with new understandings and conflicts to ultimately apply the information gained in the local communities for a culminating environmental action project.

This curriculum is meant for students who have already progressed through some earth science classes. There are many lessons within the collection that can be pulled out and used separately from the curriculum as a whole.

The 5th Unit covers many topics addressed in a book called The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity, by James Lovelock, 160 pages with glossary. I recommend this as a reading for the semester, especially during Unit 5 though it is not a requirement to follow the science or the lessons.

The Revenge of Gaia, James Lovelock, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0-465-04168-8 ISBN-10: 0-465-04168-X

British ISBNs: 978-0-713-99914-3; 0-713-99914-4


  • Science > General
  • Science > Earth Science
  • Science > Geology
  • Science > Physical Sciences
  • Education > General
  • Education > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10


plate tectonics geology mantle core crust planets sun weather climate extinction change evolution



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Update Standards?

SCI.6.ES.1.a: Science

Students know evidence of plate tectonics is derived from the fit of the continents; the location of earthquakes, volcanoes, and midocean ridges; and the distribution of fossils, rock types, and ancient climatic zones.

SCI.6.ES.1.b: Science

Students know Earth is composed of several layers: a cold, brittle lithosphere; a hot, convecting mantle; and a dense, metallic core.

SCI.6.ES.1.c: Science

Students know lithospheric plates the size of continents and oceans move at rates of centimeters per year in response to movements in the mantle.

SCI.6.ES.1.d: Science

Students know that earthquakes are sudden motions along breaks in the crust called faults and that volcanoes and fissures are locations where magma reaches the surface.

SCI.6.ES.1.e: Science

Students know major geologic events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from plate motions.

SCI.6.ES.1.f: Science

Students know how to explain major features of California geology (including mountains, faults, volcanoes) in terms of plate tectonics.

SCI.6.ES.1.g: Science

Students know how to determine the epicenter of an earthquake and 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.

SCI.6.ES.2.a: Science

Students know water running downhill is the dominant process in shaping the landscape, including California's landscape.

SCI.6.ES.2.b: Science

Students know rivers and streams are dynamic systems that erode, transport sediment, change course, and flood their banks in natural and recurring patterns.

SCI.6.ES.2.c: Science

Students know beaches are dynamic systems in which the sand is supplied by rivers and moved along the coast by the action of waves.

SCI.6.ES.2.d: Science

Students know earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and floods change human and wildlife habitats.

SCI.6.ES.4.a: Science

Students know the sun is the major source of energy for phenomena on Earth's surface; it powers winds, ocean currents, and the water cycle.

SCI.6.ES.4.b: Science

Students know solar energy reaches Earth through radiation, mostly in the form of visible light.

SCI.6.ES.4.c: Science

Students know heat from Earth's interior reaches the surface primarily through convection.

SCI.6.ES.4.d: Science

Students know convection currents distribute heat in the atmosphere and oceans.

SCI.6.ES.4.e: Science

Students know differences in pressure, heat, air movement, and humidity result in changes of weather.

SCI.7.LS.4.a: Science

Students know Earth processes today are similar to those that occurred in the past and slow geologic processes have large cumulative effects over long periods of time.

SCI.7.LS.4.b: Science

Students know the history of life on Earth has been disrupted by major catastrophic events, such as major volcanic eruptions or the impacts of asteroids.

SCI.7.LS.4.c: Science

Students know that the rock cycle includes the formation of new sediment and rocks and that rocks are often found in layers, with the oldest generally on the bottom.

SCI.7.LS.4.d: Science

Students know that evidence from geologic layers and radioactive dating indicates Earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old and that life on this planet has existed for more than 3 billion years.

SCI.7.LS.4.e: Science

Students know fossils provide evidence of how life and environmental conditions have changed.

SCI.7.LS.4.f: Science

Students know how movements of Earth's continental and oceanic plates through time, with associated changes in climate and geographic connections, have affected the past and present distribution of organisms.

SCI.7.LS.4.g: Science

Students know how to explain significant developments and extinctions of plant and animal life on the geologic time scale.

SCI.8.PC.4.a: Science

Students know galaxies are clusters of billions of stars and may have different shapes.

SCI.8.PC.4.b: Science

Students know that the Sun is one of many stars in the Milky Way galaxy and that stars may differ in size, temperature, and color.

SCI.8.PC.4.c: Science

Students know how to use astronomical units and light years as measures of distances between the Sun, stars, and Earth.

SCI.8.PC.4.d: Science

Students know that stars are the source of light for all bright objects in outer space and that the Moon and planets shine by reflected sunlight, not by their own light.

SCI.8.PC.4.e: Science

Students know the appearance, general composition, relative position and size, and motion of objects in the solar system, including planets, planetary satellites, comets, and asteroids.

SCI.9-12.ES.1.a: Science

Students know how the differences and similarities among the sun, the terrestrial planets, and the gas planets may have been established during the formation of the solar system.

SCI.9-12.ES.1.b: Science

Students know the evidence from Earth and moon rocks indicates that the solar system was formed from a nebular cloud of dust and gas approximately 4.6 billion years ago.

SCI.9-12.ES.1.c: Science

Students know the evidence from geological studies of Earth and other planets suggest that the early Earth was very different from Earth today.

SCI.9-12.ES.1.d: Science

Students know the evidence indicating that the planets are much closer to Earth than the stars are.

SCI.9-12.ES.1.e: Science

Students know the Sun is a typical star and is powered by nuclear reactions, primarily the fusion of hydrogen to form helium.

SCI.9-12.ES.1.g: Science

Students know the evidence for the existence of planets orbiting other stars.

SCI.9-12.ES.2.a: Science

Students know the solar system is located in an outer edge of the disc-shaped Milky Way galaxy, which spans 100,000 light years.

SCI.9-12.ES.2.b: Science

Students know galaxies are made of billions of stars and comprise most of the visible mass of the universe.

SCI.9-12.ES.2.c: Science

Students know the evidence indicating that all elements with an atomic number greater than that of lithium have been formed by nuclear fusion in stars.

SCI.9-12.ES.2.d: Science

Students know that stars differ in their life cycles and that visual, radio, and X-ray telescopes may be used to collect data that reveal those differences.

SCI.9-12.ES.2.e: Science

Students know accelerators boost subatomic particles to energy levels that simulate conditions in the stars and in the early history of the universe before stars formed.

SCI.9-12.ES.2.f: Science

Students know the evidence indicating that the color, brightness, and evolution of a star are determined by a balance between gravitational collapse and nuclear fusion.

SCI.9-12.ES.2.g: Science

Students know how the red-shift from distant galaxies and the cosmic background radiation provide evidence for the "big bang" model that suggests that the universe has been expanding for 10 to 20 billion years.

SCI.9-12.ES.3.a: Science

Students know features of the ocean floor (magnetic patterns, age, and sea-floor topography) provide evidence of plate tectonics.

SCI.9-12.ES.3.b: Science

Students know the principal structures that form at the three different kinds of plate boundaries.

SCI.9-12.ES.3.c: Science

Students know how to explain the properties of rocks based on the physical and chemical conditions in which they formed, including plate tectonic processes.

SCI.9-12.ES.3.d: Science

Students know why and how earthquakes occur and the scales used to measure their intensity and magnitude.

SCI.9-12.ES.3.e: Science

Students know there are two kinds of volcanoes: one kind with violent eruptions producing steep slopes and the other kind with voluminous lava flows producing gentle slopes.

SCI.9-12.ES.3.f: Science

Students know the explanation for the location and properties of volcanoes that are due to hot spots and the explanation for those that are due to subduction.

SCI.9-12.ES.4.a: Science

Students know the relative amount of incoming solar energy compared with Earth's internal energy and the energy used by society.

SCI.9-12.ES.4.b: Science

Students know the fate of incoming solar radiation in terms of reflection, absorption, and photosynthesis.

SCI.9-12.ES.4.c: Science

Students know the different atmospheric gases that absorb the Earth's thermal radiation and the mechanism and significance of the greenhouse effect.

SCI.9-12.ES.4.d: Science

Students know the differing greenhouse conditions on Earth, Mars, and Venus; the origins of those conditions; and the climatic consequences of each.

SCI.9-12.ES.5.a: Science

Students know how differential heating of Earth results in circulation patterns in the atmosphere and oceans that globally distribute the heat.

SCI.9-12.ES.5.b: Science

Students know the relationship between the rotation of Earth and the circular motions of ocean currents and air in pressure centers.

SCI.9-12.ES.5.c: Science

Students know the origin and effects of temperature inversions.

SCI.9-12.ES.5.d: Science

Students know properties of ocean water, such as temperature and salinity, can be used to explain the layered structure of the oceans, the generation of horizontal and vertical ocean currents, and the geographic distribution of marine organisms.

SCI.9-12.ES.5.e: Science

Students know rain forests and deserts on Earth are distributed in bands at specific latitudes.

SCI.9-12.ES.5.f: Science

Students know the interaction of wind patterns, ocean currents, and mountain ranges results in the global pattern of latitudinal bands of rain forests and deserts.

SCI.9-12.ES.5.g: Science

Students know features of the ENSO (El Niño southern oscillation) cycle in terms of sea-surface and air temperature variations across the Pacific and some climatic results of this cycle.

SCI.9-12.ES.6.a: Science

Students know weather (in the short run) and climate (in the long run) involve the transfer of energy into and out of the atmosphere.

SCI.9-12.ES.6.b: Science

Students know the effects on climate of latitude, elevation, topography, and proximity to large bodies of water and cold or warm ocean currents.

SCI.9-12.ES.6.c: Science

Students know how Earth's climate has changed over time, corresponding to changes in Earth's geography, atmospheric composition, and other factors, such as solar radiation and plate movement.

SCI.9-12.ES.6.d: Science

Students know how computer models are used to predict the effects of the increase in greenhouse gases on climate for the planet as a whole and for specific regions.

SCI.9-12.ES.7.a: Science

Students know the carbon cycle of photosynthesis and respiration and the nitrogen cycle.

SCI.9-12.ES.7.b: Science

Students know the global carbon cycle: the different physical and chemical forms of carbon in the atmosphere, oceans, biomass, fossil fuels, and the movement of carbon among these reservoirs.

SCI.9-12.ES.8.a: Science

Students know the thermal structure and chemical composition of the atmosphere.

SCI.9-12.ES.8.b: Science

Students know how the composition of Earth's atmosphere has evolved over geologic time and know the effect of outgassing, the variations of carbon dioxide concentration, and the origin of atmospheric oxygen.

SCI.9-12.ES.8.c: Science

Students know the location of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere, its role in absorbing ultraviolet radiation, and the way in which this layer varies both naturally and in response to human activities.

SC.D.1.3.1: Science

knows that mechanical and chemical activities shape and reshape the Earth's land surface by eroding rock and soil in some areas and depositing them in other areas, sometimes in seasonal layers.

SC.D.1.3.3: Science

knows how conditions that exist in one system influence the conditions that exist in other systems.

SC.D.1.3.5: Science

understands concepts of time and size relating to the interaction of Earth's processes (e.g., lightning striking in a split second as opposed to the shifting of the Earth's plates altering the landscape, distance between atoms measured in Angstrom units as opposed to distance between stars measured in light-years).

SC.D.2.3.1: Science

understands that quality of life is relevant to personal experience.

SC.D.2.3.2: Science

knows the positive and negative consequences of human action on the Earth's systems.

SC.E.1.3.1: Science

understands the vast size of our Solar System and the relationship of the planets and their satellites.

SC.E.1.3.2: Science

knows that available data from various satellite probes show the similarities and differences among planets and their moons in the Solar System.

SC.E.1.3.3: Science

understands that our sun is one of many stars in our galaxy.

SC.E.1.3.4: Science

knows that stars appear to be made of similar chemical elements, although they differ in age, size, temperature, and distance.

SC.E.2.3.1: Science

knows that thousands of other galaxies appear to have the same elements, forces, and forms of energy found in our Solar System.

SC.G.2.3.1: Science

knows that some resources are renewable and others are nonrenewable.

SC.G.2.3.2: Science

knows that all biotic and abiotic factors are interrelated and that if one factor is changed or removed, it impacts the availability of other resources within the system.

SC.G.2.3.3: Science

knows that a brief change in the limited resources of an ecosystem may alter the size of a population or the average size of individual organisms and that long-term change may result in the elimination of animal and plant populations inhabiting the Earth.

SC.G.2.3.4: Science

understands that humans are a part of an ecosystem and their activities may deliberately or inadvertently alter the equilibrium in ecosystems.

SCI.6.SC.6.E.6.1: Science

Describe and give examples of ways in which Earth's surface is built up and torn down by physical and chemical weathering, erosion, and deposition.

SCI.6.SC.6.E.6.2: Science

Recognize that there are a variety of different landforms on Earth's surface such as coastlines, dunes, rivers, mountains, glaciers, deltas, and lakes and relate these landforms as they apply to Florida.

SCI.6.SC.6.E.7.1: Science

Differentiate among radiation, conduction, and convection, the three mechanisms by which heat is transferred through Earth's system.

SCI.6.SC.6.E.7.2: Science

Investigate and apply how the cycling of water between the atmosphere and hydrosphere has an effect on weather patterns and climate.

SCI.6.SC.6.E.7.3: Science

Describe how global patterns such as the jet stream and ocean currents influence local weather in measurable terms such as temperature, air pressure, wind direction and speed, and humidity and precipitation.

SCI.6.SC.6.E.7.4: Science

Differentiate and show interactions among the geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.

SCI.6.SC.6.E.7.5: Science

Explain how energy provided by the sun influences global patterns of atmospheric movement and the temperature differences between air, water, and land.

SCI.6.SC.6.E.7.6: Science

Differentiate between weather and climate.

SCI.6.SC.6.E.7.7: Science

Investigate how natural disasters have affected human life in Florida.

SCI.6.SC.6.E.7.8: Science

Describe ways human beings protect themselves from hazardous weather and sun exposure.

SCI.6.SC.6.E.7.9: Science

Describe how the composition and structure of the atmosphere protects life and insulates the planet.

SCI.7.SC.7.E.6.1: Science

Describe the layers of the solid Earth, including the lithosphere, the hot convecting mantle, and the dense metallic liquid and solid cores.

SCI.7.SC.7.E.6.2: Science

Identify the patterns within the rock cycle and relate them to surface events (weathering and erosion) and sub-surface events (plate tectonics and mountain building).

SCI.7.SC.7.E.6.3: Science

Identify current methods for measuring the age of Earth and its parts, including the law of superposition and radioactive dating.

SCI.7.SC.7.E.6.4: Science

Explain and give examples of how physical evidence supports scientific theories that Earth has evolved over geologic time due to natural processes.

SCI.7.SC.7.E.6.5: Science

Explore the scientific theory of plate tectonics by describing how the movement of Earth's crustal plates causes both slow and rapid changes in Earth's surface, including volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and mountain building.

SCI.7.SC.7.E.6.6: Science

Identify the impact that humans have had on Earth, such as deforestation, urbanization, desertification, erosion, air and water quality, changing the flow of water.

SCI.7.SC.7.E.6.7: Science

Recognize that heat flow and movement of material within Earth causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and creates mountains and ocean basins.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.6.1: Science

Describe and differentiate the layers of Earth and the interactions among them.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.6.2: Science

Connect surface features to surface processes that are responsible for their formation.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.6.3: Science

Analyze the scientific theory of plate tectonics and identify related major processes and features as a result of moving plates.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.6.4: Science

Analyze how specific geologic processes and features are expressed in Florida and elsewhere.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.6.5: Science

Describe the geologic development of the present day oceans and identify commonly found features.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.6.6: Science

Analyze past, present, and potential future consequences to the environment resulting from various energy production technologies.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.7.1: Science

Analyze the movement of matter and energy through the different biogeochemical cycles, including water and carbon.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.7.2: Science

Analyze the causes of the various kinds of surface and deep water motion within the oceans and their impacts on the transfer of energy between the poles and the equator.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.7.3: Science

Differentiate and describe the various interactions among Earth systems, including: atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.7.4: Science

Summarize the conditions that contribute to the climate of a geographic area, including the relationships to lakes and oceans.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.7.5: Science

Predict future weather conditions based on present observations and conceptual models and recognize limitations and uncertainties of such predictions.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.7.6: Science

Relate the formation of severe weather to the various physical factors.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.7.7: Science

Identify, analyze, and relate the internal (Earth system) and external (astronomical) conditions that contribute to global climate change.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.7.8: Science

Explain how various atmospheric, oceanic, and hydrologic conditions in Florida have influenced and can influence human behavior, both individually and collectively.

SCI.9-12.SC.912.E.7.9: Science

Cite evidence that the ocean has had a significant influence on climate change by absorbing, storing, and moving heat, carbon, and water.

SCI.9-12.1.1.I.a: Science

Compare the mass of the reactants to the mass of the products in a chemical reaction or physical change (e.g., biochemical processes, carbon dioxide-oxygen cycle, nitrogen cycle, decomposition and synthesis reactions involved in a food web) as support for the Law Conservation of Mass

SCI.9-12.1.2.F.a: Science

Classify the different ways to store energy (i.e., chemical, nuclear, thermal, mechanical, electromagnetic) and describe the transfer of energy as it changes from kinetic to potential, while the total amount of energy remains constant, within a system (e.g., biochemical processes, carbon dioxide-oxygen cycle, nitrogen cycle, food web)

SCI.9-12.3.1.B.a: Science

Recognize cells both increase in number and differentiate, becoming specialized in structure and function, during and after embryonic development

SCI.9-12.3.1.B.b: Science

Identify factors (e.g., biochemical, temperature) that may affect the differentiation of cells and the development of an organism

SCI.9-12.3.1.C.a: Science

Recognize all organisms are composed of cells, the fundamental units of structure and function

SCI.9-12.3.1.C.b: Science

Describe the structure of cell parts (e.g., cell wall, cell membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus, chloroplast, mitochondrion, ribosome, vacuole) found in different types of cells (e.g., bacterial, plant, skin, nerve, blood, muscle) and the functions they perform (e.g., structural support, transport of materials, storage of genetic information, photosynthesis and respiration, synthesis of new molecules, waste disposal) that are necessary to the survival of the cell and organism

SCI.9-12.3.1.E.a: Science

Explain how similarities used to group taxa might reflect evolutionary relationships (e.g., similarities in DNA and protein structures, internal anatomical features, patterns of development)

SCI.9-12.3.1.E.b: Science

Explain how and why the classification of any taxon might change as more is learned about the organisms assigned to that taxon

SCI.9-12.3.2.A.a: Science

Compare and contrast the structure and function of mitochondria and chloroplasts

SCI.9-12.3.2.A.b: Science

Compare and contrast the structure and function of cell wall and cell membranes

SCI.9-12.3.2.A.c: Science

Explain physical and chemical interactions that occur between organelles (e.g. nucleus, cell membrane, chloroplast, mitochondrion, ribosome) as they carry out life processes

SCI.9-12.3.2.B.a: Science

Explain the interrelationship between the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration (e.g., recycling of oxygen and carbon dioxide), comparing and contrasting photosynthesis and cellular respiration reactions

SCI.9-12.3.2.B.b: Science

Determine what factors affect the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration (i.e., light intensity, availability of reactants, temperature)

SCI.9-12.3.2.D.a: Science

Summarize how energy transfer occurs during photosynthesis and cellular respiration as energy is stored in and released from the bonds of chemical compounds (i.e. ATP)

SCI.9-12.3.2.D.b: Science

Relate the structure of organic compounds (e.g., proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, carbohydrates) to their role in living systems

SCI.9-12.3.2.D.c: Science

Recognize energy is absorbed or released in the breakdown and/or synthesis of organic compounds

SCI.9-12.3.2.D.d: Science

Explain how protein enzymes affect chemical reactions (e.g., the breakdown of food molecules, growth and repair, regulation)

SCI.9-12.3.2.D.e: Science

Interpret a data table showing the effects of an enzyme on a biochemical reaction

SCI.9-12.3.2.E.a: Science

Explain how the DNA code determines the sequence of amino acids necessary for protein synthesis

SCI.9-12.3.2.E.b: Science

Recognize the function of protein in cell structure and function (i.e., enzyme action, growth and repair of body parts, regulation of cell division and differentiation)

SCI.9-12.3.2.F.a: Science

Explain the significance of the selectively permeable membrane to the transport of molecules

SCI.9-12.3.2.F.b: Science

Predict the movement of molecules across a selectively permeable membrane (i.e., diffusion, osmosis, active transport) needed for a cell to maintain homeostasis given concentration gradients and different sizes of molecules

SCI.9-12.3.2.F.c: Science

Explain how water is important to cells (e.g., is a buffer for body temperature, provides soluble environment for chemical reactions, serves as a reactant in chemical reactions, provides hydration that maintains cell turgidity, maintains protein shape)

SCI.9-12.3.3.A.a: Science

Distinguish between asexual (i.e., binary fission, budding, cloning) and sexual reproduction

SCI.9-12.3.3.B.a: Science

Describe the chemical and structural properties of DNA (e.g., DNA is a large polymer formed from linked subunits of four kinds of nitrogen bases; genetic information is encoded in genes based on the sequence of subunits; each DNA molecule in a cell forms a single chromosome)

SCI.9-12.3.3.B.b: Science

Recognize that DNA codes for proteins, which are expressed as the heritable characteristics of an organism

SCI.9-12.3.3.B.c: Science

Recognize that degree of relatedness can be determined by comparing DNA sequences

SCI.9-12.3.3.B.d: Science

Explain how an error in the DNA molecule (mutation) can be transferred during replication

SCI.9-12.3.3.B.e: Science

Identify possible external causes (e.g., heat, radiation, certain chemicals) and effects of DNA mutations (e.g., altered proteins which may affect chemical reactions and structural development)

SCI.9-12.3.3.C.a: Science

Recognize the chromosomes of daughter cells, formed through the processes of asexual reproduction and mitosis, the formation of somatic (body) cells in multicellular organisms, are identical to the chromosomes of the parent cell

SCI.9-12.3.3.C.b: Science

Recognize that during meiosis, the formation of sex cells, chromosomes are reduced to half the number present in the parent cell

SCI.9-12.3.3.C.c: Science

Explain how fertilization restores the diploid number of chromosomes

SCI.9-12.3.3.C.d: Science

Identify the implications of human sex chromosomes for sex determination

SCI.9-12.3.3.D.a: Science

Describe the advantages and disadvantages of asexual and sexual reproduction with regard to variation within a population

SCI.9-12.3.3.D.b: Science

Describe how genes can be altered and combined to create genetic variation within a species (e.g., mutation, recombination of genes)

SCI.9-12.3.3.D.c: Science

Recognize that new heritable characteristics can only result from new combinations of existing genes or from mutations of genes in an organism's sex cells

SCI.9-12.3.3.E.a: Science

Explain how genotypes (heterozygous and homozygous) contribute to phenotypic variation within a species

SCI.9-12.3.3.E.b: Science

Predict the probability of the occurrence of specific traits, including sex-linked traits, in an offspring by using a monohybrid cross

SCI.9-12.3.3.E.c: Science

Explain how sex-linked traits may or may not result in the expression of a genetic disorder (e.g., hemophilia, muscular dystrophy, color blindness) depending on gender

SCI.9-12.4.1.A.a: Science

Explain the nature of interactions between organisms in predator/prey relationships and different symbiotic relationships (i.e., mutualism, commensalisms, parasitism)

SCI.9-12.4.1.A.b: Science

Explain how cooperative (e.g., symbiotic) and competitive (e.g., predator/prey) relationships help maintain balance within an ecosystem

SCI.9-12.4.1.A.c: Science

Explain why no two species can occupy the same niche in a community

SCI.9-12.4.1.B.a: Science

Identify and explain the limiting factors (biotic and abiotic) that may affect the carrying capacity of a population within an ecosystem

SCI.9-12.4.1.B.b: Science

Predict how populations within an ecosystem may change in number and/or structure in response to hypothesized changes in biotic and/or abiotic factors

SCI.9-12.4.1.C.a: Science

Devise a multi-step plan to restore the stability and/or biodiversity of an ecosystem when given a scenario describing the possible adverse effects of human interactions with that ecosystem (e.g., destruction caused by direct harvesting, pollution, atmospheric changes)

SCI.9-12.4.1.C.b: Science

Predict and explain how natural or human caused changes (biological, chemical and/or physical) in one ecosystem may affect other ecosystems due to natural mechanisms (e.g., global wind patterns, water cycle, ocean currents)

SCI.9-12.4.1.D.a: Science

Predict the impact (beneficial or harmful) a natural or human caused environmental event (e.g., forest fire, flood, volcanic eruption, avalanche, acid rain, global warming, pollution, deforestation, introduction of an exotic species) may have on the diversity of different species in an ecosystem

SCI.9-12.4.1.D.b: Science

Describe possible causes of extinction of a population

SCI.9-12.4.2.A.a: Science

Illustrate and describe the flow of energy within a food web

SCI.9-12.4.2.A.b: Science

Explain why there are generally more producers than consumers in an energy pyramid

SCI.9-12.4.2.A.c: Science

Predict how the use and flow of energy will be altered due to changes in a food web

SCI.9-12.4.2.B.a: Science

Explain the processes involved in the recycling of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon through an ecosystem

SCI.9-12.4.2.B.b: Science

Explain the importance of the recycling of nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon within an ecosystem

SCI.9-12.4.3.A.a: Science

Interpret fossil evidence to explain the relatedness of organisms using the principles of superposition and fossil correlation

SCI.9-12.4.3.A.b: Science

Evaluate the evidence that supports the theory of biological evolution (e.g., fossil records, similarities between DNA and protein structures, similarities between developmental stages of organisms, homologous and vestigial structures)

SCI.9-12.4.3.B.a: Science

Define a species in terms of the ability to mate and produce fertile offspring

SCI.9-12.4.3.B.b: Science

Explain the importance of reproduction to the survival of a species (i.e., the failure of a species to reproduce will lead to extinction of that species)

SCI.9-12.4.3.C.a: Science

Identify examples of adaptations that may have resulted from variations favored by natural selection (e.g., long-necked giraffes, long-eared jack rabbits) and describe how that variation may have provided populations an advantage for survival

SCI.9-12.4.3.C.b: Science

Explain how genetic homogeneity may cause a population to be more susceptible to extinction (e.g., succumbing to a disease for which there is no natural resistance)

SCI.9-12.4.3.C.c: Science

Explain how environmental factors (e.g., habitat loss, climate change, pollution, introduction of non-native species) can be agents of natural selection

SCI.9-12.4.3.C.d: Science

Given a scenario describing an environmental change, hypothesize why a given species was unable to survive

SCI.9-12.5.3.A.a: Science

Predict local and/or global effects of environmental changes when given a scenario describing how the composition of the geosphere, hydrosphere, or atmosphere is altered by natural phenomena or human activities

SCI.9-12.5.3.A.b: Science

Recognize how the geomorphology of Missouri (i.e., different types of Missouri soil and rock materials such as limestone, granite, clay, loam; land formations such as Karst (cave) formations, glaciated plains, river channels) affects the survival of organisms

SCI.9-12.6.1.B.a: Science

Explain how Earth's environmental characteristics and location in the universe (e.g., atmosphere, temperature, orbital path, magnetic field, mass-gravity, location in solar system) provide a life-supporting environment

SCI.9-12.7.1.A.a: Science

Formulate testable questions and hypotheses

SCI.9-12.7.1.A.b: Science

Analyzing an experiment, identify the components (i.e., independent variable, dependent variables, control of constants, multiple trials) and explain their importance to the design of a valid experiment

SCI.9-12.7.1.A.c: Science

Design and conduct a valid experiment

SCI.9-12.7.1.A.d: Science

Recognize it is not always possible, for practical or ethical reasons, to control some conditions (e.g., when sampling or testing humans, when observing animal behaviors in nature)

SCI.9-12.7.1.A.e: Science

Acknowledge some scientific explanations (e.g., explanations of astronomical or meteorological phenomena) cannot be tested using a controlled laboratory experiment, but instead by using a model, due to the limits of the laboratory environment, resources, and/or technologies

SCI.9-12.7.1.A.f: Science

Acknowledge there is no fixed procedure called "the scientific method", but that some investigations involve systematic observations, carefully collected and relevant evidence, logical reasoning, and some imagination in developing hypotheses and other explanations

SCI.9-12.7.1.A.g: Science

Evaluate the design of an experiment and make suggestions for reasonable improvements

SCI.9-12.7.1.B.a: Science

Make qualitative and quantitative observations using the appropriate senses, tools and equipment to gather data (e.g., microscopes, thermometers, analog and digital meters, computers, spring scales, balances, metric rulers, graduated cylinders)

SCI.9-12.7.1.B.b: Science

Measure length to the nearest millimeter, mass to the nearest gram, volume to the nearest milliliter, force (weight) to the nearest Newton, temperature to the nearest degree Celsius, time to the nearest second

SCI.9-12.7.1.B.c: Science

Determine the appropriate tools and techniques to collect, analyze, and interpret data

SCI.9-12.7.1.B.d: Science

Judge whether measurements and computation of quantities are reasonable

SCI.9-12.7.1.B.e: Science

Calculate the range, average/mean, percent, and ratios for sets of data

SCI.9-12.7.1.B.f: Science

Recognize observation is biased by the experiences and knowledge of the observer (e.g., strong beliefs about what should happen in particular circumstances can prevent the detection of other results)

SCI.9-12.7.1.C.a: Science

Use quantitative and qualitative data as support for reasonable explanations (conclusions)

SCI.9-12.7.1.C.b: Science

Analyze experimental data to determine patterns, relationships, perspectives, and credibility of explanations (e.g., predict/extrapolate data, explain the relationship between the independent and dependent variable)

SCI.9-12.7.1.C.c: Science

Identify the possible effects of errors in observations, measurements, and calculations, on the validity and reliability of data and resultant explanations (conclusions)

SCI.9-12.7.1.C.d: Science

Analyze whether evidence (data) and scientific principles support proposed explanations (laws/principles, theories/models)

SCI.9-12.7.1.D.a.1: Science

oral presentations

SCI.9-12.7.1.D.a.2: Science

drawings and maps

SCI.9-12.7.1.D.a.3: Science

data tables (allowing for the recording and analysis of data relevant to the experiment such as independent and dependent variables, multiple trials, beginning and ending times or temperatures, derived quantities)

SCI.9-12.7.1.D.a.4: Science

graphs (bar, single, and multiple line)

SCI.9-12.7.1.D.a.5: Science

equations and writings

SCI.9-12.7.1.D.b: Science

Communicate and defend a scientific argument

SCI.9-12.7.1.D.c: Science

Explain the importance of the public presentation of scientific work and supporting evidence to the scientific community (e.g., work and evidence must be critiqued, reviewed, and validated by peers; needed for subsequent investigations by peers; results can influence the decisions regarding future scientific work)

SCI.9-12.8.1.B.a: Science

Recognize the relationships linking technology and science (e.g., how technological problems may create a demand for new science knowledge, how new technologies make it possible for scientists to extend research and advance science)

SCI.9-12.8.2.A.a: Science

Recognize contributions to science are not limited to the work of one particular group, but are made by a diverse group of scientists representing various ethnic and gender groups

SCI.9-12.8.2.A.b: Science

Recognize gender and ethnicity of scientists often influence the questions asked and/or the methods used in scientific research and may limit or advance science knowledge and/or technology

SCI.9-12.8.2.B.a: Science

Identify and describe how explanations (laws/principles, theories/models) of scientific phenomena have changed over time as a result of new evidence (e.g., cell theory, theories of spontaneous generation and biogenesis, theories of extinction, evolution theory, structure of the cell membrane, genetic theory of inheritance)

SCI.9-12.8.2.B.b: Science

Identify and analyze current theories that are being questioned, and compare them to new theories that have emerged to challenge older ones (e.g., theories of evolution, extinction, global warming)

SCI.9-12.8.3.B.a: Science

Analyze the roles of science and society as they interact to determine the direction of scientific and technological progress (e.g., prioritization of and funding for new scientific research and technological development is determined on the basis of individual, political and social values and needs; understanding basic concepts and principles of science and technology influences debate about the economics, policies, politics, and ethics of various scientific and technological challenges)

SCI.9-12.8.3.B.b: Science

Identify and describe major scientific and technological challenges to society and their ramifications for public policy (e.g., global warming, limitations to fossil fuels, genetic engineering of plants, space and/or medical research)

SCI.9-12.8.3.B.c: Science

Analyze and evaluate the drawbacks (e.g., design constraints, unintended consequences, risks), benefits, and factors (i.e., social, political, economic, ethical, and environmental) affecting progress toward meeting major scientific and technological challenges (e.g., limitations placed on stem-cell research or genetic engineering, introduction of alien species, deforestation, bioterrorism, nuclear energy, genetic counseling, use of alternative energies for carbon fuels, use of pesticides)

SCI.9-12.8.3.C.a: Science

Identify and evaluate the need for informed consent in experimentation

SCI.9-12.8.3.C.b: Science

Identify the ethical issues involved in experimentation (i.e., risks to organisms or environment)

SCI.9-12.8.3.C.c: Science

Identify and evaluate the role of models as an ethical alternative to direct experimentation (e.g., using a model for a stream rather than pouring oil in an existing stream when studying the effects of oil pollution on aquatic plants)

SCI.9-12.8.3.D.a: Science

Evaluate a given source for its scientific credibility (e.g., articles in a new periodical quoting an "eye witness", a scientist speaking within or outside his/her area of expertise)

SCI.9-12.8.3.D.b: Science

Explain why accurate record-keeping, openness, and replication are essential for maintaining an investigator's credibility with other scientists and society
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Christine Mytko
June 26, 2009

I'll have to admit, I have struggled with incorporating as many hands-on activities into my earth science curriculum as I have in my life or physical science classes. This unit is excellent. I love the activities like "the Half-Life of Popcorn." All of these activities bring the abstract into the more tangible realm, while teaching good earth science. I can't wait to try these lessons in my classroom!

Christine Mytko
June 26, 2009

I'll have to admit, I have struggled with incorporating as many hands-on activities into my earth science curriculum as I have in my life or physical science classes. This unit is excellent. I love the activities like "the Half-Life of Popcorn." All of these activities bring the abstract into the more tangible realm, while teaching good earth science. I can't wait to try these lessons in my classroom!

Christine Mytko
June 26, 2009

I'll have to admit, I have struggled with incorporating as many hands-on activities into my earth science curriculum as I have in my life or physical science classes. This unit is excellent. I love the activities like "the Half-Life of Popcorn." All of these activities bring the abstract into the more tangible realm, while teaching good earth science. I can't wait to try these lessons in my classroom!

Christine Mytko
June 26, 2009

I'll have to admit, I have struggled with incorporating as many hands-on activities into my earth science curriculum as I have in my life or physical science classes. This unit is excellent. I love the activities like "the Half-Life of Popcorn." All of these activities bring the abstract into the more tangible realm, while teaching good earth science. I can't wait to try these lessons in my classroom!

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