Curriculum Overview Subject: Science Course: Earth Science - Understanding Environmental Change (201) Grade Level: 9




Essential Activities/Agreements


The earth is a system of interrelated biotic and abiotic spheres that are constantly interacting with each other and effecting changes within each other.


The Earth and its environments are dynamic entities that change over time.


Changes in earth systems are cyclical in nature, reflecting the laws of conservation of mass and energy.


Understanding present day processes is the key to understanding how changes have occurred in the past.


Human activity (or inactivity) can affect natural processes positively or negatively; and natural processes impact human activities in return.


1.        Introduction

2.        The Geological History of Earth

3.        Mechanics:  Agents of Physical Change

4.        The Sun and Solar Energy

5.        Energy Flow and Biotic Factors in the Environment

6.        The Fossil Record and Evidence for Evolution

7.        Mechanics:  Agents of Biotic Change

8.        Biomes

9.        Human Impact


Students will:


·         Follow laboratory safety rules

·         Use tools and lab equipment to measure correctly

·         Convert English/metric units

·         Plot and interpret graphs correctly

·         Collect data, make predictions, identify sources of error

·         Construct an accurate vertical geological timeline with an appropriate scale

·         Understand strategies used by scientists in examining change over time

·         Identify agents of physical change on Earth

·         Distinguish between renewable and non-renewable resources

·         Understand the cycling of nutrients

·         Recognize that interruption of key cycles will have consequences

·         Understand each component of the chemical equation for photosynthesis

·         Add to their timelines the appearance of consumers and producers

·         Analyze trophic levels and construct food webs

·         Predict the effects on a pyramid of losing the organisms at one trophic level

·         Understand energy flow through ecosystems

·         Examine evidence and interpret it

·         Distinguish between relative and absolute dating

·         Explain some knowledge of the past that can be gained from fossils

·         Recognize that relationships between organisms may be positive, neutral, or negative

·         Understand that certain adaptations have survival value


Common Laboratory Experiments:


·         Measurement lab

·         Sedimentation rate lab

·         Seasons lab

·         Convection lab


Other Essential Activities:


·         Topographic map exercise

·         Unit conversion worksheet

·         Geological timeline

·         Stratographic column activity

·         Rock cycle activity and timeline

·         Carbon cycle game

·         Solar energy budget activity

·         Construction of food web

·         food pyramids graphing activity

·         Fossil box examination

·         Gases in atmosphere graph and timelines

·         Dating and correlation of assemblages of fossils

·         Video worksheet on “Wild Survivors”

·         Biome map activity

·         Rainforest destruction essay

·         Final research project


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