Earth’s major systems are the geosphere (solid and molten rock, soil, and sediments), the hydrosphere (water and ice), the atmosphere (air), and the biosphere (living things, including humans). Within these systems, the location of Earth’s land and water can be described. Also, these systems interact in multiple ways. Weathering and erosion are examples of interactions between Earth’s systems. Some interactions cause landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions that impact humans and other organisms. Humans cannot eliminate natural hazards, but solutions can be designed to reduce their impact.
Standard(s) 5.1.1: Analyze and interpret data to describe patterns of Earth’s features. Emphasize most earthquakes and volcanoes occur in bands that are often along the boundaries between continents and oceans while major mountain chains may be found inside continents or near their edges. Examples of data could include maps showing locations of mountains on continents and the ocean floor or the locations of volcanoes and earthquakes. (ESS2.B)
Analyzing and Interpreting Data Analyzing data in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to introducing quantitative approaches to collecting data and conducting multiple trials of qualitative observations. When possible and feasible, digital tools should be used.
Analyze and interpret data to make sense of phenomena using logical reasoning.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions
The locations of mountain ranges, deep ocean trenches, ocean floor structures, earthquakes, and volcanoes occur in patterns. Most earthquakes and volcanoes occur in bands that are often along the boundaries between continents and oceans. Major mountain chains form inside continents or near their edges. Maps can help locate the different land and water features areas of Earth.
Cross Cutting Concepts
Patterns can be used as evidence to support an explanation.
To begin this storyline students will investigate the phenomenon, a volcano rapidly formed in a field in Paricutin. Students will obtain information about a volcano that grew in a field in Paricutin, Mexico over the course of 9 years, destroying the village.
Then students will obtain information about other North American examples of volcano and earthquake activity and mountain ranges to analyze patterns in the data. They will look at volcanoes in the area of Paricutin to understand and reason that the occurrence of that volcano was part of a pattern rather than a random act. From there, students will look at examples and nonexamples of volcanoes, earthquakes, and mountain ranges to further analyze and interpret data to find patterns of Earth’s features. Finally, when given a map with known volcano and/or earthquake occurrences, students identify which location is more likely to have the next occurrence and support their answer using the data from their investigations?
Storyline Narrative 7.2.1 b
Anchor Phenomena: Rocks are constantly changing
Students are introduced to one part of the rock cycle (matter cycling) as they observe the energy and the force of water as it breaks apart and weathers rocks. Students are engaged by investigating why a clay flowerpot left out over winter broke apart into pieces of sand and chunks of clay. Students discover that the freezing and thawing cycle is a very powerful weathering force that contributes to how rocks are constantly changing.
Students continue to explore the power of water in the rock cycle as they study the occurrence of a large amount of naturally occurring arches in southern Utah. Students discover that an old shallow ocean deposited salt and sand beds which overtime turned into sedimentary rock. As the area was uplifted, cracks broke through the sedimentary rock allowing water to seep through the Entrada layer until it pooled on top of the Carmel Layer. Students discover that the Carmel layer has a high clay content which doesn’t allow water to seep through unlike the sandy layer of the Entrada layer. Rainwater will pool on top of the Carmel layer thereby eroding the sedimentary rock in that area quicker by chemical and physical weathering. Time scale will be investigated as students work to comprehend the significant amount of time it took for these arches to form.
Students observe a set of unidentified rocks looking for patterns and formulating questions. Students use these questions to investigate the patterns they observed and explain the formation of certain characteristics and features. Students use their research to create a model of the rock cycle that explains where each unidentified rock they observed would have been formed.
To build real life experiences (elaborate) into the Rock Cycle, students study the North Salt Lake landslide of 2014. Students are introduced to a geotechnical engineer (one who uses knowledge of the Rock Cycle everyday) and how humans work to prevent damage to property from natural disasters such as landslides. Students work to understand the cause of the landslide and how knowledge of the Rock Cycle can prevent such disasters in the future.
Evaluation of student proficiency is determined by the assessment.
Freeze and thaw cycles can break down large objects such as flowerpots and rocks.
What else can water weather?
Students investigate what happened to cause the flowerpot to break apart into sand and pieces of clay.
What happened to the flowerpot?
How can water create an arch?
Students obtain information about the formation of the Colorado Plateau, fins, and layers of sandstone. Students develop and use models to show the causes and mechanisms for their formation, construct an explanation, and develop a model to show how fins are formed. The model should include the time frame for which the arches were made.
The colorado plateau is a raised portion of an old sea bed. The salty ocean floor was eventually covered by sediments as nearby landforms became weathered and eroded depositing their sediments onto the old ocean floor. Overtime the sediments formed sedimentary rock. Pressure from above pushed up the salt bed where cracks in the rock let water seep into this layer which was quickly dissolved leaving an open space or arch.
Why do rocks look different?
In what ways can rocks be classified?
Students observe several unidentified rocks, find patterns, and create questions.
Rocks have patterns that allow them to be classified
Why do rocks have the characteristics they have?
The difference between sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks including where they formed, melting, crystallization, deterioration, and energy needed to create the change.
In what ways is this information used?
Students use questions from episode 3 to research the formation of rocks and rock features. Students create a model (drawing) of the rock cycle and then identify each of their numbered rocks. The model should indicate where in the cycle each rock would be found.
Why do rocks have the appearances that they do?
How do engineers use this information about the rock cycle?
Students investigate careers that use their knowledge of the rock cycle on a daily basis.
Engineers must study bedrock and sediments to determine if land can be developed.