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?
What are Storylines?
At some point most teachers have heard the exasperated voice of a student as they ask, “Why are we doing this?” A typical response may be “Because it will be on the test” or, “You’ll need it in high school”. In many science classrooms the students move from activity to activity without any real connection and coherence between those activities. Although the teacher may see the bigger picture, students see a series of unconnected activities. This wandering without an explicit direction can lead to a disengagement when students fail to see the lack of relevancy of what they are doing in class.
Now, imagine someone walking into your classroom and asking a random student, “Why are you doing this?” Imagine they answer, “Because we’re trying to figure out why…” Storylines give relevance to each activity by setting it in a narrative that drives the understanding of a big idea. It moves lessons away from the traditional teaching method of moving from topic to topic, like a textbook does, instead moving the student through an inquiry-based narrative with a set outcome. Rather than just doing something that pertains to the topic, students are driven by answering questions and engaging with phenomena. Each episode adds to the student’s progress of deeper understanding. Coherency comes from the perspective of an inquiring student, engaged in a relevant learning experience.