Middle School, P.K. Yonge Development Research School
|6th-8th grade||Two 90-minute class periods|
How is the Earth Constantly Changing?
- Examine the present Earth.
- Explore the phenomena that led to continental drift theory.
- Create a model of Pangaea.
Using a random name picker (Classtools.net), students are grouped 3-4 per table to complete the lesson activities.
In this lesson, students will examine evidence that scientist used to understand what happened on Earth in the past. Using the knowledge gained, students will expand their focus of the various phenomenon believed to have resulted in the separation of the continents.
Day 1: Evaluate
Formative assessment: Pre and post check for understanding of learning goals.
Day 2: Evaluate
Summative assessment: Students will be given puzzle pieces (option for 3D printed model) to model Pangaea using the fossil evidence along the boarders of the continents. They will support their claims based off of evidence gathered from the six scenarios and provide reasoning connecting both their claim and evidence pieces together.
ANCHORING EVENT & PROCEDURE
Elicit Prior Knowledge
Option 1: Write sentences, draw, or use a graphic organizer to share what you know about present Earth, continental drift, and Pangaea.
Option 2: Predict which model represents present Earth and Pangaea and explain your reasoning.
Model 1: Pangea
Model 2: Modern Earth
Activity Procedure (teacher):
- Start activity with the following question for class discussion: How might the way Earth is now help us understand what it was like in the past?
- Divide the class into at least six groups.
- Each group will be assigned a different phenomenon from the article to explore and become experts to present to their classmates (20-30 minutes).
- After all groups have presented, students should record information in their data table.
- You will then lead a discussion of the big picture using question 5 of the student making sense section below.
Continental Drift – National Geographic
Activity Procedure (student):
- Your teacher will give you an article about Wegener’s phenomenon.
- Each group will be assigned one phenomena to examine carefully (see above). Your group will become experts of your phenomena. Each of you will need to read the article before discussing. You can also do additional research on your own from a credible website.
- What phenomenon is your group examining?
- Your group will share a 4-5 minutes explanation of your phenomenon.
Making Sense Questions:
- What does your phenomenon show?
- List three main ideas from your information.
- How might scientist use this phenomenon as evidence to understand the earth?
- Is this information by itself enough to understand the earth’s past? Explain.
- When you consider all six types of phenomena, which piece of information seems most convincing to support the theory of continental drift.
NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS)
Connection to Lesson
|Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions. (MS-ESS2-3)|
Science & Engineering Practices
Connection to Lesson
|Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis.
• Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena. (MS-ESS2-3)Connections to Nature of Science
Scientific Knowledge Is Open to Revision in Light of New Evidence
• Science findings are frequently revised and/or reinterpreted based on new evidence. (MS-ESS2-3)
|Students use design models to develop a claim from scientific findings.|
Disciplinary Core Ideas
Connection to Lesson
|ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth
• Tectonic processes continually generate new ocean sea floor at ridges and destroy old sea floor at trenches. (secondary to MS-ESS2-3)
ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions
• Maps of ancient land and water patterns, based on investigations of rocks and fossils, make clear how Earth’s plates have moved great distances, collided, and spread apart. (MS-ESS2-3)
|Students analyze design possibilities of existing phenomena.|
Connection to Lesson
|Insert Crosscutting conceptsPatterns
• Patterns in rates of change and other numerical relationships can provide information about natural systems. (MS-ESS2-3)
|Students identify similarities and differences of the design images and models.|
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS (CCSS)
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set.
Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities.
CCSS.Math.Practice.MP2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
ISTE Standards for Students
Creativity and Innovation
- Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
- Identify trends and forecast possibilities.
ISTE Standards for Teachers
Model digital age work and learning
- Demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations b. Collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources
Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.
RESOURCES & MATERIALS
- IQWST Curriculum- Earth Science
- American Museum of Natural History-Pangaea Puzzle handout
- 3D scans or prints of present Earth and Pangaea
Suggested 3D Prints
Link to Database
|Pangaea or Pangea||Pangaea or Pangea||www.thingiverse.com/thing:1360459|
|Present Earth (flat)||Present Earth (flat)||www.thingiverse.com/thing:2565357|
|Present Earth (round)||Present Earth (round)||www.thingiverse.com/thing:2565357|
Thingiverse is very user friendly. Even though there many models that are not scientific or have been scanned from an actual specimen, the ease of printing makes it worthwhile to explore.
KEY ACADEMIC AND/OR SCIENTIFIC LANGUAGE
Paleontology: the branch of science concerned with fossil plant and animals.
Fossils: the remains or impression of a prehistoric organism preserved in petrified form or as a mold or cast in rock.
STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
Pangea or Pangaea: supercontinent that included all current land masses
Continental Drift Theory: theory of the gradual movement of continents across the Earth’s surface through geological time