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Standards for the lesson plan
Earth and Space Science: Exploring Earthquakes

Unifying Concepts and Processes:
  • System, order, and organization
    • The natural world is complex.
    • A system is an organized group of related objects or components that form a whole.
    • An assumption of order establishes the basis for cause-effect relationships and predictability.
  • Evidence, models, and explanation
    • Evidence consists of observations and data on which to base scientific explanations.
    • Models are tentative schemes or structures that correspond to real objects, events, or classes of events, and that have explanatory power.
    • Scientific explanations incorporate existing scientific knowledge and new evidence from observations, experiments, or models into internally consistent, logical statements.
  • Change, constancy, and measurement
    • Interaction within and among systems result in change.
    • Changes vary in rate, scale, and pattern, including trends and cycles.
    • Different systems of measurement are used for different purposes.
  • Evolution and equilibrium
    • Equilibrium is a physical state in which forces and changes occur in opposite and off-setting directions.
    • Interacting units of matter tend toward equilibrium states in which the energy is distributed as randomly and uniformly as possible.
Science Inquiry:
  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
    • Ask a question about objects, organisms, and events in the environment.
    • Use data to construct a reasonable explanation.
    • Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence.
    • Communicate investigations and explanations.
    • Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
  • Understandings about scientific inquiry
    • Asking and answering a question and comparing the answer to what scientists already know about the world.
    • Developing explanations using observations.
Earth Science:
  • Properties or earth materials (K-4)
    • Earth materials are solid rocks and soils, water, and the gases of the atmosphere.
  • Changes in earth and sky (K-4)
    • The surface of the earth changes. Some changes are due to slow processes, such as erosion and weathering, and some changes are due to rapid processes, such as landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.
  • Structure of earth systems (5-8)
    • The solid earth is layered with a lithosphere; hot, convecting mantle; and dense, metallic core.
    • Lithospheric plates on the scales of continents and oceans constantly move at rates of centimeters per year in response to movements in the mantle. Major geological events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from these plate motions.
    • Land forms are the result of a combination of constructive and destructive forces.
  • Earth's History (5-8)
    • The earth processes we see today, including erosion, movement of lithospheric plates, and changes in atmospheric composition, are similar to those the occurred in the past.
  • Earth in the solar system (5-8)
    • The earth is the third planet from the sun in a system that includes the moon, the sun, eight other planets and their moons, and smaller objects, such as asteroids and comets.
    • Most objects in the solar system are in regular and predictable motion, which explains phenomena such as days, years, phases of the moon, and eclipses.
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives:
  • Natural hazards (5-8)
    • Internal and external processes of the earth system cause natural hazards, events that change or destroy human and wildlife habitats, damage property, and harm or kill humans.
    • Natural hazards can present personal and societal challenges
  • Risks and benefits (5-8)
    • Students should understand the risks associated with natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes and volcanoes).
  • Science and technology in society
    • Scientists and engineers work in many different settings.
    • Science cannot answer all questions and technology cannot solve all human problems or meet all human needs.
These standards are from the National Science Education Standards National Research Council. National Science Education Standards. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1996. http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/