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Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience > Using an Earth System Approach > EEC 340: Research-Science Elementary Teaching
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EEC 340: Research-Science Elementary Teaching

Semester Schedule of Class Meetings and Assignments
EEC 340: Research- Science Elementary Teaching (Earth System Science)

Topic 1 (Aug 27) Earth system science and science as inquiry

(complete all assignments by 6/10)

Earth system science is a new realm of scientific inquiry that studies the connections and interactions between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and space. This exciting approach integrating the Earth and space sciences in both teaching and research has been compared to the revolution in thinking stimulated by the acceptance of the theory of plate tectonics some 30 years ago.

Classroom Activity: KWL exercise, systems and cycles

1. Homework: How well did you do?
Go to: www.cotf.edu/ete (more info) , look at the information associated with the volcano module
Write: 1) Discuss how complete the work of your group was, compared to what you learned by exploring the volcano module, 2) what you learned from this assignment (ca. 1 page, bring to next class)
2. Reading and Research for topic 1:

Exploring the concept of the Earth system

What is Earth system science? http://essedesignguide.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=124&Itemid=192
Overview of Earth system science: http://www.ucar.edu/learn/ (more info)

Looking at the Earth system through familiar cycles of matter:

Carbon cycle: http://www.gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/vol4no1/carbcycle.html; http://www.ucar.edu/learn/1_4_2_15t.htm (more info)
Water use, the hydrological cycle, and sustainable practices: http://www.gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/vol4no1/carbcycle.html
water cycle: http://www-k12.atmos.washington.edu/k12/pilot/water_cycle/index.html (more info)
rock cycle: http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/msese/earthsysflr/rock.html (more info)

3. MN Science Benchmarks related to this topic:
K-4:

5-8:

Topic 2 (Sept 3) Weather

(complete all assignments below by Sept 10)

Weather is highlighted as a subject for elementary and middle school MN Earth system education. The national educational program, GLOBE, provides resources sufficient for teachers to become expert in the use of environmental monitoring protocols and assist their students in the collection of real data for classroom analysis. Students get the opportunity to enter data into a worldwide data bank, and students around the world can extend their analysis by working with students in other countries. In this lab session, you will become certified as a GLOBE teacher in basic atmospheric protocols. Your certification enables you to establish your school as a GLOBE school. Be sure to put this on your resume!

Class Activities: GLOBE Cloud Protocols; GLOBE Atmosphere protocols (Haskell; NASA: Cloud Formation

1. Reading and Research:
GLOBE program: http://www.globe.gov (more info)
GLOBE cloud protocols: http://www.globe.gov/sda/tg/clouds.pdf (more info)
Predicting weather: http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/weathernot/weathernot.html (more info)
GLOBE teachers guide: http://users.libero.it/jmbalzan/majorana/globeita/introduction.pdf
2. MN Science Benchmarks related to this topic:
K-4:
5-8:

Topic 3 (September 10) Rocks and Minerals

(Complete all assignments by Sept. 10)

What teacher hasn't had a student come up to them and ask them what kind of rock it is? In this unit you will become familiar with some of the protocols used to distinguish between minerals, and will have a chance to learn the most common rocks in Minnesota and where they are found. And next time a child asks you to identify a rock, and you are not sure what it is, you can say with authority-"Why, I'm not sure what it is exactly, but I'm pretty sure it's a silicate."

Class Activities: Introduction to Minnesota Geology, internet exercise Field trip: MN Geological Survey

1. Reading and Research:
Home lab activity: http://edonline.ua.edu/lccee304avc/ ( This site may be offline. )
2. MN Science Benchmarks related to topic:
K-4:
5-8:

Topic 4 --Rocks and Mineral Laboratory (Sept. 17)

(complete all assignments by Sept 17)

Class Activities:

1. Reading and Research:
http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/msese/earthsysflr/rock.html (more info)
Rocks and minerals: http://www.mineralogy4kids.org/groups.html
Rocks and minerals: http://www.minsocam.org/msa/collectors_corner/id/rock_key.htm
Formation of some common rocks: http://www.moorlandschool.co.uk/earth/rockcycle.htm (more info)

Topic 5 (Sept 24) External Processes on the Earth Surface

(complete all assignments by Sept 24)

In this unit you will gain familiarity with the terrain in Minnesota, and learn to recognize it in the field as well as on a topographic map.

Class Activities: Echo the Bat; Lab: Topographic Maps

1. Reading and Research:
Karst: http://www.nckri.org/
Glacial landscapes: http://www.uwsp.edu/geo/faculty/lemke/alpine_glacial_glossary/glossary.html#erosionallandforms
2. MN Science Benchmarks related to topic:
K-4:
5-8:
  • Describe how humans prepare for and react to rapid Earth Processes such as floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanoes
  • Explain how waves, wind, water and ice shape and reshape the Earth's surface
  • Describe how humans prepare for and respond to erosion

Topic 6 (Oct 1) Plate Tectonics

(Complete all assignments by Oct 1)

Classroom activities: AGI exercise, Lab: Pangaea Model, Demo: magnetic Earth core, MIDTERM 1, Homemade Magnetometer, Movie: Restless Earth

1. Preparation for midterm: Metzger- An Explorer's Guide to the Earth System, Module 1 (Introduction to the Earth system, Part II

2. Use Metzger-An Explorer's Guide to the Earth System- Module 2, Geosphere Parts I-III) as a study guide as you visit the reading and research sites. (Spend no more than 2 hours doing this assignment)

3. Reading and Research:
Plate tectonics: http://csmres.jmu.edu/geollab/Fichter/Wilson/Wilson.html (more info)
Read about history and mechanisms of plate tectonics: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/geology/tectonics.html (more info) ; http://atlas.geo.cornell.edu/education/student/tectonics/continental_drift.html (more info)
4. MN Science Benchmarks related to topic:
K-4:
5-8:
  • Understand the concept of plate tectonics including the organization of the Earth into plates and the processes that move them
  • Explain how earthquakes, volcanoes, seafloor spreading and mountain building are a result of the movement of crustal plates

Topic 7 (Oct 8) Earthquakes and Volcanoes

(complete all assignments by Oct 8)

Classroom Activity: P and S waves, slinkies and ropes

1. Reading and Research:
Earthquakes: http://atlas.geo.cornell.edu/eqhazard/eq_hazard.ppt (powerpoint)
Earthquakes: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Study/Earthquake/ (more info)
How volcanoes work: http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/index.html (more info)
2. MN Science Benchmarks related to topic:
K-4:
5-8:
  • Describe how humans prepare for and react to rapid Earth processes such as floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanoes

Topic 8 (Oct 15) Soils

(complete all assignments by Oct 15)

Classroom Activity: GLOBE soils lab; Soil Moisture Sampling Campaign

1. Preparation for Class: go to www.hwr.arizona.edu/globe/sci/SM/SMC/

2. Reading and Research:
Minnesota's soil: ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/NSSC/StateSoil_Profiles/mn_soil.pdf
3. MN Science Benchmarks related to topic:

Topic 9 (Oct 22) Geologic History

(complete all assignments by Oct 22)

Classroom Activities: NASA K/T Boundary Lab, Geologic time movie, NOVA visualization, seriation

1. Class Preparation: Use Robinson, G. The Earth Has a History as a guide to understanding the reading and research.

2. Reading and Research:
Greenhouse Lessons from the Geologic Record: http://www.gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/winter96/geoclimate.html
climate history: http://www.scotese.com/climate.htm (more info)
3. MN Science Benchmarks related to topic:
K-4:
5-8:
  • Explain how landforms are crated through forces such as folding faulting, volcanic eruptions, deposition of sediment, and weathering and erosion
  • Explain how features on the Earth's surface are constantly changing through a combination of slow and rapid processes such as weathering, erosion, deposition, landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes
  • Interpret successive layers of sedimentary rock and their fossils to document the age and history of the Earth
  • Know how constructive and destructive Earth processes can affect the recorded evidence of Earth history

Topic 10 (Oct 29) Oceans

(complete all assignments by Oct 29)

Class Activities: Coral Reef (IMAX); MIDTERM

1. Preparation for class: Use Metzger-An Explorer's Guide to the Earth System- Module 3 (Hydrosphere- Parts 1-3) as a study guide as you visit the reading and research sites. (Spend no more than 2 hours doing this assignment)

2. Reading and Research:
Oceans and Seas: http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/Water/ocean.html&edu=high
Ocean Surface Topography from Space: http://topex-www.jpl.nasa.gov/science/science.html (more info)
3. MN Science Portfolio Benchmarks Addressed in this unit:
K-4:
  • Describe the distribution of water on Earth
5-8:
  • Know that wind, ocean currents, and layers of the atmosphere are produced by the gravitational forces and unequal heating of the Earth
  • Demonstrate how the rotation of the Earth affects winds and ocean currents

Topic 11 (Nov 5) Atmosphere

(complete all assignments by Nov 5)

Classroom activities: NASA: light and color, NASA: cloud cover and albedo, NASA: coriolis

1. Use Metzger-An Explorer's Guide to the Earth System- Module 4 (Atmosphere- Parts I- III 1-3) as a study guide as you visit the reading and research sites. (Spend no more than 2 hours doing this assignment)

2. Reading and Research:
The Ideal Atmosphere: http://www.chem.uci.edu/undergrad/applets/canonical/canonical.htm
Introduction to the Atmosphere: http://www.ucar.edu/learn/1_1_1.htm (more info)
3. MN Science Portfolio benchmarks related to this unit:
K-4:
5-8:
  • understand how radiation, conduction and convection of energy in and out of the atmosphere affect weather and climate
  • identify the composition and structure of the atmosphere
  • recognize that air masses circulate in the atmosphere
  • describe the temperature and pressure variations that exist in the layers of the atmosphere
  • explain how the processes of evaporation, condensation and precipitation affect weather patterns

Topic 12 (Nov 12) Solar system, galaxies, and the Universe

(complete all assignments by Nov 12)

Classroom Activities: NOVA Animations, NASA: planetary comparisons lab, NASA: seasons: earth in space

1. Use Metzger-An Explorer's Guide to the Earth System- Module 5, Cosmosphere Parts I-III) as a study guide as you visit the reading and research sites. (Spend no more than 2 hours doing this assignment)

2. Reading and Research:
NASA's Origins Program: http://origins.jpl.nasa.gov (more info)
The Sun and Climate: http://www.gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/winter96/sunclimate.html
3. MN Science Benchmarks related to this unit:
K-4: 5-8:

Topic 13 (Nov 19) Greenhouse Warming and Global Change

(complete all assignments by Nov 19)

Class activity: movie, review

1. Use Metzger-An Explorer's Guide to the Earth System- Module 4, Atmosphere Parts III3b) as a study guide as you visit the reading and research sites. (Spend no more than 2 hours doing this assignment)

2. Reading and Research:
The Greenhouse Effect: http://www.ucar.edu/learn/1_3_1.htm (more info)
Global Climate Change: http://www.ucar.edu/learn/1_4_1.htm (more info)
The Carbon Economy: http://www.gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/vol4no1/carbonecon.html
3. MN Science Benchmarks related to this unit:
K-4:
5-8:
  • know changes in the composition of the atmosphere, ocean temperature, and geologic events can impact the Earth's climate




Other important dates!

Nov 26- No class (Thanksgiving Wednesday)
Dec 3- Final Examination, during class

Portfolio Creation:

Go to http://ia.usu.edu. Click on "use". Create a free account-be sure to write down your password. Then you will be ready to develop your portfolio!
Note: Develop everything in Word and cut and paste-so you don't lose your work!

Remember!!

For every topic (Topics 1-13) Develop a KWL chart-1-2 pages per topic.
Prior to class:
  • Prior knowledge paragraph - what I know, remember, am excited about, want to learn
  • Questions and ideas that developed through doing the internet reading and research
  • After Class:
  • Debrief - what you have learned, what you still want to know, do you feel prepared to teach to MN standards and benchmarks for this topic
These will be collected as part of the midterm and final grades and are due on those dates.