For the InstructorThese student materials complement the Exploring Geoscience Methods Instructor Materials. If you would like your students to have access to the student materials, we suggest you either point them at the Student Version which omits the framing pages with information designed for faculty (and this box). Or you can download these pages in several formats that you can include in your course website or local Learning Managment System. Learn more about using, modifying, and sharing InTeGrate teaching materials.
Unit 3: Discovering Curricular Resources and Teaching Interdisciplinary Lessons that Incorporate the Methods of Geoscience
Introduction: The "Geoscientific Method"
As you learned in the first two units that you have completed in this module, drawing conclusions in the geosciences is somewhat different than in the traditional "experimental" sciences. This methodological difference is necessitated by the fact that the geosciences deal with questions about the Earth and other planets that are inherently complex and commonly of spatial and temporal scales that are difficult to comprehend. As a result, the "classic" scientific method—in which rigidly controlled experiments manipulate one variable at a time—cannot be applied readily.
To address the complexity of Earth and other planets, and to deal with issues of scale and time, geoscientists have developed methods to guide their investigations and test their hypotheses. These methods of geoscience (Kastens and Rivet, 2008 ) include
- laboratory experiments
- observation of change over time
- using modern analogs (comparison of ancient features—products of processes—with modern features for which the process of formation is observable)
- observations of variation across space
- use of physical models
- use of computer models
The following are additional methods described by Manduca and Kastens (2012) (Acrobat (PDF) 118kB May22 13)
- use of multiple, converging lines of evidence
- testing hypotheses through prediction and additional observation
- systems thinking
Owing to the temporal dimension of geoscience phenomena, time plays a greater role in geoscience than in other disciplines. It may help you to think of the geoscientific method as forensic science on a grand scale. Geoscientists reconstruct events and processes from the physical evidence of those events and processes (Ebert 2012; Murray 2004).By the end of this unit, you will be able to:
- Navigate the structure and content of your state's curriculum for Earth sciences, the Earth Science Literacy Principles, or the Earth and Space Science section of the Next Generation Sciences Standards (NGSS).
- Locate curricular resources for teaching geoscience concepts.
- Evaluate curricular resources for geoscience content and geoscience thinking.
- Prepare an interdisciplinary lesson plan that links geoscience thinking and content with subject matter from one or more allied sciences or social sciences to address the societal impacts of Earth processes.
Unit 3, Activity 1
You are to identify at least three instructional resources that address geoscience concepts in each of the areas of geology, meteorology/climatology, oceanography and astronomy (minimum total of twelve resources). At least one resource in each topic area should be from the SERC site. Once these resources have been identified, you are to prepare an annotated bibliography for these resources. For each resource, you must include the following: title and URL or other citation as appropriate, a detailed description of the resource that includes the specific geoscience content addressed and which methods of geoscience students will use in completing the tasks described in the resource, the intended grade level, and a list of materials that are necessary for students to complete each investigation.
Unit 3, Activity 2
Select one of the instructional resources that you have identified and verify that the activity addresses at least one of the big ideas or supporting concepts from either your state's curriculum for Earth science or from the Earth Science Literacy Principles (ESLI 2010) or the Next Generation Science Standards. Once you are certain that the resource addresses content, concepts or skills that you will be expected to teach, prepare a lesson plan, which will 1) address geoscience content, 2) give students practice in utilizing one or more methods of geoscience, and 3) address a societal issue. The lesson may be specifically targeted to geoscience, or it may be interdisciplinary including aspects of either biology, chemistry, or physics. Consider the linking of these disciplines as an example of "systems thinking." Your lesson plan should include student handouts or instructions.
Your lesson plan should follow a standard format such as the 5E (BSCS 1989) or 7E (Eisenkraft 2003) models or any other format recommended by your methods professor. The following are essential components of your lesson plan:
- A title or name/description of the lesson.
- A statement of the Standard, Key Idea and Specific Understanding from your state's curriculum or the Big Idea(s) and Supporting Concept(s) from the Earth Science Literacy Principles or the Next Generation Science Standards and at least one big idea or supporting concept from an allied science that will be addressed.
- A complete reference for the original source or inspiration for the lesson.
- An outline of the lesson (Note: Standard types of lesson plans (e.g., 5E or 7E) are preferred).
- A description of which methods of geoscience the students will use in completing the lesson.
- An explicit statement of how the lesson utilizes the methods of geoscience.
- An explicit statement of how the lesson addresses a societal issue and/or is interdisciplinary.
- A list of what level or levels or Bloom's Taxonomy is/are accessed.
- A description of how student understanding will be assessed (e.g., rubric) (How will you know that the students learned what you wanted them to learn?).
- A handout or instructions that the students will receive.
- If specific questions are asked in the student handout, a list of appropriate answers must be included in the lesson plan.
- A list of equipment/materials that are needed for the lesson, including quantities of each.
- An estimate of the preparation time required for the lesson (including gathering of materials).
- A discussion of safety issues (if any) which must be considered when students are engaged in the activity.
What you will submit
1) Annotated bibliography with a minimum of 12 instructional resources. This assignment will be evaluated by the Rubric for Unit 3 Activity 1: Annotated Bibliography of Instructional Resources (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 119kB Aug27 14)
2) A complete lesson plan and student handout for an interdisciplinary lesson built upon one of the resources that you listed in your annotated bibliography. This assignment will be evaluated by the Rubric for Unit 3 Activity 2: Lesson Plan and Student Handout (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 22kB Sep15 14)
To ensure that your assignments are complete, please evaluate your annotated bibliography and lesson plan with student handout with the appropriate rubric before you submit them to your instructor.
Unit 3, Activity 3: Concluding the Module
Interdisciplinary lessons that include geoscientific thinking and content are rich venues for exploring societal issues. When your lesson plans are returned, the class will engage in a discussion of examples of how your lesson and those of your classmates can be linked to societal issues. Lessons that address important societal issues can provide powerful means for engaging your students in the subject matter. Examples of such critical needs are provided by the American Geosciences Institute.
A multitude of data-driven geoscience investigations are available for use in teaching geoscientific concepts. These provide excellent experience with using various methods of geoscience. Many of these are available through the web and some are accompanied by supplementary materials to help you in implementing investigations in your class. The following is a list of selected resources that may be of use to you in this module and in your career as a science teacher.
SERC – Science Education Research Center SERC K-12 Science portal SERC Starting Point Listservs for science teachers (especially ESPRIT and 5-8 Science) Websites of Earth Science Teachers Resources for GeoScience Education DLESE – Digital Library of Earth System Education CLEAN -- Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network NAGT – National Association of Geoscience Teachers (Including the Journal of Geoscience Education) NESTA – National Earth Science Teachers Association (Including the journal The Earth Scientist) GSA – Geological Society of America GSA Education and Teacher Resources AGU - American Geophysical Union Teachers page NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration USGS – United States Geological Survey Earth2Class – Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory The Weather Channel NSTA – National Science Teachers Association (especially the journal: The Science Teacher and the NSTA book series: "Stop Faking It") American Meteorological Society Earth Science Picture of the Day Astronomy Picture of the Day
BSCS and IBM. 1989. New Designs for Elementary School Science and Health: a Cooperative Project between Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) and International Business Machines (IBM), Dubuque, IA, Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company ISBN 13: 9780840353399; ISBN 10: 0840353391 (Describes 5E Lesson Planning)
Earth Science Literacy Initiative. 2010. Earth Science Literacy Principles (Geoscience content for all)
Ebert, J.R. 2012. "Lithic Literacy and the 'Forensic' Methods of Geoscience"
Eisenkraft, A.. 2003. "Expanding the 5E Model," The Science Teacher, v. 70, n. 6, 56–59. (Also available from NSTA) (Describes 7E lesson Planning)
Kastens, K.A. and A. Rivet. "Multiple Modes of Inquiry in Earth Science," The Science Teacher, January 2008, 26–31.
Manduca, C.A. and K.A. Kastens. 2012. Geoscience and Geoscientists: Uniquely Equipped to Study the Earth (Acrobat (PDF) 118kB May22 13), Geologic Society of America Special Paper 486, 1–12.
Murray, R. C. 2004. Evidence from the Earth, Mountain Press, Missoula, MT, 226p. (An introduction to forensic geology)