Science
Strand V
Use Scientific Knowledge from the Earth and Space Sciences in Real-World Contexts

 

Science/Strand V
Content Standard 1
All students will describe the Earth’s surface; describe and explain how the Earth’s features change over time; and analyze effects of technology on the Earth’s surface and resources. (Geosphere)

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1
Middle School

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Middle School
Benchmark 5
Explain how technology changes the surface of the Earth.

Benchmark Clarification

Human activities such as mining, logging, farming, and building houses, malls, and highways have changed the surface of the Earth.

Students will:

  • Investigate how humans have caused positive and negative changes to the surface of the Earth

Key Concept / Real World Context / Instructional Example / Assessment Example / Resources

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 5
Key Concept
Types of human activities:

  • surface mining
  • construction and urban development
  • farming
  • dams
  • landfills
  • restoring natural areas

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 5
Real World Context

  • local example of surface changes due to human activities listed in the Key Concepts
  • local examples of negative consequences of these changes:
    • groundwater pollution
    • destruction of habitat and scenic land
    • reduction of arable land
    • soil erosion
    • flooding due to the increase in impermeable surfaces
  • Local examples of positive consequences:
    • soil conservation
    • reforestation
      • restoring habitats: forests, wetlands, prairies

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 5
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: How has technology changed the surface of the Earth?

Focus Question: What is the effect of interactions between humans and technology in your local area?

Through student discussion groups, field trips, and inquiry-based activities, students will observe the positive and negative effects associated with a technological society. Students will collect data through the use of observations and measurements on a variety of environmental effects linked to humans’ use of automobiles, industry, agriculture, construction, sewage disposal, and manufacturing. Students will then use concept maps to visually connect these relationships.

Students will develop real-world connections by producing a plan for their local community that will address one of the above issues and communicating that plan to an appropriate agency or government body. Students could also use this information to write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.MS.1), (SCI.I.1.MS.3), (SCI.I.1.MS.5), (SCI.I.1.MS.6).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.MS.1), (SCI.II.1.MS.3), (SCI.II.1.MS.4), (SCI.II.1.MS.5).

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 5
Assessment Example

Each student will create a concept map that connects the relationships of positive and negative effects associated with a technological society and will develop a written plan that identifies and explains one of the identified issues. Each student will show cause and effect relationships with arrows on the concept map to support his or her claims. Each student will write a letter to the editor and propose solutions that offset the negative effects of this technology.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Correctness of concept map

Selects one technological issue and connects two positive cause and effect relationships and one negative cause and effect relationship.

Selects one technological issue and connects three positive cause and effect relationships and two negative cause and effect relationships.

Selects one technological issue and connects four positive cause and effect relationships and three negative cause and effect relationships.

Selects one technological issue and connects five or more positive cause and effect relationships and four or more negative cause and effect relationships.

Completeness of explanation

Attempts to identify human consequences and shows cause and effect relationships.

Identifies and explains human consequences of identified issues, shows two cause and effect relationships, and attempts to support claims.

Identifies and explains human consequences of identified issues, shows three cause and effect relationships, supports claims, and attempts to propose solutions for change.

Identifies and explains human consequences of identified issues, shows cause and effect relationships (using concept map), supports claims, and proposes solutions or changes.

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 5
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.V.1.MS.5.html

Land and People: Finding a Balance–for reference and the brighter student: “This teaching packet for high school challenges students to examine current environmental issues in three different regions and helps them prepare to find a balance between humans and the environment in the future. It contains a teaching guide, a colorful poster, and separate activities. The student materials include a reading about each region, a focus question that leads to role-playing activities, and scientific data about the region. 97-0350”
http://www.usgs.gov/education/learnweb/LandPeople/

Guide to Environmental Issues: “The Guide offers basic information on numerous environmental topics. Frequently asked questions are answered in plain English, and an extensive glossary gives nonbureaucratic definitions for more than 200 environmental terms. The Guide includes synopses of federal environmental laws and six pages of telephone numbers and Hotlines.”
http://www.epa.gov/students/guide_to_environmental_issues.htm

Terms of Environment “defines hundreds of terms in non-technical language the more commonly used environmental terms appearing in EPA publications, news releases, and other Agency documents available to the general public, students, the media, and Agency employees.
http://www.epa.gov/students/terms_of_environment.htm

U.S. EPA Student Center: designed for the K-12 audience, a complete guide to environmental issues relating to air, water, and land.
http://www.epa.gov/students/text.htm

River Cutters. GEMS.
http://www.lhs.berkeley.edu/GEMS/

Wright, Russell. Gold Rush! Rocks & Minerals Module. NSTA, 1996.

Wright, Russell. Oil Spill! Oceanography Module. NSTA, 1995.