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 4
Explain how rocks and fossils are used to understand the age and geological history of the Earth.

Benchmark Clarification

Fossil records are used to describe the ever-changing nature of the Earth’s surface.

Students will:

  • Explain how these rocks and fossils can be used to determine and date the age of a specific rock layer

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

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Key Concept

  • fossils
  • extinct plants and animals
  • ages of fossils
  • rock layers
  • timelines
  • relative dating

See Ancient life (SCI.III.4.E.1).

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Real World Context
Fossils found in:

  • gravel
  • mines and quarries
  • rocks on beaches (Petoskey stones)
  • museum displays
  • Michigan examples of layered rocks
  • specific examples of extinct plants and animals such as dinosaurs

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: How do the Earth’s features change over time?

Focus Question: How is rock layering used to explain the age or geologic history of the Earth?

Students will discuss timelines:

  • What are they?
  • Who uses them?
  • How could they be useful in the study of the Earth? The teacher will display and explain a geologic timeline.

Students will:

  • use a variety of maps, rocks, fossils, and visual aids/media to collect data on rock layers.
  • use this information to classify various fossil types found within specific rock layers.
  • interpret data and place their fossils in the appropriate geological time period.

Once this process is complete, students will apply the information to a new fossil and correctly place the new fossil in the correct geological time period.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.MS.1), (SCI.I.1.MS.2), (SCI.I.1.MS.3), (SCI.I.1.MS.4), (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.5), (SCI.II.1.MS.6).

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Assessment Example

Pairs of students will compose a newspaper article on a animal fossil and include the following information: the climate in which it lived, how the organism moved, what it ate, and what it looked like. Based on their understanding of that information, small groups of students will create a travel brochure showing what life was like during that time period and why people would want to visit that time period. The brochure should include information about their fossils, illustrations of their fossils, and details about the geological time period.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Completeness of fossil article

Writes an article that incorporates one of the required components.

Writes an article that incorporates any two required components.

Writes an article that incorporates any three of the required components.

Writes an article that incorporates all of the required components.

Completeness of geological period brochure

Designs a brochure that is complete on all sides.

Designs a brochure that is complete on all sides and partially labeled.

Designs a brochure that is complete on all sides, is labeled, and is neatly done.

Designs a brochure that is complete on all sides, is accurately labeled, shows creativity, and is neatly done.

Accuracy of illustrations

Attempts to illustrate a fossil but it is unidentifiable.

Illustrates a fossil that resembles the specimen and is labeled.

Neatly illustrates and labels a fossil and other objects of the environment.

Illustrates a fossil and many aspects of the environment neatly and with labels and details.

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.V.1.MS.4.html

Fossils, Rocks, and Time–This 24-page free booklet explains the basics of how fossils are used in establishing time sequence in geology. 94-0054

Geologic Time – “This 20-page booklet explains relative and radiometric time scales and how geologists measure the age of the Earth. It illustrates the scientific processes that are used to interpret the Earth's geologic history. 94-0121”
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/fossils/

Michigan Stratigraphy (rock layers): The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) archives a number of maps dealing with Michigan’s stratigraphy.
http://www.deq.state.mi.us/gsd/freepaga.html#TOP

Dinosaurs Fact and Fiction: “contains answers to some frequently asked questions about dinosaurs, with current ideas and evidence to correct some long-lived popular misconceptions.”
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dinosaurs/

Geological Time Machine: The University of California at Berkeley Museum of Paleontology offers the easily navigable Geological Time Machine with sections on stratigraphy with information about deposition, nomenclature, and strata identification; ancient life with an overview of major biological events, including origin and extinction of important groups;localitieswith resources about particular fossil localities, and tectonics which discusses continental migrations, changes in global circulation, and climate change. This site also offers links to K-12 educational resources and museum exhibits.
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/help/timeform.html

American Museum of Natural History.
http://www.amnh.org/

VanBurgh, Dana. How To Teach With Topographic Maps. NSTA, 1994.

http://www.amnh.org/exhibition/fossil_halls/personalities/index.html

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/

http://www.usgs.gov/