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 EarthÕs surface; describe and explain how the EarthÕs features change over time; and analyze effects of technology on the EarthÕs surface and resources. (Geosphere)

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1
Elementary

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Elementary
Benchmark 4
Explain how rocks and fossils are used to understand the history of the Earth.

Benchmark Clarification

The history of the Earth can be explained by examining rocks and fossils. The bottom layer of rock is usually the oldest.

Students will:

  • Explain how fossils are a record of the existence of plants and animals
  • Interpret how the layers of rocks explain the age of the Earth

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

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 4
Key Concept

  • fossils
  • extinct plants and animals
  • ages of fossils
  • rock layers

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

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 4
Real World Context

  • fossils found in gravel, mines, and quarries
  • 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/Elementary/Benchmark 4
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: How are rocks and fossils used to understand the history of the Earth?

Focus Question: How do different layers of the Earth represent the history of the Earth?

The teacher will pose the focus question to the class to introduce the lesson.

Then students in small groups will fill a grocery bag with daily collections of classroom scraps and shredded colored paper. This collection will be created over a period of time.

Each time period is designated by the use of different colored shredded paper. (At least two different colors should be used.) After the collection period, each group will cut a wide strip down one side of the bag, showing a window revealing all layers. Measuring the height of the bag in centimeters, students will cut a strip of paper equal to the height of the bag and will measure and record the contents of each layer. Based on the students' data, the group will determine the events that occurred during the different time periods. The students will identify that the bottom layer represents the oldest layer.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.E.1), (SCI.I.1.E.2), (SCI.I.1.E.6).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.E.1).

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 4
Assessment Example

Students will construct a labeled graphic representation of each shredded paper time period that identifies and labels the time periods. The graphic representation should visually demonstrate different lengths of time.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Beginning

Developing

Achieving

Exceeding

Accuracy of graphic representation

Creates a graphic representation that inaccurately represents the time periods.

Creates a graphic representation of the time periods that is incomplete.

Creates a graphic representation of the time periods that is complete.

Creates a graphic representation of the time periods that is complete and includes details.

Accuracy of labels

Labels only one layer accurately.

Labels some layers accurately.

Labels most layers accurately.

Labels all layers accurately.

Correctness of order

Does not arrange layers in time order.

Arranges some layers in time order.

Arranges most layers in time order.

Arranges layers in time order.

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 1/Elementary/Benchmark 4
Resources

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

Fossils, Rocks, and TimeÐThis 24-page free booklet explains the basics of how fossils are used in establishing time sequence in geology. 94-0054
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/fossils/

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

Dinosaurs Fact and Fiction: Òcontains answers to some frequently asked questions about dinosaurs, with current ideas and evidence to correct some long-lived popular misconceptions.Ó
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; localities with 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

Kittinger, Jo. Stories in Stone: The World of Animal Fossils. Watts, 1999.

Manning, Mick. WhatÕs Under The Bed? Watts, 1998.