Grade 4 - Mikaela, Sam

Unit: Earths Systems

Science Stuff (from Standards document): students who have an understanding can:

ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth
 Local, regional, and global patterns of rock formations reveal changes
over time due to earth forces, such as earthquakes. The presence and
location of certain fossil types indicate the order in which rock layers
were formed. (4-ESS1-1)
ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems
 Rainfall helps to shape the land and affects the types of living things
found in a region. Water, ice, wind, living organisms, and gravity break
rocks, soils, and sediments into smaller particles and move them
around. (4-ESS2-1)
ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions
 The locations of mountain ranges, deep ocean trenches, ocean floor
structures, earthquakes, and volcanoes occur in patterns. Most
earthquakes and volcanoes occur in bands that are often along the
boundaries between continents and oceans. Major mountain chains
form inside continents or near their edges. Maps can help locate the
different land and water features areas of Earth. (4-ESS2-2)
ESS2.E: Biogeology
 Living things affect the physical characteristics of their regions. (4­
ESS3.B: Natural Hazards
 A variety of hazards result from natural processes (e.g., earthquakes,
tsunamis, volcanic eruptions). Humans cannot eliminate the hazards
but can take steps to reduce their impacts. (4-ESS3-2) (Note: This
Disciplinary Core Idea can also be found in 3.WC.)
ETS1.B: Designing Solutions to Engineering Problems
 Testing a solution involves investigating how well it performs under a
range of likely conditions. (secondary to 4-ESS3-2)


Essential Questions for Unit:

1. What are Earth's features?

2. What are the processes that shape the earth?

3. What can today's society do to reduce the impacts of natural earth's processes?

Big Ideas/Enduring Understandings for Unit:

1. Earth's features

2. Weathering/Erosion

3. Rock formations/ fossils

Performance Tasks for Unit:

  1. Students will make a diagram / model to demonstrate the processes of the Earth. - students will be making and explaining a model or diagram in which they show the processes of the earth. Their diagrams will have to show at least 2 of the main earths processes. They will know these earth processes because of the video that will be watched in class and also have references to look back on while doing this activity by themselves. 

  2. 2.Students will be able to write in their own way how society is impacting the natural earth and what is something that they and their family could do to change it. - Expansion - Our class has been finishing up our unit on Earth’s Systems. One of the things that we have talked about is how we can generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth’s processes on humans. Write an essay on how society is impacting the natural earth and what is something that they and their family or community could do to change it using possible solutions. An example of solutions could include designing an earthquake resistant building and improving monitoring of volcanic activity.

  3. Students will take a quiz on what the Earth’s features are. The quiz will be based that off of how they can analyze and interpret data from maps. - Students will be given a 10 question quiz based off of what we covered in the unit so far. Questions include -

1. What is the process called when land is being taken away at the shoreline? 

2. What types of impacts do daily activities have to do with impacting our Earth everyday? 

3. The Earth is made up how many layers?

4. What is the largest impact crater on Earth?

5. Explain how the earth is shaped and why?

6. Explain two things that you and your family can do to reduce the impact you have on the earth everyday

7. In rock formations and rocks what can be found?

8. What are topographic maps used for?

9. What type of things can leave behind fossils? Describe at least two. 

10. How are glaciers made? 

    • Angelica Iris Ortiz
      Angelica Iris Ortiz

      I am very interested in your third question from the essential questions. I feel like students will be able to come up with adequate answers for that question. But this one questions has so many methods and actions that students can take in order to reduce the negative impact on earth's natural processes. Students will become intrigued to know about things like that and even bring that knowledge with them into their household. As for your Big Ideas, I feel like they aren't really captivating enough for students. I think it would just give them some idea of what they are learning for that day and nothing that can make them think before the lessons starts. Thank you for your hard work! 

      • Lilly Davis
        Lilly Davis

        Your essential questions are very good, however, your big ideas should be more sentences. Big ideas should be understandings that come out of what the essential questions answer. They should be more of a sentence form, and should be things the students will also be able to understand. Also none of your big ideas have to do with your last essential question. I think that your essential questions are very good, but you should focus a little bit more on your big ideas. Hope this was helpful!

        • Kealy Costigan
          Kealy Costigan

          I liked reading this because I am doing Earth systems for grade 5. This is a solid foundation for what is expected in grade 5. I think it would be great if you guys can talk about ways people can take care of the Earth, reduce pollution, and things like that. I think that you can develop your big ideas a little bit further. What helped me and Rochelle was making the big ideas more specific, and the essential questions more broad. 

          • Rachel Scarano
            Rachel Scarano

            My unit plan is pretty similar to yours! I think learning about the Earth is so fun for not only students, but for the teachers teaching it. I agree with Kealy with  making the big ideas a little more specific. They might be a little too broad to base a Unit Plan on. Like about about weathering/erosion? I would dig a little deeper. I think you're headed into the right direction!

            • Jacqueline Manzano
              Jacqueline Manzano

              I like how your essential questions build upon the previous one. I think this unit is very important for children to understand because awareness of our planet is imperative in order to sustain life. Your big ideas connect to the essential questions well, but could use more details. Overall, it is a good unit plan.

              • Kayla Armstrong
                Kayla Armstrong

                Your performance tasks are my favorite part of the lesson. A personal model of Earth based off of what was learned in class. You can always have the kids explain each part of the Earth so you know they did the project and understood what they put in the model. This connects to second grade in which we go over the Earth being shaped by weather and then this seems like an elaboration of the concepts learned in second about the processes that effect Earth. Applying more terminology to the idea.

                • Rochelle Cadogan
                  Rochelle Cadogan

                  I really enjoyed your topic and the performance tasks are great for 4th grades, however like everyone else mentioned, you should go into more detail for your big ideas. But from the looks of it they do a good job at connecting to the essential questions, they just need a bit more information. 

                  • Gerald Ardito
                    Gerald Ardito

                    Sam and Mikaela,

                    I think your performance tasks are really interesting and you have chosen a good variety of ways for the students to express themselves.

                    I find myself wondering if the directions you provided would be clear and complete for 4th graders. What do you think?