Monday, August 11, 2014

Earth Science 2014-2015: Curriculum, Planning, and Preparation

     Here's a quick peek into the Earth science curriculum I chose for my younger children. I've also included a look into our block scheduling and a list of projects for each topic. All lab projects have been assembled in advance and are ready to go! Now, if I can just finish up the other science labs, I'll have more time to focus on the really important stuff!

Blocks and Labs:
  1. Intro to Earth Science, scientific method, and lab safety and equipment- 3 weeks
    • Lab- Gummy bear scientific method experiment
    • Project- Lab equipment identification
  2. Earth's resources (Rocks, minerals, fossils, and renewable/nonrenewable resources)- 5 weeks
    • Lab- Growing crystals
    • Lab- Mineral identification
    • Lab- Shapes of mineral
    • Lab- Jelly bean rock cycle
    • Lab- Rock identification
    • Lab- How fossils are made
    • Project- Solar oven
    • Project- Solar powered water heater
    • Project- Solar powered mason jar lights
    • Project- Solar powered radio
    • Project- Creating hydroelectric power
  3. Earth's structure (Layers, plate tectonics, and continental drift)- 5 weeks
    • Model- Layers of Earth
    • Diagram- Earth's plates
    • Lab- Convection currents and plate boundaries
    • Model- Plate boundaries
  4. Earthquakes and volcanoes- 5 weeks
    • Diorama- Parts of a volcano
    • Lab- Volcanic eruption
    • Presentation- Types of volcanoes 
    • Lab- Seismic waves
    • Project- Measuring earthquakes
    • Lab- Earthquakes and building structures
    • Lab- Tsunamis
  5. Weathering and soil formation- 3 weeks
    • Lab- Soil layers
    • Lab- Changing Earth's surface with weathering and erosion
  6. Fresh water, erosion and deposition- 3 weeks
    • Lab- Effects of erosion on air, soil, and water
  7. Oceanography- 5 weeks
    • Diagram- Oceanic zones
    • Diagram- Earth's Ocean currents
    • Lab- Movement of ocean water
    • Lab- Salinity and plant growth
  8. Weather and climate- 5 week
    • Lab: The water cycle
    • Lab: Earth's atmosphere
    • Project- Jr. Meteorologist: Weather tracking
    • Project- Hurricane tracking
    • Tornado in a bottle
  9. Astronomy- 2 blocks- 10 weeks
    • Our solar system, Earth cycles (lunar and solar)- 5 weeks
      • Lab: Moon phases
      • Model: Solar system
      • Diagram: Earth's rotation and revolution
    • Stars, space exploration, the universe- 5 weeks
      • Presentation: Star life cycle
      • Project: Jr. Astronomer: Space observations
Well that's all! My daughters have already expressed their excitement upon seeing all of their science experiment kits. All of the hugs with "Thank you, mommy" really made this labor of love so worth it. I love to see them excited about learning and can't wait to dive into all of this year's topics with them.

Peace and blessings,

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