Marie Curie Math & Science Center
 

CURRICULUM DESIGN
BEVERLY YARKON

Group 3B

Grade 3, Science

This unit will enable students to understand the forces that change the Earth. The students will be encouraged to problem solve, think critically, to be able to work in cooperative groups, and to use materials to simulate erosion, volcanoes, icebergs and earthquakes.

Commencement Content Standard from MST
 

 

Standard #4 — Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

 

 

Benchmark Standards
 

 Elementary 

Many of the phenomena that we observe on Earth involve interactions among components of air, water, and land.

Performance standards (how you will know that they know — how good is good enough)

To be able to describe the relationships among air, water and land on Earth. 

 
Content Standards or Outcomes

 

• To define weathering and to describe four ways in which weathering can occur.

• To infer that soil is the end result of all weathering.

• To be able to write the sequential stages of acid rain formation.

• To describe three ways in which erosion can change the shape of the land.

• To construct a three dimensional model of a glacier and to reognize how glaciers change the 
land.

• To explain ways to minimize a landslide.

• To describe a volcano; distinguish between magma and lava and describe the cause of an 
earthquake.

 
Performance Measures for this Unit:

Power Point Presentation Rubric

Each student will present a slide on: Volcanoes

Earthquakes

Weathering

Icebergs

RATING BASED ON STUDENTS ABILITY TO

DEMONSTRATE KNOWLEDGE OF FORCES ON THEIR SLIDES
 

Forces 4 3 2 1
Weathering Knows 5 facts,

1 consequence,

can cite an example

Knows 4 facts,

1 consequence,

can cite an example

Knows 3 facts,

1 consequence,

or can cite an example

Less than 3 facts,

1 consequence,

or can cite an example

         
Volcanoes Knows 5 facts,

1 consequence,

can cite an example

Knows 4 facts,

1 consequence,

can cite an example

Knows 3 facts,

1 consequence,

or can cite an example

Less than 3 facts,

1 consequence,

or can cite an example

         
Earthquakes Knows 5 facts,

1 consequence,

can cite an example

Knows 4 facts,

1 consequence,

can cite an example

Knows 3 facts,

1 consequence,

or can cite an example

Less than 3 facts,

1 consequence,

or can cite an example

         
Icebergs Knows 5 facts,

1 consequence,

can cite an example

Knows 4 facts,

1 consequence,

can cite an example

Knows 3 facts,

1 consequence,

or can cite an example

Less than 3 facts,

1 consequence,

or can cite an example

         

 
Enabling Activities:

 Day 1– Weathering. Show pictures of mountains, some jagged and some rounded. Have students describe and compare the pictures. To describe one way that weathering can occur. Student will work in small groups to list ways you can break a rock. Fill a small jar with water, place in a bag and then in the freezer. Observe. Discuss.

How does this apply to the earth?

Why in winter do drivers replace the water in their car radiators with antifreeze, an alcohol-water mixture that has a lower freezing point than water?

Students will place several sugar cubes in a small container and cover tightly. After shaking the container vigorously for a few minutes remove the lid and display the sugar cubes on a table next to a few sugar cubes that were not shaken. Allow the students to observe and compare the cubes.

Day 2– Weathering (continued) [Art/Science Connection]

Make plaster of Paris blocks in small milk cartons. Give each student one of the plaster blocks to make into a sculpture. Use sandpaper to smooth and shape rocks.

How do wind and sand work together to weather rocks?

Day 3- Weathering (continued)

Give each pair of students a few pieces of limestone rock. One student will lightly rub the rocks with sandpaper, and the other student drops some vinegar onto the rocks with an eye dropper.

Ask students to compare this reaction to weathering caused by acid rain.

Day 4- Glaciers

To construct a model of a glacier and observe the effects of their ice block on bare soil.

Have students work in small groups to construct a three-dimensional model of a glacier.

Place sand and pebbles in the bottom of a pie pan. Add water and place in the freezer overnight. The following day, flatten clay into a sheet on desks. Remove the ice block from the pie plate. Observe the bottom of the ice block and feel it. With the sand and stone side down, scrape the ice block over the clay.

How did the clay look after the ice block was moved across it?

Days 5-6 Volcanoes

To watch a video of an erupting volcano.

Kilauea, in Hawaii, is the most active US volcano. Students use maps and Encarta to research information about Hawaii and how the islands were formed.

Students, working in groups of 4, will follow directions to make a model of a volcano using modeling clay. They will make it erupt using 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon baking soda, a few drops of red food coloring, a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent and 1/4 cup vinegar.

Day 7- Landslides

How can you prevent a landslide? Students will use one cup of sand, one cup stones, and one cup of soil to make a hill that will not wash away when one cup of water is poured over it.

Students will brainstorm plans for constructing hills. Have them sketch several plans that they have discussed the advantages of. Plans could include the use of terraces; ditches to guide water runoff; and covering the hill with grass.

Have groups display their sketches and discuss how they would alter their hills based on the results of their tests.

Day 8- Earthquakes

Have students imagine they live in a town that is threatened by frequent earthquakes. Instruct them to write a plan to protect their families during an earthquake. Design a brochure to distribute to family and friends to teach earthquake safety. If available, use Microsoft Publisher to make the brochure.

Day 9- Icebergs

Have students imagine they are serving on a United Nations committee that must decide whether icebergs should be used as sources of fresh water. Elicit questions that they would need to ask in order to obtain enough information in order to make a sound decision. Divide the class into small groups. Assign each a desert region. Have each group calculate the shortest distance icebergs would have to travel to reach their assigned region.

Homework Assignment— Bring to class materials (i.e. Styrofoam, foil, bubble wrap) to be used to devise a plan to slow the melting of ice.

Day 10- Icebergs (continued)

Students work with a partner to make a "freezer" to protect an ice cube distributed by the teacher. Students will conduct experiments, timing the melting process that occurs with different protective wraps. Graph their findings using Excel. Students will draw conclusions regarding methods that might be used to insulate icebergs during towing.

Suggested Resources

Earthquakes

http://nyelabs.kcts.org/nyeverse/episode/e64.html

http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/textindex.html

CD–Explorapedia— Earthquakes

Volcanoes

http://volcano.und.edu

http://www.inmind.com/schools/lessons/volcanoes.html

eridley@earthlink.net

CD–Explorapedia— Volcanoes

Video– 3-2-1 Contact "Too Hot to Handle"

Text– Magic Schoolbus Blows Its Top

Weathering

http://www.epa.gov/docs/acidrain/ardhome.html

Reference Tools

National Geographic– http://www.nationalgeographic.com/contents/

Ontario Science Centre– Home Page http://www.osc.on.ca/

 

St. Thomas Aquinas College, 125 Route 340, Sparkill NY 10976-1050