Grade 7 Unit E: Curriculum Links | Print |

Unit E: Planet Earth
(Nature of Science emphasis)

Science and Projects - Geology
Glossary of Geological Terms Earth Science WebQuests

The scientific study of Earth is based on direct observation (images) of landforms (Natural Resources - Canada) and materials that make up Earth's surface, and the sample evidence we have of Earth's interior. By studying this evidence, we discover patterns in the nature and distribution of the Earth's materials, and in the kinds of changes that take place. This knowledge can be used in developing models for geologic structures and processes-models that help both scientists and students enlarge their understanding of their observations, and guide further investigation and research.

Focusing Questions:

What do we know about the Earth we live on-about its surface and what lies below?

What evidence do we have, and how do we use this evidence in developing an understanding of
the earth and its changes?

Key Concepts

~ strata ~ chronological time scale
~ rocks and minerals ~ fossil formation
~ rock cycle: formation of igneous rock,
metamorphism and sedimentary
~ development of models based on evidence
~ incremental change ~ crustal movement/plate tectonics observation and evidence
~ mountain formation: folding and faulting ~ weathering and erosion

STS and Knowledge Outcomes

Students will:
Describe and demonstrate methods used in the scientific study of the Earth, and in observing and interpreting its component materials

investigate and interpret evidence that Earth's surface undergoes both gradual and sudden change (e.g., recognize earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides as examples of sudden and catastrophic change; recognize glacial erosion and river erosion as examples of incremental change)
interpret models that show a layered structure for the earth's interior, and describe, in general terms, evidence for such a model

identify and explain the purpose of different tools and techniques used in the study of Earth (e.g., describe and explain the use of seismographs and coring drills, and tools and techniques for close examination of rocks; describe methods used in oil and gas exploration) Topic 10
explain the need for common terminology and conventions for describing rock and minerals, and apply suitable terms and conventions in describing sample materials (e.g., use common terms in describing the lustre, transparency, cleavage and fracture of rocks and minerals; apply the Moh's scale in describing mineral hardness)

Students will:
Identify evidence for the rock cycle and use the rock cycle concept to interpret and explain the characteristics of particular rocks
distinguish between rocks and minerals
describe characteristics of the three main classes of rocks - igneous, sedimentary and
describe evidence of their formation (e.g., describe evidence of igneous rock formation based on study of rocks found in and around volcanoes, describe the role of fossil
in interpreting sedimentary rock)

The Provincial Museum of Alberta
Natural History

describe local rocks and sediments, and interpret ways they may have formed
investigate and interpret examples of weathering, erosion and sedimentation

Students will:
Investigate and interpret evidence of major changes in landforms and the rock layers that underlie them investigate and interpret patterns in the structure and distribution of mountain formations (e.g., describe and interpret mountain formations of the North American cordillera)
interpret the structure and development of fold and fault mountains
describe evidence for crustal movement, and identify and interpret patterns in these movements (e.g., identify evidence of earthquakes and volcanic action along the Pacific Rim; movement of the Pacific plate relative to North American plate)
identify and interpret examples of incremental change and predict the result of those changes over extended periods of time (e.g., identify evidence of erosion, and predict the effect of erosional change over a year, century and millennium; project the effect of a given rate of continental drift over a period of one million years)

Students will:
Describe, interpret and evaluate evidence from the fossil record
describe the nature of different kinds of fossils and identify hypotheses about their formation (e.g., identify the kinds of rocks where fossils are likely to found; identify the portions of living things most likely to be preserved; identify possible means of preservation involving replacement of one material by another, or by formation of molds and casts) - Glossary
explain and apply methods used to interpret fossils (e.g., identify techniques used for fossil reconstruction based on knowledge of current living things and findings of related fossils; identify examples of petrified wood and bone)
describe patterns in the appearance of different life forms as indicated by the fossil record (e.g., construct and interpret a geologic time scale, and describe in general terms the evidence that has led to its development)
identify uncertainties in interpreting individual items of fossil evidence, and explain the role of accumulated evidence in developing accepted scientific ideas, theories and explanations