MySci Unit 18 – Our Dynamic Earth (PREVIEW)



Earth and Space Systems:
Using Maps to Understand Earth Changes Over Time

What causes the features of the Earth to change, and how can we use maps to understand those changes? Students will explore the movement of plates, erosion, weathering, volcanoes, and earthquakes through hands-on activities and maps.

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MySci Unit 18 Preview

Suggested Grade Level: 4th

22 pages
2017-2018 edition

Developed with primary support from the Monsanto Fund

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  • I love the erosion stations. I am looking forward to trying it out. I am a little scared to let the kids loose. I think I may set the up for observation. I may record on the ipad what is happening so that we can watch it later. I have Tim working on some kind of device to help drain it.

    • skyler wiseman

      And I am looking for different stream tables to use. Let me know if Tim has any ideas we can reproduce.

  • Amy Williams

    I’m really struggling with the topo maps. I understand how to teach students to take a 3D Model to the 2D map. I can’t figure out how to take a 2D map to a 3D model. The instructions state to ‘trace your cut out on the material you are making the model out of and cut it out’. What material? What are we cutting? I understand to cut out your lowest elevation from the 2D map and trace it on…what…. and then cut…what…out?

  • Can we put a pre and posttest online? Also it would be helpful if the teacher prep list was online.

    • skyler wiseman

      Right now Christina has them up on the Hazelwood site. I can also email them to you…..

  • Amy Williams

    In lesson 3, there is no 2 liter bottle listed on the supplies needed but for the water table you need a 2 liter bottle to simulate rain. We need to know how big the hole on the 2 liter needs to be or how many holes to drill. Maybe just use a watering can? We need some kind of bottles to make the rain.
    The clear plastic tub has a hole in the bottom corner to use as your ‘stream table’. Nowhere in the instructions does it signify that this tub is this stream table.

    • skyler wiseman

      Amy, thanks for catching this typo. We have put in spray bottles to replace the complicated rain bottle tool. So where ever it says rain bottle, substitute spray bottle, ok? We will be making the typo changes soon.

  • I will have Tim look at it and see what he comes up with.

  • Victoria Casady

    A couple of things…

    First, more plaster is needed and a suggestion would be to use food coloring on the layers of the fossil. This makes the “earth” layers more distinguishable and more fun for kids.

    Second, topography – different colors of clay. I would suggest…

    Grey – one stick per kid

    Color 1 – one stick per kid

    Color 2 – 1/2 stick per kid

    color 3 – 1/2 stick per kid

    Color 4 – 1/3 stick per kid

    Color 5 – pieces of stick per kid

    Color 6 – pieces of stick per kid

    • skyler wiseman

      Score! Victoria, I love, love this idea to use instead of the paper cutout. it is so much better. i am going to suggest this to our materials crew. Do you think the students could work in groups of 4 for this? Thanks so much, Sky

  • Grace Peimann

    Just got through teaching the unit here are my observations:
    1.Not enough plaster of paris for the fossil making.
    2. The vocabulary was never really discussed in the lessons according to instructions, teachers have to insert were they see fit, which can be difficult for a teacher not familiar with the topic
    3. More emphasis should be placed on rocks, minerals where discussed in first lesson but never tied into the big concept
    4. More direct teaching or research material was needed on erosion. Check out pearson/scottforesman (“Changes to the Earth’s Surface”) leveled readers, they pertain directly to topic
    5, Grass seed never grew
    6. The whole unit needed to be tied together a little better, the students did not connect information with the minerals and fossils, to erosion, to the bike trail

  • Lesli Henderson

    I agree that there needs to be more plaster. I barely had enough for 22 students.. I like the idea of coloring the layers. I am still trying to decide how to set up the erosion stations. I am afraid a lot of good observations will be missed if they do it in small groups because I won’t be able to monitor wha tthey are doing. I am worried that by the time the third or fourth group gets to it, there will not be the smae effect from erosion.

  • I also bought new grass seed because the seed that was in the kit did not grow. I grew it in a plastic dish. I am going to transplant it into the stream table. I will see how this works.

  • Danielle Hamer

    Just started using the kit for the first time. The spray bottle doesn’t work very well – had to get another one from the science lab. Also, the link I’ve attached below in Lesson 4 isn’t “linking.”

    • gbarajas

      Hello Danielle, thank you for your comment. We agree that the spray bottle is not the best model for erosion and are looking into other options. Please let us know if you have any suggestions!

      Also, we have updated the link in Lesson 4. It should be working now.

  • skyler wiseman

    Check out the beautiful grass Ms Bonner (Parkwood) grew for the erosion investigation. Because she does not have a lot of light in her classroom, the students take it outside once a day to give it sunshine!

  • Stephanie Heckstetter

    How do we build the shake table for lesson 9? It says to look at the teacher tips, but I don’t see that.