Audubon Public Schools
Engaging Students ~ Fostering
Achievement ~ Cultivating 21st Century Global Skills
Written By: Claudia Kirby and Beth
Course Title: Science Unit Name: Earth Science Grade Level: 4
will describe how sunlight affects air temperature and how temperature is
measured. Students identify landforms
on the earth and describe how volcanoes and earthquakes change the earth’s
surface. Students learn how scientists
explore and map the ocean depths and floor. Students earth’s rotation and
revolution and explain seasonal differences in the northern and southern
Cumulative Progress Indicators (CPI):
Common Core Literacy Standards:
Overarching Essential Questions
does the earth change?
Overarching Enduring Understandings
Earth changes due to volcanic action, erosion, weathering, heat and pressure.
Unit Essential Questions
does the sun heat different parts of the earth?
does this heating affect weather?
is the earth’s surface like and what resources does it hold?
do we affect the consumption of resources?
Unit Enduring Understandings
is a relationship between the Earth and the sun.
Air temperature affects the
weather. It affects the air’s ability
to absorb water vapor. More water vapor in the air
means the air can become warmer and this will cause weather conditions
like thunderstorms and hurricanes.
The way in which cold and warm
air interacts is what makes us get different weather conditions.
Seventy per cent of the Earth
Thirty percent of the Earth is
made up of seven continental land masses. Rock is underneath everything.
How we use, replace and respect
Earth’s resources impacts their quality and viability.
that the Earth is a like a living organism is the foundation for the
conservation and care of our natural resources.
this unit, students discover how to measure and predict the weather. Students identify landforms of the earth
and describe how volcanoes, earthquakes, weathering and erosion affect the
earth’s features. Students investigate
the characteristics of the oceans and learn about plants and animals that
live in aquatic environments. Finally,
students compare earth with other planets in the solar system
Students use inquiry based group
activities to study the effects of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on the
earth. They research natural resources
and determine where they come from.
Students will be able to measure the
weather using hand made instruments and will be able to predict the weather
looking at a weather map and will track and keep record of daily forecasts
over a period of time.
Students will be able to identify the
basic elements of weather such as temperature, wind speed, barometric
pressure, and humidity and relate it to a weather prediction.
Integration of 21st Century Skills and
to investigate through inquiry based assignments how weather changes and how
those changes effect the earth.
to use simple weather instruments to aid in obtaining data to use in
predicting future weather.
Perspectives: Students will begin to see how temperatures are affected by
bodies of water and compare climate in other parts of the world based on
proximity to water.
Literacy: Students will understand the importance of exploration of ocean
reefs and coastline for preservation of life throughout all the oceans.
Students will learn about jobs related to this research in this scientific
Learning Targets/Scaffolding to CPIs
Objects in the sky have patterns of
movement. The sun and moon appear to
move across the sky on a daily basis.
The shadows of an object on earth change over the course of a day,
indicating the changing position of the sun during the day.
Earth is approximately spherical in
shape. Objects fall toward the center
of the earth because of the pull of gravity.
Earth is the third planet from the
sun in our solar system which includes seven other planets.
Fossils provide evidence about the plants
and animals that lived long ago including whether they lived on the land or
in the sea as ways species changed over time.
Rocks can be broken down to make
Earth materials in nature include
rocks, minerals, soil, water, and the gases of the atmosphere. Attributes of rocks and minerals assist in
Land air and water absorb the sun’s
energy at different rates.
Weather changes that occur from day
to day and across the seasons can be measured and documented using basic
instruments such as a thermometer, wind vane, anemometer, and rain gauge.
Clouds and fog are made of tiny
droplets of water and, at times, tiny particles of ice.
Rain, snow and other forms of
precipitation come from clouds; not all clouds produce precipitation.
Most of earth’s surface is covered by
water. Water circulates through the
crust, oceans, and atmosphere in what is known as the water cycle.
Properties of water depend on where
the water is located (oceans, rivers, lakes, underground sources, and
– a tool that measures wind speed
– A rocky object orbiting the sun between the planets
– a tool that measures air pressure
– a frozen chunk of ice and dust that orbits the sun
– a group of stars that form a pattern
shelf – the shallow part of the ocean at the edge of the continents
slope – the edge of the continental shelf that extends deeply downward to the
reef – a platform or ridge of coral at or near the ocean surface
– a river-like flow of water in the ocean
zone – the ocean water where sunlight does not reach
– the shape of a flattened circle
– the moving of weathered rocks by wind, water or ice
– a crack in the earth’s crust along which rocks move
pressure area – a place where cool air sinks and pushes down on the earth’s
surface with more pressure
– the amount of water vapor in the air
– a tool that measures humidity
zone – the sunlit waters of the ocean
pressure area – a place where warm air rises and pushes down on the earth’s
surface with less pressure
– a piece of rock or dust from space burning up in earth’s air
– a rock from space that has passed through earth’s air and has landed on the
– a person who studies weather
– nonliving, solid matter from the earth
Weather Service – a government agency that collects information about weather
basin – the floor of the deep ocean
– the highest part of a chain of underwater mountains
– an object that revolves around another object
– a deep narrow valley in the ocean floor
– the breaking and changing of rocks
Give opportunities for students to
model the earth’s place and rotation in the solar system with respect to its
relative position to the sun throughout the year.
Allow students to perform weather
broadcasts using prediction for the next few days.
Create a model of a volcano – analyze
the difference between the lava of the real thing and the model.
Explore surface temperatures using
black and white paper.
Field trips to the ocean to observe
erosion after a severe storm.
Create tools to record weather data.
(wind sock, barometer, rain gauge)
Inquiry based lessons on rocks,
minerals, or other investigative problems.
Collect photographs or pictures of
Research some natural landforms and
investigate how they were formed.
Customizing Learning/ Differentiation
are engaged in small group work, where students of differing abilities and
learning styles should be grouped together. Students act as peer coaches to
support students with special needs.
English Language Learners to play a very active role in selecting their landforms
to study. Many students’ families may have immigrated from countries or
regions that feature landforms.
scientific journal articles as sources for research to gifted students. The
vocabulary and writing style is very advanced, but gifted students might be
able to garner the needed information and data from these primary sources.
the unit during class time, plan and hold small learning sessions/work groups
where students can selectively attend to learn more about a specific
topic. Hold these sessions often,
changing the topic every week. Topics can include, but not be limited to
using maps, planning an interview, interpreting scientific data, reading
graphs and charts, etc. Allow students to select the sessions they would like
to attend, based on their perceived need, and they should plan the sessions
into their research schedule ahead of time.
Students maintain a project journal throughout the unit, which includes
research, data, and reflections. These journals are reviewed regularly.
questions- At the close of each work session, groups submit a list of
questions they have about their research and discussions. These questions can
be used to guide topics appropriate to address in the small learning
of the solar system including other objects in the atmosphere. Research the position and role of
satellites in our world.
and contrast the accuracy of the Disney movie Finding Nemo with regard to
descriptions of the ocean and ocean life.
Collect data and chart the weather
numbers including temperature, pressure, humidity and find mean, mode, median
and range for their area.
Discuss the route of the explorers
and the relationship with ocean currents.
Investigate weather conditions at the
cape of Good Hope and learn about nautical failures in that area.
Read literature that describes
various events of precipitation and drought, Night of the Twisters, The Dust
Bowl, and Blizzard of 1812.
Studies text with map of early explorers’ trade routes, Internet to research
current and past ocean and space exploration projects, National Geographic
Kids Magazine, novels, www.YouTube.com – videos of earthquakes and volcanic
eruptions, Disney Movie Finding Nemo , Picture books, leveled readers,
textbook, reference books.
Activities for Inclusion in Lesson Planning
Track the movement of the sun and
Create a daily weather report and log
for the school, visual (filmed) or written.
Track the movement of the sun and
Plan a nighttime viewing of the sky
identifying the stage of the moon and the visible constellations.
Report on a major earthquake in the
world and the effects on the environment. Convince the reader, with arguments
cited from informational text, that the effects are directly related to
Measuring Weather? Inv. Air Pressure Learn about Resources? How do people map the ocean floor?
5 days 1 day (observe
over 5 days) 2 days
: description of observe-.
Journal: analysis of data interview of a person who create a model with clay of a relief
works at a recycling plant./
map of the ocean floor
report on visit to plant
can scientists explore the How
does ocean water move? Where do
organisms live in the What are the
effects of earth’s
Time 1 day 1
day 2 days 1 day
research and report on the compare the ocean current maps Write a critique about the Discuss how our time is based
Equipment used to
explore the and explorer
routes. Explain accuracy of Disney’s on the movement of the
depths what you find. Finding Nemo
What are the effects of moon’s What have scientists learned about What other objects are
Seen in the solar system?
Time 2 days 2 days
track and chart the movement
Explain in writing why Pluto is Locate and draw the big
Of the moon in
relation to the not
considered a planet .
dipper in the sky and on a