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Running Head: LESSON PLAN 1

Earth Science Lesson Plan


Andrew Smith
EDU 382
Instructor Wall
September 24, 2014
Earth Science Lesson Plan 2
Earth Science Lesson Plan
This lesson plan is intended for 6
th
grade students (11-12 years old), in the area of Earth
Science. It covers the subjects of plate tectonics and the Earths structure, a content standard.
Standard CA.1: Earth Science: Plate Tectonics and Earth's Structure: Plate tectonics accounts for
important features of Earth's surface and major geologic events (California Department of
Education, 2009). The goal is to prepare the students to meet these content standards in a fun
and creative way that the student will enjoy, making the learning more effective, and recall of the
information easier. The learning styles taken into consideration for this lesson vary from visual
(spatial), verbal (linguistic), social (interpersonal), and physical (kinesthetic) learning styles
(Advanogy.com, 2004). Throughout the lesson there are different activities that give the students
a chance to use different intelligences, allowing the students to exercise their strengths and
strengthening their weaker areas.
The visual-spatial intelligence will be used in the research phase of this lesson. The
instructor will show a video of volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis to spark the students
interest. Then the instructor will bring up a model of the earth, labeling the lithosphere, the
mantle, the core, and the locations of the different tectonic plates. The interpersonal intelligence
will be used for the rest of the lesson; the students will form small groups of 2-3 students, and
complete the activities. The groups will each make their own model volcanoes (bodily-
kinesthetic intelligence), and then they will create multi-faceted presentations (verbal-linguistic
intelligence), using information they learned from the videos, models, independent research, and
using their volcanoes to keep the presentations fun and exciting. Logical intelligence will also be
used during the draw it assessment. Students can use these posters as graphic organizers, or
Earth Science Lesson Plan 3
instructors can have old posters from previous students that the current students can use as
advance organizers (Gregory & Chapman, 2013).
Objectives: Students will know:
1. That the layers of the Earth are the lithosphere, the mantle, and the core.
2. That the lithospheric plates (tectonic plates) moves very slowly, at the rate of a few
centimeters per year.
3. The major geologic features of California, such as mountains like the Sierra Nevada
Mountains, faults like the San Andreas Fault, and volcanoes like Mount Shasta.
Students will understand:
1. That volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis are caused by the movement of the tectonic
plates.
Students will be able to:
1. Explain geologic events, like the formation of mountains, canyons, and other geologic
features, in terms of plate tectonics.
2. Determine the epicenter of an earthquake, and estimate what kind of effects it may have,
depending on the size of the earthquake and where it occurred.
(Gore, 2005).
Assessments:
Diagnostic: Yes/No Responder Cards,
Formative: Wraparounds; Grand Finale Comments
Summative: Draw it; Group presentations; Quiz with multiple choice questions, fill in
the blank questions, and a section to the label diagrams.

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Procedures:
1. Review previously learned material: Ask students what they know about the plate
tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and other related information. The use of a
game like Jeopardy would let the students have fun during the review.
2. State objectives of the lesson: Tell the students what they are expected to learn from this
lesson. Such as information about plate tectonics, how they move, and what their motion
can cause (earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, mountains, canyons, etc.). Another
objective covered is the Earths layers, which consists of a cold, brittle lithosphere; a
hot, convecting mantle; and a dense, metallic core, (California Department of Education,
2009, P. 27, Par. 3).
3. Present new material: The instructor will show a video of volcanoes, earthquakes, and
tsunamis to spark the students interest. Then the instructor will bring up a model of the
earth, labeling the lithosphere, the mantle, the core, and the locations of the different
tectonic plates. Next, the instructor will explain how the movement of these plates causes
geologic events, like volcanoes and earthquakes, and features like mountains and
canyons. Afterwards, present previous student posters, and hang them around the room.
4. Guided practice: Show students a model of the Earth. Ask students to label the different
layers and write all they can remember about each one. Then ask about the tectonic
plates, and how these create volcanoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, mountains, and canyons.
Use yes/no responder cards to check for understanding, and then ask students if they have
any questions.
5. Presentation II: Show students a map of the different plates, how they move, and explain
that they move very slowly (centimeters per year). Then present videos of erupting
Earth Science Lesson Plan 5
volcanoes, tsunamis in progress, and share news stories about devastating earthquakes.
After, the instructor will display a giant map of California on an overhead projector,
labeling all the different geologic features of California. Next, the instructor will bring in
a guest speaker, such as a local geologist, to explain in greater detail, the features, and
how they were formed.
6. Guided practice: The students will form wraparound circles, so that the students can share
the information they have learned. The instructor should prepare questions that are
important to plate tectonics, and use the yes/no responder cards again. Then have
students conduct their own research into the topics that were unclear or needed more
explanation. At the end, the instructor will ask the students a grand finale question.
7. Independent practice: Have students break into groups (2-3 people). There are three
activities that will be used, the Draw It activity, creating model volcanoes, and making a
presentation. The groups will be divided into three larger groups, and each of these
groups will work on the different projects. After a specified amount of time, these groups
will switch activities, and start working on one of the other parts. All groups will
complete all three activities, and then make their presentations to the class. After
presentations, there will be a quiz with multiple choice questions, fill in the blank
questions, and a section to the label diagrams.



Earth Science Lesson Plan 6
References
Advanogy.com. (2004). Overview of learning styles. Retrieved from
http://www.learning-styles-online.com/overview/
California Department of Education. (2009, June 11). Science content standards.
Retrieved June 23, 2013, from http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/sciencestnd.pdf
Gore, P. (2005, March 9). Plate tectonics. Retrieved from
http://facstaff.gpc.edu/~pgore/Earth&Space/GPS/platetect.html
Gregory, G. & Chapman, C. (2013). Differentiated instructional strategies: One size doesnt fit
all (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Ltd./Corwin Press.