Middle School Earth Science Self-Paced (Year Long: Grades 5-8)

    Earth Science 

    Middle School

    Grades 5-8 Welcome

    Length: Full Year Earth Science (2 Semesters)

    Includes: Access to class via Google Classroom, 5 assignments each week (85 total assignments each semester), access to graded assessments via Quizizz, vocabulary practice on Quizlet, online textbook resources, and science spiral template. Registration available anytime.

    Semester 1: $149

    Semester 2: $149

    Description of Class: 

    An introduction to the study of the Earth using a systems approach. The focus will be on the subsystems (geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere) and the dynamic interactions between them. The approach will be to develop an understanding of the balance that exists in the global environment as a result of the interactions between the systems. The course begins with a study of the Earth; relative to the rest of the solar system, continues to a study of the various Earth systems and processes (plate tectonics, earthquakes, weather, oceans, etc.), weather systems, and ends with a unit over the solar system.

    Class Approach: This class will not meet for live instruction, but will follow a self-paced format. Students will work in GC and/or Canvas on 5-7 weekly assignments. Along the way, students will add assignments, notes, and diagrams to their science spiral notebook. 


    HS-ESS1 Earth’s Place in the Universe

    Students who demonstrate understanding can:

    HS-ESS1-1. Develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the life span of the sun and the role of nuclear fusion in the sun’s core to release energy that eventually reaches Earth in the form of radiation.

    HS-ESS1-2. Construct an explanation of the past Earth theories based on astronomical evidence

    of light spectra, motion of distant galaxies, and composition of matter in the universe.

    HS-ESS1-3. Communicate scientific ideas about the way stars, over their life cycle, produce


    HS-ESS1-4. Use mathematical or computational representations to predict the motion of orbiting objects in the solar system.

    HS-ESS1-5. Evaluate evidence of the past and current movements of continental and oceanic crust and the theory of plate tectonics to explain the ages of crustal rocks.

    HS-ESS1-6. Apply scientific reasoning and evidence from ancient Earth materials, meteorites, and other planetary surfaces to construct an account of Earth’s formation and early history.

    HS-ESS2 Earth’s Systems

    Students who demonstrate understanding can:

    HS-ESS2-1. Develop a model to illustrate how Earth’s internal and surface processes operate at different spatial and temporal scales to form continental and ocean-floor features. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on how the appearance of land features (such as mountains, valleys, and plateaus) and sea-floor features (such as trenches, ridges, and seamounts) are a result of both constructive forces (such as volcanism, tectonic uplift, and orogeny) and destructive mechanisms (such as weathering, mass wasting, and coastal erosion).]

    HS-ESS2-2. Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedback that causes changes to other Earth systems.

    HS-ESS2-3. Develop a model based on evidence of Earth’s interior to describe the cycling of matter by thermal convection.

    HS-ESS2-4. Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s systems result in changes in climate.

    HS-ESS2-6. Develop a quantitative model to describe the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.

    HS-ESS2-7. Construct an argument based on evidence about the simultaneous changes of Earth’s systems and life on Earth.

    HS-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity

    Students who demonstrate understanding can:

    HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.

    HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing  energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.

    HS-ESS3-3. Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.

    HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.

    HS-ESS3-5. Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.

    HS-ESS3-6. Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.

    Textbook: CK-12 Flexbooks, Glencoe Earth Science, Lumen Learning, Glencoe Earth

    Systems, and Holt Earth Science. The curriculum needed will be provided via pdf sections.

    Main Supplies/Resources Needed:

    • Webcam, microphone, printer, and computer

    • Spiral notebook for note-taking (90 pages or more)

    • Notebook (journal), pens, pencils, scissors, tape, glue, computer paper, construction paper,

    coloring pencils, markers, general craft supplies

    • Play-doh or clay for 3d model practice

    • Cardboard box for planet diorama (small homemade or store bought themed pieces)

    • Notecards, highlighter, and something to hold notecards for each week (ziploc bags)

    • Newspaper, cardboard, and one poster board

    • Dry erase mini board, dry erase markers for diagrams

    An additional lab supply list will be supplied to all registered families.

    Requirements: The student will need access to a computer and wifi. Students will need to be able to upload images of work, upload video responses using Flipgrid, and complete assignments in a timely manner.

    Weekly Homework: Students will have 5-6 min assignments each week. In addition to weekly assignments, labs and online interactives are part of the curriculum. This course provides lots of hands-on activities and labs. 

    Anticipated Course Topics:

    Earth Science History, Earth Layers

    Plate Tectonics, Pangaea

    Plate Boundaries, Volcanoes, Earthquakes

    Types Of Rocks, Rock Cycle

    Weathering, Erosion, Deposition

    Soil Horizon, Soil Profile

    Water, Water Cycle, Water Erosion

    Winds, Currents, Climate, Weather

    Atmosphere Layers, Weather Instruments

    Ozone, Greenhouse Effect, Glaciers

    Sun, Moon & Earth

    Revolution, Rotation of Earth

    Moon Phases

    Solar System

    Asteroids, Meteors

    Environmental Science

    Renewable vs Nonrenewable Resources

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