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  • Middle School

    Earth's Systems

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, contintental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions. MS-ESS2-3

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections

ELA/Literacy

  • RST.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-ESS2-3)
  • RST.6-8.7 - Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table). (MS-ESS2-3)
  • RST.6-8.9 - Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic. (MS-ESS2-3)
  • SL.8.5 - Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest. (MS-ESS2-3)

Mathematics

  • 6.EE.B.6 - Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set. (MS-ESS2-3)
  • 7.EE.B.4 - Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities. (MS-ESS2-3)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (MS-ESS2-3)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • This three-minute video from the Field Museum of Chicago shows scientists locating and digging for fossils in Antarctica. This is the first video in a series documenting the team’s daily life and field work during a fossil hunting expedition. T ...

  • In this activity, students manipulate and graph data collected by the research vessel, JOIDES Resolution, to determine whether sediment thickness located near the Juan de Fuca Ridge supports the concept of seafloor spreading.  Teachers can choos ...

  • In this activity, students use information from the Deep Sea Drilling Project to look for evidence of seafloor spreading in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.  Using temporal and spatial data obtained from core samples, students create and analyze a graph, ...

  • In this investigation students will create a model to visualize and predict how sequences of sedimentary rocks give us information about how sea level has changed over time. These changes in sea level can control the lateral and vertical facies near ...

  • This activity consists of 2 parts created by different entities. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools created a superior worksheet that goes with the Glencoe Publisher online simulation: How can fossil and rock data determine when an organism lived? ...

  •   This activity is a kinesthetic activity where students will use logic and evidence to reconstruct the position of large islands and continents as they appeared 220 million years ago. Students will review what they know about plate tectonics ...

  • This activity is for the students to cutout, color code and piece together a puzzle of the supercontinent Pangaea based on fossil and rock evidence of the present day continents. The students will move the continents together using the ...

  • Dynamic Earth is an interactive website where students can learn about the structure of the Earth, the movements of its tectonic plates, as well as the forces that create mountains, valleys, volcanoes and earthquakes. This site consists of four secti ...

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  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the topography of the ocean floor and the tectonic processes that cause it to constantly change. The Seafloor Spreading and Subduction learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — de...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about Earth’s geological history, the maps that scientists use to model it, and the evidence that helps them create those maps. The Plate Tectonics learning objective — based on NGSS and state standar...

Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.