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    Earth's Place in the Universe

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth's 4.6-billion-year-old history. MS-ESS1-4

    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-ESS1-4)
  • WHST.6-8.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes. (MS-ESS1-4)

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-ESS1-4)
  • 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-ESS1-4)

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.
  • Who’s on First? A Relative Dating Activity is a hands on exercise which introduces students to the concepts of sequencing and using fossils to establish relative dates for rock strata.  In the first part of the activity, students are asked ...

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  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the accumulation of rock strata and other geologic features, and how scientists study them along with the fossil record to shed light on the Earth’s natural history. The Fossil Record learning o...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the earth’s geologic timeline and how scientists find and use clues to color in the details of our planet’s history. The Geologic Time learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — de...

  • From Space to Earth: Meteor Craters turns students into experimenters in the investigation of the scientific processes of impact cratering.

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