"Is This School Ready?"

Contributor
edutopia eMints National Center
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Lesson/Lesson Plan
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This 7-10 day 5E inquiry lesson set allows students to develop questions about how natural earth changes affect human life. As they research answers to those questions using suggested websites and nonfiction sources, they work to locate, select, and organize information focusing on ways earth changes impacts may be lessened. Students work in groups to present research detailing recent local incidences of earth changes (Examples- volcanic activity, tsunamis, floods, erosion).  Their explanation of the earth process most likely to occur in their local area is formulated in a persuasive paragraph. This research refinement creates a community link and reinforces the purpose for the earth change unit. Using multimedia scenarios, written letters to local officials, or their improvement plans for family safety, they apply this information in order to analyze, organize, and evaluate data produced from their research. Students are given the opportunity to communicate their written, oral, or visual presentations to classmates.  They answer questions about their group safety plans as well as learning to understand the perspective of other students’ research/safety plans.

 

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Grade 6
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 4
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access with user action - The right to view and/or download material without financial barriers but users are required to register or experience some other low-barrier to use.

Performance Expectations

4-ESS3-2 Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.

Clarification Statement: Examples of solutions could include designing an earthquake resistant building and improving monitoring of volcanic activity.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This lesson set focuses on changes that occur slowly or quickly. Potential student misconceptions might include the concept that slower changes have less impact on humans. Teacher guided discussion could elicit student prior knowledge, dispelling misconceptions and including the understanding that the phenomena of earth changes are not preventable by humans, they occur naturally. PE focus could include having the teacher emphasize the importance of generating appropriate solutions, asking students to explain why their solutions would work in real-life situations.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students could discuss/review types of books and media that would provide them with the best sources of information, before being presented with lesson set of resources. They could also share books/websites they are familiar with - possibly from home or the library.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Student groups or individual students might make a claim supported by evidence for the earth change they feel is more prevalent in their local area, using science journals to explain their claims. Claims could be reviewed after research has been concluded, with students affirming their claims or revising them based on their group findings as a journal entry. This activity would provide another type of formative assessment for the teacher.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
As noted above in PE section, student misconceptions about the ability of humans to prevent the natural processes of earth changes could be addressed. Review of potential appropriate solutions could be indicated for discussion as a reinforcement of the “Asking Questions” Practice involving costs/constraints. As noted above in PE section, student misconceptions about the ability of humans to prevent the natural processes of earth changes could be addressed. Review of potential appropriate solutions could be indicated for discussion as a reinforcement of the “Asking Questions” Practice involving costs/constraints.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Student emergency plans are created for the earth change that occurs most frequently in their local area. Review of patterns of those changes, involving frequency/severity of occurrences through teacher guided discussion could be included.

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Integration of CCC with Practice “Asking Questions” could be part of a formative assessment as students journal/illustrate earth changes. Prior knowledge could be assessed to determine whether students have a clear understanding of earth changes and the effects they cause. Once students have had the opportunity to research the websites and texts, they may revisit their drawings/journal entries and revise their initial entries, or provide evidence to corroborate their initial work.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This resource integrates the three dimensional learning goals of NGSS. Multiple practices guide students as they learn to ask questions, identify problems, and decide on solutions while reading scientific text. They explain their findings ( (with evidence ) in the form of oral, written, or multimedia reports which require them to research, analyze, and organize pertinent data. Cross-cutting concepts are implicitly integrated in their data collections as students note patterns of frequency/severity of earth processes. These supplement their findings as they engage with their local community in creating safety designed to lessen the impact of natural processes on humans. (DCI)

  • Instructional Supports: This resource provides teachers with very detailed strategies for use with diverse populations. Methods for grouping students homogeneously, planning for classroom time management, assistive technology, and second language learner assistance ( Example- Cyber Buddy) are included with extensive resource lists for texts ( Differentiated for reading levels) and websites. (*Website listings should be checked for viability.) These inclusive supports provide all students with the ability to engage in identifying and developing solutions to real-life situations as they make sense of phenomena. The lesson allows them to create a community connection, while they represent their own ideas in the form of emergency plans and justify their choices with evidence.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Formative assessments include the use of student K-W-L charts, student group progress reports, and listings for an assessment rubric. Student self-evaluations are included in the resource. Teacher assessment for alignment with NGSS three-dimensional learning is not included. Formative assessments include the use of student K-W-L charts, student group progress reports, and listings for an assessment rubric. Student self-evaluations are included in the resource. Teacher assessment for alignment with NGSS three-dimensional learning is not included. Formative assessments include the use of student K-W-L charts, student group progress reports, and listings for an assessment rubric. Student self-evaluations are included in the resource. Teacher assessment for alignment with NGSS three-dimensional learning is not included. Formative assessments include the use of student K-W-L charts, student group progress reports, and listings for an assessment rubric. Student self-evaluations are included in the resource. Teacher assessment for alignment with NGSS three-dimensional learning is not included. Formative assessments include the use of student K-W-L charts, student group progress reports, and listings for an assessment rubric. Student self-evaluations are included in the resource. Teacher assessment for alignment with NGSS three-dimensional learning is not included.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: Several website resources are listed, however, availability of their use is variable, since links do not always work. Some of the resources contain items for student interactivity. (Example- Create a family emergency plan). Sites are directed to student learning, but do not provide an individualized learning experience. Other resource sites included are primarily for the state of Missouri, since the resource was developed for emints (enhancing Missouri’s Instructional Network.