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  • 4th Grade

    Earth's Place in the Universe

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers for changes in a landscape over time to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time. 4-ESS1-1

    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


  • W.4.7 - Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic. (4-ESS1-1)
  • W.4.8 - Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources. (4-ESS1-1)
  • W.4.9 - Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (4-ESS1-1)


  • 4.MD.A.1 - Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Record measurement equivalents in a two column table. (4-ESS1-1)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (4-ESS1-1)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (4-ESS1-1)

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 nonfiction informational text describes and illustrates the geological history of the Grand Canyon. The effects of weathering and subsequent erosion are detailed in descriptions of the rock layer formations. Evidence of landscape chang ...

  • This Junior Paleontologist Activity Book created by the National Park Service provides students (ages 5-12) with an opportunity to learn how fossils form based on the properties of the rocks that support that formation and the field of paleontology. ...

  • Students learn about geologic sampling by taking 'core samples' from a layer cake. The activity gives specific directions on how to prepare the Earth cake, complete with raisin, pecan and chocolate chip fossils. Students use a rolled-up ...

  • This 5E lesson sequence probes student pre-knowledge of the erosion and its impact on earth's mountain landscapes before students explore weathering, deposition, and layering at three different activity stations.  Students sha ...

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