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  • 4th Grade

    Earth's Systems

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation. 4-ESS2-1

    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.4.8 - 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-ESS2-1)


  • 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-ESS2-1)
  • 4.MD.A.2 - Use the four operations to solve word problems involving distances, intervals of time, liquid volumes, masses of objects, and money, including problems involving simple fractions or decimals, and problems that require expressing measurements given in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit. Represent measurement quantities using diagrams such as number line diagrams that feature a measurement scale. (4-ESS2-1)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (4-ESS2-1)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (4-ESS2-1)
  • MP.5 - Use appropriate tools strategically. (4-ESS2-1)

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 gallery of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) aerial photographs and video of NASA satellite imagery provides students with the opportunity to observe dramatic changes resulting from the phenomena of rapid weathering and erosion by water an ...

  • Students contemplate the big idea that erosion affects the surface of the earth's crust. The teacher creates student interest with an anchoring event called RAP- Review and Preview. Focus and relevance for the lesson is emphasized by asking stude ...

  • Students aim to make sense of glacial phenomenon through observation and analysis of a mini glacier simulation in the classroom. Prior knowledge can be elicited from the short video clip of a "glacier calving", before engagin ...

  • This resource includes a three-dimensional weathering lesson embedded in an article describing strategies for whiteboard use in the classroom. Students engage in a group/class discussion as they explain how rocks change over timeb ...

  • This set of 31 Weathering and Erosion slides depict landform changes that occur due to the natural processes of weathering and erosion. Captions explain/define the different causes of weathering and erosion (ice, wind, water, and vegetation ...

  • This article and associated formative assessment probe can be used to determine students' prior knowledge and misconceptions about weathering and erosion. Implemented before or during a weathering/erosion unit, ...

  • Fourth grade lessons on glacial erosion demonstrate and explain the manner in which glaciers erode the earth. The mechanisms of plucking and abrasion are discussed. Activities (either whole-class or small group) include a teacher creation of a glacie ...

  • Bill Nye, "The Science Guy", presents a video describing the effects of weathering (wind, water, ice) on landforms. Bryce Canyon is used as an example of the ways in which freezing water, plant roots, and wind weather the earth's surfac ...

  • This hands-on activity allows students to explore five earth forces that may cause erosion as they model, observe, and record the effects of erosion on earth surfaces. Stations include demonstrations of chemical, wind, water, ice and heat forces as t ...

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