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  • 2nd Grade

    Earth’s Systems: Processes That Shape the Earth

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly. 2-ESS1-1

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Compare multiple solutions designed to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of the land. 2-ESS2-1

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  3. Develop a model to represent the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area. 2-ESS2-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  4. Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid. 2-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.

Science and Engineering Practices

Developing and Using Models

Modeling in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to include using and developing models (i.e., diagram, drawing, physical replica, diorama, dramatization, or storyboard) that represent concrete events or design solutions.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to the use of evidence and ideas in constructing evidence-based accounts of natural phenomenon and designing solutions.

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


  • RI.2.1 - Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text. (2-ESS1-1)
  • RI.2.3 - Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text. (2-ESS1-1), (2-ESS2-1)
  • RI.2.9 - Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic. (2-ESS2-1)
  • SL.2.2 - Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media. (2-ESS1-1)
  • SL.2.5 - Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings. (2-ESS2-2)
  • W.2.6 - With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers. (2-ESS1-1), (2-ESS2-3)
  • W.2.7 - Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations). (2-ESS1-1)
  • W.2.8 - Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question. (2-ESS1-1), (2-ESS2-3)


  • 2.MD.B.5 - Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve word problems involving lengths that are given in the same units, e.g., by using drawings (such as drawings of rulers) and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem. (2-ESS2-1)
  • 2.NBT.A - Understand place value. (2-ESS1-1)
  • 2.NBT.A.3 - Read and write numbers to 1000 using base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form. (2-ESS2-2)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (2-ESS1-1), (2-ESS2-1), (2-ESS2-2)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (2-ESS1-1), (2-ESS2-1), (2-ESS2-2)
  • MP.5 - Use appropriate tools strategically. (2-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 three part lesson developed by 4H engages students in an interaction “globe” tossing activity, a measuring and analysis of water; and a discussion about conserving water.

  • This phenomenon is meant to be an anchoring event for a larger unit on Earth’s Systems and processes that shape the Earth.  Students would have to engage in a number of investigations to compare solutions that slow or prevent water or wind ...

  • Students use the engineering design process to plan and create a windbreak that blocks wind in this lesson plan.  Within the lesson, students compare their design with their classmates’ designs. This lesson is part of a series of lessons a ...

  • This 60 minute activity involves students building a physical model of a watershed and then making observations about how rain water travels over the land, eventually forming rivers and lakes. As an extension, the students take a bucket of water and ...

  • This 5E lesson is the first of ten lessons that culminate with creating  physical models of landforms. In this lesson, the students engage in technology as text and media and “jigsaw” their expertise about glaciers, rivers and oceans ...

  • In this mystery, students will explore how solid rock breaks apart into smaller pieces through a process called weathering (including root-wedging and ice-wedging). In the activity, students  model the process of weathering that occurs when rock ...

  • The short video from PBS Deep Look shows how water is integral to forming sand.  The video's imagery is beautiful and the pace is engaging.  Students will learn about one of the Earth’s processes and have oppor ...

  • The short video from Sci Show Kids details an investigation about erosion. The video supports the use of evidence related to the claim that erosion has occurred. The resource also presents ideas for further questions students might engage in using th ...

  • The short 6-and-a-half-minute video provides background information for the teacher about the role of water on the planet, the extent of it across the globe (and how to visualize this extent) and what the planet would look like if it were removed.

  • The beautiful video offers landscapes covered with slow moving masses of ice (fields) called glaciers. The film would support questions about the phenomenon of glaciers.

  • In this lesson, students use a stream table to model the processes of erosion and stream bed formation. The students make changes to the stream environment and make predictions about how these changes will affect the stream. Then the students st ...

  • For this lesson, the students first explore the concept of making models by using home-made dough to create landforms.  How and why people use models are then explained.  Then the children create their own model island from t ...

  • In this lesson, students take information learned about landforms and make a short, creative and entertaining presentation using an App called Yakit to tell their classmates about their research. This lesson is the 4th of 10 in a unit on water a ...

  • This is lesson 8 in a series of lessons that cover landforms and bodies of water.  In this lesson, students will design and create a model of their own island that includes several types of landforms and bodies of water. &nbs ...

  • This is Lesson 9 of a twenty-one -lesson unit on Earth’s Changes by Jeri Faber. This lesson focuses on information from a variety of sources in order to plan for a student led-inquiry about earthquakes. Students research three questions they ha ...

  • In a previous lesson by Jeri Faber, the class went on a tour of the school grounds to find evidence of erosion. The students created their own erosion solution for one of the problems. For this lesson, students will view a Google Slide presentation t ...

  • This lesson builds on another lesson created by Jeri Faber in which students discovered how water changes the earth. For this lesson, students take part in a teacher-led investigation to show how wind changes the land. The children use straws to blow ...

  • This lesson was designed for students to investigate the impact that humans can have in controlling erosion.  Students plan, design, construct, and evaluate ways to slow or prevent landslides from changing the shape of the land.

  • In this lesson, students will make claims and use sources to find evidence that natural events, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, weathering, or erosion happen quickly or slowly. Students will discuss their claims as a group.

  • In this lesson, students walk around the school grounds, neighborhood, or another area of their community to locate evidence of erosion. Various problems caused by erosion are discussed and a solution is developed for one of the problems.&n ...

  • In this lesson plan children investigate water erosion. Students make a sand tower and observe the erosion as they drop water on it. Students  observe, illustrate, and record notes about the process. Short videos and a read aloud also furth ...

  • Teachers engage students in an investigation to create a model of a glacier using ice cubes. Students use the glacier model to observe, diagram, and document glacier movement as they move the ice cube across clay.  

  • This webpage provides a single page summary of erosion that could be used for teachers and students to gain background information. It includes a time lasped video of coastal erosion in Alaska. The reading level of the page is above an average&n ...

  • This 4:23 video, Big Idea 5: Earth is the Water Planet, is created by the American Geoscience Institute (AGI) and helps the viewer to understand how water was formed on Earth and why water is so important to Earth. It also highlig ...

  • This is an erosion lesson featuring sand dunes and what happens to them in the wind.

  • Do you have a great resource to share with the community? Click here.

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