Notes to the Teacher
Eerie Earthquakesis an open-ended cooperative learning activity. It islargely based on second earth science. It is primarily a tool toreinforce part of a conceptual unit about the Changing Earth. Theunit is based on the California State Framework and supports thenew state standards. The following science concepts arereinforced in this unit:
Plate Tectonics and Earth's Structure
Plate tectonics explains important features of the Earth's surface and major geologic events. as the basis for understanding this concept students should know:
- the fit of the continents, location of earthquakes, volcanoes and midocean ridges, and the distribution of fossils, rock types and ancient climatic zones provide evidence for plate tectonics.
- determine the epicenter of an earthquake and that the effects of an earthquake vary with its size, distance from the epicenter, local geology and the type of construction involved.
- earthquakes are sudden motions along breaks in the crust called faults, and volcanoes/fissures are locations where magma reaches the surface.
- major geologic events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions mountain building result fromplate motions.
- explain major features of California geology in terms of plate tectonics(including mountains, faults, volcanoes).
Scientific Processes and Investigation
- the scientific processes of: Communicating, Comparing, Categorizing, Relating and Inferring, are practiced within this activity.
- students read a topographic map and a geologic map for evidence provided on the maps and construct and interpret a simple scale map.
Language Arts Standards
According to the California Language Arts Framework:
"An instructional priority for grade six is the increased focus on advanced forms of evaluation in expository critique...and advanced presentations on problems and solutions."
- students in sixth grade should engage in extensive independent reading as the primary means for increasing vocabulary knowledge.
- students in sixth grade should be required to identify the structural features of popular media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, on-line information) and use the features to obtain information.
Research and Technology
- Students must learn to use organizational features of electronic text (e.g., internet searches, databases, keyword searches, e-mail addresses) to locate relevant information. They must learn to compose documents with appropriate formatting, using word-processing skills.
- A new requirement in the grade six standards is writing expository compositions. Students must (1) state the thesis or purpose, (2) explain the situation, (3) follow an organizational pattern appropriate to the type of composition, and (4) offer persuasive evidence to validate arguments and conclusions as needed.
- Write research reports that: pose relevant questions and are sufficiently narrow scope; offer support from several authoritative sources; and include a bibliography.
Listening and Speaking
- sixth graders are also expected to deliver focused, coherent presentations employing traditional rhetorical strategies. Specifically, they are required to deliver narrative, informative and persuasive presentations.
Standards for students in grade six would include: (example of appropriate technology standards from Butte County Office of Education)
- Use technology tools (e.g., multimedia authoring, presentation, Web tools, digital cameras, scanners) for individual and collaborative writing, communication, and publishing activities to create knowledge, products for audiences inside and outside the classroom, add music or sound effect CD audio to multimedia project
- Use telecommunications efficiently and effectively to access remote information databases, encyclopedias, and other information resources, communicate with others in support of direct and independent learning, and pursue personal interests, experience network access and resources differentiate between various types of on-line services
- Use telecommunications and online resources (e.g., e-mail, online discussions, Web environments) to participate in collaborative problem- solving activities for the purpose of developing solutions or products for audiences inside and outside the classroom, upload and download files attached to messages
- Use technology resources (e.g., calculators, data collection probes, videos, educational software) for problem-solving, self-directed learning, and extended learning activities, experience planning and creating video projects, use zoom and focus controls for video interview
- Determine when technology is useful and select the appropriate tool(s) and technology resources to address a variety of tasks and problems.
- Evaluate the accuracy, relevance, appropriateness, comprehensiveness, and bias of electronic information sources.
Students have an opportunity to use geography, history, math, and art as prescribed by the prescribed frameworks and state standards.
- Teachers please note that students cannot necessarily work on this unit without assistance. Parent, teacher and assistance would be recommended. There are many areas of the activity that students can especially on some of the web sites.
- Be aware of the Language Arts Frameworks recommendation for research report writing. For e.g., using support from several authoritative sources, include a bibliography, use outlining and note cards to organize information, use cooperative groups, however students should be responsible for some type of independent report, besides the group presentation.
- Be advised that this unit does not stand alone. It must be used after ground work has been laid for understanding earth science standard one. Plate tectonics, earth's composition and their relationship to need background information on earthquakes. This should be a culminating activity for an earthquake study connecting the whole process to plate tectonics and the changing earth concept, not a beginning.
Please have other resources available for students as suggested in the learning advice page.
You may choose to add field trips to the experience depending on where you live.
When evaluating student performance, by teacher, self and peers, use what is in place in your classroom. Students better understand their evaluation if consistent with current grading system. However a rubric for self-evaluation is effective for students when creating standards level work.
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