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Dynamic Earth. MST Inquiry Unit Katherine Vazquez Priyanka Puri. Overview. This six lesson unit was designed to foster scientific critical thinking, mathematical skills and representation, and reading proficiency

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dynamic earth

Dynamic Earth

MST Inquiry Unit

Katherine Vazquez


  • This six lesson unit was designed to foster scientific critical thinking, mathematical skills and representation, and reading proficiency
  • An emphasis was placed on appealing to all learning styles, differentiating for 9 different Gardner’s Mis
  • Students were immersed in a comprehensive Earth Science Unit covering the water cycle, rocks and minerals, erosion, pollution and conservation
lesson one the water cycle
Lesson One: The Water Cycle
  • Students watched online videos regarding all elements of the water cycle: Precipitation, Condensation, and Evaporation
  • Students created a T chart to organize their knowledge and wrote about the role of the sun in their science journals
t chart

Role of the Sun in the Water Cycle

During the process of the water cycle, the Sun provides thermal energy to the Earth's surface water which is the key to evaporation. The Sun heats bodies of water which then evaporates into the atmosphere becoming water vapor. The water vapor then condenses and cools, becoming precipitation before falling back to the Earth in the form of surface runoff, snow, hail etc.

Without the Sun's thermal energy, the whole water cycle will cease to work.

focus on kinesthetics
  • Students “rain danced” to a song about the water cycle and wore clothing representative of their respective role: Sun, Rain, or water vapor
lesson two local rocks minerals
Lesson Two: Local Rocks/Minerals
  • Students created a Mathematical Representation of class favorite rocks: PICTOGRAPH
students wrote a letter to a scientist about an unknown rock
Students wrote a letter to a scientist about an unknown rock:
  • Dear Professor Test Tube,
  • We have discovered a new rock on our playground. Right now, the classification is unknown. It is deep red/orange in color and has dark black cracks. It is shiny and feels smooth to the touch. When placed in a container of water, it does not float. It is about the length of a broken crayon and the width of two pennies. It is not grainy, but hard in texture and will not break easily. Any help you and the lab can provide in identifying this rock would be greatly appreciated.
  • Kind Regards,
  • Johnny Labcoat
lesson 3 classifying rocks
Lesson 3: Classifying Rocks!
  • Students made GRAPHIC ORGANIZER!
lesson 4 erosion and change
Lesson 4: Erosion and Change
  • Mathematical Representation: students represented rate of sediment loss on potato farm using LINE GRAPH
lesson five pollution and adversity
Lesson Five: Pollution and Adversity
  • Focus on MUSIC! Student rap:
  • Environmental Rhapsody
  • Up in the air the birds are chokin’
  • Down on the land the trees are smokin’
  • And the EPA just can’t seem to stop
  • The coal plants from growin’
  • Hope I live to see the day when CO2 is reduced
  • Yeah, we’ll keep fighting for the day clean energy’s produced
  • Cuz the dreams alive we know the future can’t survive
  • Till we stop BP from ruinin’ our lives
  • Our streams gotta get cleaner
  • The toxins gotta go through the sweeper
  • Grandma’s pills in my water?
  • Cuz the government is lookin’
  • To do things cheaper!
lesson 6 conservation
Lesson 6: Conservation
  • Students took part in an in-class recycling activity and heard a phenomenal PODCAST (Web 2.0)!!!
  • http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_ARTICLEMAIN&node_id=2103&content_id=CNBP_027976&use_sec=true&sec_url_var=region1&__uuid=e89f3692-9610-446f-b79a-0d7fae8c87ed
  • In it, we learn scientists can use banana peels to clean dirty water!
link to filimentality
Link to Filimentality:
  • http://www.kn.att.com/wired/fil/pages/listdynamicka.html
  • RATIONALE: This site provides a host of links for completion of scavenger hunt, added info on rocks and the environment, and educational games aimed at keeping our Dynamic Earth GREEN!