1
The ocean is the key element in Earth's hydrologic cycle (water cycle). Students will construct a simple model of the hydrologic cycle to help them visualize and understand the movement of liquid water and heat. The hydrologic cycle is the continual movement of water from one place to another and...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
2
We can read about, hear, or see weather reports every day on the radio, television, Internet, or newspapers. Some of this information includes current air temperatures and highs and lows for that day. As a citizen scientist, you can take your own air temperatures with an outdoor thermometer and...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
3
Dendrochronologists use tree rings to go back in time to learn more about past climate. Using straws to recreate tree rings, you can learn how dendrochronologists work. Construct a 50-year climatic history on a three-meter time line. In this activity, students use the spacings between tree rings to...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
4
Published in 2005
Students have the opportunity to take a core sample of their local soil. Using PVC piping, a section of soil is pulled up, allowing students to observe the soil's different layers. Those layers are then separated and identified. The identification process helps students understand what elements make...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
5
Different types of soil have different capabilities for retaining rainwater. When the soil in an area cannot hold enough rainwater, flooding occurs. Students in this activity measure the amount of water different soil types can handle. Following the activity, students discuss soil and flooding...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
6
Trace fossils, which are physical evidence of life activities of now vanished organisms, are more prevalent than body (bones) fossils. One organism can leave behind many traces (e.g. footprints), but only one set of hard parts (e.g. bones) actually becomes a fossil. Trace fossils include tracks,...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
7
Students will become familiar with fire terminology, realize how fire can be used as a management tool, and better understand the factors that need to be considered when planning a prescribed burn. In this activity the students will form opinions around fire management issues. They will then work in...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
8
Students will be able to discuss how different magnitudes of earthquakes affect structures differently by simulating how buildings become damaged in an earthquake.
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
9
Landslides not only are dangerous — causing on average more than 25 deaths and over ¤1 billion in damages a year — but are also widespread, occurring in all 50 states. Compounding the hazards, these natural disasters often occur along with other similar natural phenomena, such as floods...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
10
"Nitrogen is an element that is found both in living things and the nonliving parts of the Earth system. In this classroom activity, students play the role of nitrogen atoms traveling through the nitrogen cycle to gain understanding of the varied pathways through the cycle and how nitrogen is...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
11
Since our beginnings, we humans have had a narrow view of our home - Earth. For many years, standing on the ground and looking around or climbing a mountain and squinting down were the most useful ways people had of trying to understand the planet's surface. Only in the past few hundred years have...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
12
Landslides constitute a major geologic hazard. They are widespread, occurring in all 50 states, and cause ¤1-2 billion in damages and more than 25 fatalities on average each year. Landslides commonly occur with other major natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods (USGS Learning Web)....
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
13
Soil plays a unique role in our life. Soil helps to maintain air quality, stores water and nutrients for plants, and filters contaminants from surface water. Where there is soil, life flourishes. Determining a soil’s pH is important because many plants will only grow in either alkaline or acidic...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
14
"""""Soil porosity"""" refers to the amount of pore, or open space between soil particles. Pore spaces may be formed due to the movement of roots, worms, and insects; expanding gases trapped within these spaces by groundwater; and/or the dissolution of the soil parent material. Soil texture can also...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
15
Is today sunny or overcast? Is there wind, rain, or snow? No matter where you live, weather shapes your life. What’s happening in the sky can determine how you dress, what you eat, where you spend your time, and when you work—or play. The science of the sky encompasses Earth and space science...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
16
A normal fault occurs when rocks break and move because they are being pulled apart. As the area is stretched, the rocks move along the fault. Each movement causes an earthquake. This model demonstrates how a block of rock is extended by a normal fault. 
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
17
"Have you ever seen a fossil? A fossil is any evidence of past life preserved in sediments or rocks. Do you think you could have dinosaur fossils in your family car’s gas tank? Did you ever hear that oil and natural gas are “fossil fuels”? Do you think oil and natural gas can be made from...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
18
A fossil is any evidence of past life preserved in a geologic context, such as within rock or sediment. This activity allows you to explore the process used by paleontologists — scientists who study fossils to understand ancient landscapes, climate, and life on Earth — to find and identify...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
19
The JOIDES Resolution (JR) has physical dimensions unlike most oceangoing vessels. Why? So that scientists can sail nearly anywhere in the world to drill for samples of rocks and sediment from below the seafloor — in hopes of discovering clues about Earth’s history and structure, life in the...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List
20
How do geologists understand the Earth’s history? In part, they measure the age of rocks and other natural materials by dating techniques. They can date rocks by gauging the amount of decay of radioactive elements. The time necessary for half of any given amount of one element (the “parent...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
Save to List