1
Published in 2018
What’s an awe-inspiring natural feature in your state? Maybe it’s a mountain, canyon, waterfall, glacier, cave, volcano, geyser, natural arch, grand vista, or something else. Identify an inspiring landscape near you, and learn about the geoscience behind it. Start with the geologic maps...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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2
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
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3
Few schools are within walking distance of a federally designated wilderness. However, many schools are within walking distance of land with wild elements. Students can look for examples of places with wild elements on or near their school grounds. Then they can duplicate the activity in a wilder...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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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
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5
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
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6
If you have ever used Google Earth, what was the first place you tried to find? For many people the answer is “my home.” Where humans choose to live is one of the fundamental influences on the surface of our planet. People influence and change Earth’s systems (atmosphere, biosphere, geosphere,...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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7
"Each group will design a water filtration system and present to the class why they picked their design. Students are given a variety of materials (soil, gravel, charcoal, etc) and must try to filter """"polluted"""" (with food coloring, salt, dish soap) water."
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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8
People interact with Earth’s water (hydrosphere) in a variety of ways. We depend upon water for survival, but we also need it to keep clean and help avoid spreading disease. On our ever-changing Earth, the supply of fresh water can be limited for some humans. We need good techniques to make the...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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9
We walk around on soil all the time, but how often do we think about what's in it? If you have ever looked closely at soil, you probably saw that it is made up of various types of particles and has various materials mixed in with those particles (rocks, twigs, water, air, worms, insects, and much...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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10
"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
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11
This activity lists materials needed (for home and school use) in case of emergency or natural disaster. Following a natural hazard, basic services – electricity, water, gas, telephones – may be cut off for days. Or, you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice. You probably won’t have time...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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12
Core samples are small portions of a formation taken from an existing well and used for geologic analysis. The sample is analyzed to determine porosity, permeability, fluid content, geologic age, and probable productivity of oil from the site. Drilling is the only way to be sure that oil and gas...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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13
"The purpose of this activity is to give the player an introduction to the economics of mining. Each player buys """"property,"""" purchases the """"mining equipment,"""" pays for the """"mining operation,"""" and finally pays for the """"reclamation."""" In return, the player receives money for the...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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14
"The """"Blue Goose"""" has been the symbol of the National Wildlife Refuge System since it was first drawn by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist J.N. """"Ding"""" Darling, one of the greatest supporters of wildlife conservation in the 20th century. Naturalist and author Rachel Carson had a reminder...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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15
There are many factors that combine to form soil, an important, slowly renewable resource. Some of these factors include climate, organisms, relief, parent material, and time. Soil provides the food, fiber, and building materials to nourish, clothe, and house Earth’s inhabitants. How does climate...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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16
This activity allows students to experience what rocks and minerals go through during the rock cycle. The activity explains how to manipulate chocolate using heated water and a knife into different states representing metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary rocks. Chocolate can be ground into small...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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17
"Mining is a complex process in which valuable or useful materials are removed from large masses of rock. In this activity, students use birdseed and colored beads to mine for """"precious metals"""" and """"gold."""" At th end of the activity, students can count up their winnings. The students gain...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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18
"To allow students to produce a """"marketable"""" product made from minerals that are used by most people every day. Both the abrasive and cleansing compounds found in toothpaste, calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate, are minerals. Students make their own toothpastes with different colors and...
Grade Level   3 4 5 6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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19
The JOIDES Resolution is an amazing ship that contains all the equipment necessary to drill into the ocean floor for samples of rock and sediment: a derrick, drill pipe, drilling tools, and drill bits. Once the cylindrical core sample arrives on the rig floor, the drill crew passes the 10 m core to...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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20
Published in 2006
You may have seen or used Global Positioning System (GPS) devices in cars or on camping trips. These devices use data from satellites orbiting the Earth to locate places on our planet. GPS devices describe the locations to us in the form of latitude and longitude coordinates. Citizen scientists...
Grade Level   6 7 8
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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