Big Idea 6: Earth Structures

Over geologic time, internal and external sources of energy have continuously altered the features of Earth by means of both constructive and destructive forces. All life, including human civilization, is dependent on Earth's internal and external energy and material resources.
General Information
Number: SC.6.E.6
Title: Earth Structures
Type: Big Idea
Subject: Science
Grade: 6
Body of Knowledge: Earth and Space Science

Related Benchmarks

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Independent

SC.6.E.6.In.1
Describe how weathering and erosion reshape the Earth’s surface.
SC.6.E.6.In.2
Identify various landforms in Florida, including coastlines, rivers, lakes, and dunes.

Supported

SC.6.E.6.Su.1
Recognize that wind and water cause physical weathering and erosion.
SC.6.E.6.Su.2
Recognize different landforms in Florida, including beaches (coastlines), rivers, and lakes.

Participatory

SC.6.E.6.Pa.1
Recognize that water can move soil.
SC.6.E.6.Pa.2
Recognize a landform in Florida, such as a beach (coastline), river, or lake.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Image/Photograph

Gateway to Astronaut Photography:

Just like you take pictures on a vacation, astronauts take pictures of the Earth from the shuttle or International Space Station. This website has over 6,000 images. You can type in a specific landform, weather event or location to view the images.

Type: Image/Photograph

Lesson Plans

Gr. 6 Lesson 1-Kissimmee-Lake Okeechobee-Everglades Watershed:

Students will be able to find locations and waterways pertinent to the Kissimmee-Lake Okeechobee-Everglades (K-O-E) watershed on a map after watching a video and reading a story.

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr. 6 Lesson 3-Florida’s Limestone–Tums for Our Water and Soil :

Students will conduct a controlled experiment to determine the effect Florida's limestone has on the pH levels of Florida's water and soil. Students will compare limestone's effect to that of other rocks and minerals found naturally in Florida. At the end of this investigation, students should be able to articulate the effect limestone has on the pH of water in Florida, the importance of this phenomenon, and a basic understanding of the process by which limestone affects pH levels in water.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bling Builders: Diamonds and the Rock Cycle:

This is a 2-3+ day unit lesson plan that uses Diamonds as a case study into the Rock Cycle, and also incorporates other concepts from Geology and Physics.

Type: Lesson Plan

Florida Water Hazard Warning Simulation:

This lesson is a culminating lesson in the Florida Landforms & Water Unit that gives students the ability to use their knowledge of water and potential weather hazards that affect different Florida landforms. This lesson allows students to create a computer program that demonstrates a flood hazard and how to monitor it.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Water Cycle: If/Then and Loops:

This lesson introduces the water cycle to enhance the understanding of how bodies of water and landforms interact to form a complex system. This lesson provides students the opportunity to see how systems can be found in many different forms from science to computers. This lesson will also introduce pseudocode as another form of a procedure. This is lesson 3 of 4 in the Florida Landform and Water Unit.

Type: Lesson Plan

Logical Bodies of Water and Algorithms:

This lesson will allow students to understand Florida landforms as systems and identify their characteristics. This lesson will also give understanding of how computers take input, give output, take commands, and execute an action from a user. Lastly this lesson will use different graphical representations, like tables and flowcharts to understand how computers think, while students create origami to review their science concepts. This is lesson 2 in a 4-lesson unit on Florida Landforms and Water.

Type: Lesson Plan

Different Bodies of Water:

This is the introductory lesson in a 4-lesson unit of study about different bodies of water, their characteristics, and how to translate natural language into computer language.

Type: Lesson Plan

Let's Get Moving: Exploring Erosion & Deposition:

The student will investigate the processes of deposition and erosion through a hands-on activity and lab simulating the impact on Earth's surface. This activity leads students to a rich understanding of both the erosion and deposition processes and how they change the Earth's surface. Students will relate erosion and deposition to how Earth is changed by the building up and tearing down of its surface. Students will identify unique landforms that are created as a result of erosion and deposition.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sinkholes Under Your Home:

In this MEA, students will determine the best location for building homes based on sinkhole data. Students will determine the best location for building new homes for a growing population, investigate sinkhole data, and determine the best location for the new homes.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Florida Landforms:

Students will identify pictures of various landforms on Earth's surface. They will watch a brief video about Florida’s geologic history. After the students review a Florida state map, they will design and create a relief map of Florida that includes various landforms such as mountains and hills, lakes, rivers, deltas, dunes, and coastline.

Type: Lesson Plan

Preventing Lake Erosion:

How can you save your house on the lake? This is a three-day activity that will reinforce science skills, math skills, and technology skills by taking the students through the design process to create a solution to the real-world problem of lake erosion.

Type: Lesson Plan

An Investigative Look at Florida's Sinkholes:

This is a 6th grade inquiry lab lesson for students to model what factors affect sinkholes, along with weathering and erosion.

Type: Lesson Plan

Playing on Thin Ice:

In this lesson, students will investigate the difference between melting land ice and melting sea ice as it relates to sea level rise. After guided exploration of Florida's coastline and sea level rise, students will write a letter to local government expressing concern for sea level rise and its impact on Florida's coastline.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ever Changing Earth:

In this lesson students will be able to identify different Earth processes (physical weathering, chemical weathering, erosion and deposition). Students will perform hands-on lab activities which will demonstrate these Earth processes.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Amazing Land of Florida!:

Students will learn about the different landforms that make up the state of Florida. Throughout the lesson, students will be provided with an opportunity to practice with the landforms vocabulary and model the landforms using modeling clay. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Weathering Away:

This lesson will allow students to discover, give examples and understand the ways in which Earth's surface is built up and torn down by physical and chemical weathering. Students will apply this knowledge with a PowerPoint presentation of their findings.

Type: Lesson Plan

MEA Save Our Soccer Field:

In this Model Eliciting Activity students are given data on types of materials that stop erosion from water run-off. The students are to use their problem solving skills as well as prior science knowledge to create a procedure for choosing the right material.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Special Agent: Water:

Summit Activity 5E lesson plan

Type: Lesson Plan

Energy of Water: Erosion:

In this lesson, students will investigate the energy of water as it relates to erosion. After guided exploration of an erosion tray, students will devise, carry out, and evaluate a plan to slow down or stop the effects of erosion with as little environmental impact as possible.

Type: Lesson Plan

Weathering and Erosion Video Project:

Using a digital video recorder, 6th grade students will create an informational video that teaches 4th grade (or 5th as an FCAT review) students about weathering and erosion using images from around the school and local areas. This will most likely be a long-term project, depending on how many digital video recorders and computers are available.

Type: Lesson Plan

Mucho Mulch:

In this MEA students will continue to explore and discuss the problems faced when soil is weathered and eroded away. Through the activity they will explore one of many solutions to this issue. They will also gain more perspective on the importance of considering the choices they make daily and how every choice can and does affect the environment.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Paper Route Logic:

The main problem students will need to solve is helping Lily Rae Wridenhoud find a route that will afford her the quickest time, least distance and highest customer satisfaction rating. Students will be given a map of all the streets leading around the neighborhood and customer rating (smiley faces). Students will need to use a ruler to figure out distances as well as decide elevation numbers on the topographic map. Then they will write out the route they have chosen to give Lily, and write a short explanation as to why this is the quickest and least distance traveled. Students will then be asked to look over their findings and be informed that some of the old clients have canceled the paper delivery and a few new paper clients have signed on. Does their new route still fit their findings?

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Soil Solutions:

In this MEA students will explore the different factors that differentiate soils. They will determine, based on the given characteristics, which type of soil will best grow good produce.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Tree-mendous Choice for Erosion Prevention:

This activity provides students with an open-ended, realistic problem for which students will research, discuss, and present the characteristics of 8 trees based on characteristics, type of wood, and suitability for growth in wet or dry climate with current weather patterns. Their objective is to promote the soil erosion prevention Students support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence, as they produce clear and coherent writing to describe the project of their structure ins development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Weathering Erosion Deposition:

Students will actively participate in a guided reading activity on erosion, deposition and weathering. Students will read a specific passage, discuss their findings and support their discussion with their notes from the research. Students will continue this activity while watching a video clip. Students will record important facts. Finally, students will share their "research based" answers with the class.

Type: Lesson Plan

Protecting Our Dunes:

An environmental conservation group is asked to plant vegetation on existing sand dunes in South Florida to reduce the erosion of the dunes. Group members must decide which vegetation is best to plant.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Evidence of Weathering and Erosion:

Earth's surface is changed by weathering (breaking down rock physically or chemically) and erosion (the movement of weathered material).

Type: Lesson Plan

Glaciers, Water and Wind, Oh My!:

This hands-on activity explores five different forms of erosion (chemical, water, wind, glacier and temperature). Students rotate through stations and model each type of erosion on rocks, soils and minerals.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Tear Me Down and Build Me Up: The Story of Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition:

Weathering, erosion and deposition are driving forces in the development of land formations. Explore them in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Experts

Coastline Geology:

Christopher Williams, Coastal Geologist, talks about the characteristics of coastlines.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Coastlines of Florida:

Christopher Williams discusses the different types of coastlines that are found in Florida.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Karst Geology:

Geologist Harley Means discusses the characteristics of karst geology.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Velocity of the Aucilla River:

Harley Means discusses the mathematical methods hydrologists use to calculate the velocity of rivers.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

MicroGravity Sensors & Statistics:

Statistical analysis played an essential role in using microgravity sensors to determine location of caves in Wakulla County.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Unit Rate and Florida Cave Formation:

How long does it take to form speleothems in the caves at Florida Caverns State Parks?

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Teaching Ideas

Erosion:

Students will design and conduct an open-ended investigation using a variety of earth materials to answer a question posed by the teacher: How does the erosion of sand compare with the erosion of gravel? After producing evidence that addresses this question, they will generate their own question that could be answered with further scientific inquiry.

Type: Teaching Idea

Erosion:

These activities will help students understand how the processes of weathering and erosion change and move materials that become soil.

Type: Teaching Idea

Let's Learn About Weathering:

These classroom activities will help students understand 4 types of weather processes: wind, running water, plant growth, and freezing water. Students will learn how the processes of weathering and erosion change and move materials that become soil.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resource

Sinkholes:

Sink your teeth into learning about how sinkholes form. In the video clip, three students investigate sinkholes to determine their cause, and then construct a functioning model. Directions for replicating this model, text and student activities are included.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorial

Weathering and Soil:

This tutorial will help student learners to understand the processes of chemical and mechanical weathering of the Earth. This tutorial also covers information about different kinds of rocks.

Type: Tutorial

Video/Audio/Animation

Coral Kid:

In this video segment from ZOOM, a Florida girl explores the ecosystem of the warm shallow waters off the coral island on which she lives. Discussion questions and a background essay accompany this video, with closed captioning.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorial

Tear Me Down and Build Me Up: The Story of Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition:

Weathering, erosion and deposition are driving forces in the development of land formations. Explore them in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Expert

MicroGravity Sensors & Statistics:

Statistical analysis played an essential role in using microgravity sensors to determine location of caves in Wakulla County.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Text Resource

Sinkholes:

Sink your teeth into learning about how sinkholes form. In the video clip, three students investigate sinkholes to determine their cause, and then construct a functioning model. Directions for replicating this model, text and student activities are included.

Type: Text Resource

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Tutorial

Weathering and Soil:

This tutorial will help student learners to understand the processes of chemical and mechanical weathering of the Earth. This tutorial also covers information about different kinds of rocks.

Type: Tutorial