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High School — Science
Earth and Space Sciences

Students should demonstrate an understanding of how Earth's systems and processes interact and make Earth habitable. This topic covers the composition of the universe, the solar system and Earth. In addition, it covers the interconnected nature of Earth's systems and processes, and how they shape Earth and Earth's history based on observable scientific evidence in the geologic record. Students should understand how the concepts and principles of energy, matter, motion and force explain Earth systems, the solar system and the universe. Finally, they should grasp historical perspectives, scientific approaches and emerging scientific issues associated with Earth and space sciences.

The content in this Teaching Tool is based largely on the Ohio Science Academic Content Standards with an awareness of the types of questions asked to date on the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT). While various suggestions and activities for working with students are included, this Teaching Tool is designed to complement a rigorous, research-based curriculum, not to substitute for one.

Additional Sources

American Association for the Advancement of Science. Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Oxford University Press, 1993.

American Association for the Advancement of Science. Atlas of Science Literacy. Washington, D.C.: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Driver, Rosalind, et al. Making Sense of Secondary Science: Research into Children's Ideas. New York: Routledge, 1994.

Hazen, Robert M. and James Trefil. Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy. New York: Anchor Books, 1992.

Hess, Frances S., et al. Earth Science: Geology, the Environment, and the Universe. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005.

National Academy of Sciences. National Science Education Standards. Washington D.C.: National Academies Press, 1995.

National Research Council. America's Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2006.

Press, Frank, et al. Understanding Earth. New York: W.H. Freeman, 2003.



Earth and Space Sciences


1. Earth and Space Sciences

Click on the following benchmark for more information and for links to annotated OGT items.

a.

Benchmark A: Explain how evidence from stars and other celestial objects provides information about the processes that cause changes in the composition and scale of the physical universe.
b.

Benchmark B: Explain that many processes occur in patterns within the Earth's systems.
c.

Benchmark C: Explain the 4.5 billion-year-history of the Earth and the 4 billion-year history of life on Earth based on observable scientific evidence in the geologic record.
d.

Benchmark D: Describe the finite nature of Earth's resources and those human activities that can conserve or deplete Earth's resources.
e.

Benchmark E: Explain the processes that move and shape Earth's surface.
f.

Benchmark F: Summarize the historical development of scientific theories and ideas, and describe emerging issues in the study of Earth and space sciences.

 



Strategies

Help With Fundamentals

Students who have performed at the Basic or Limited level on the OGT may need help with fundamentals. Students with Basic level performance demonstrate a rudimentary understanding of concepts, processes and relationships underlying natural phenomena. Students with Limited level performance typically demonstrate skills and understanding below Basic level performance. Click here for a complete description of student performance levels.

Listed here are a few common difficulties students might have in this standard. Carefully monitor your students' work and analyze your curriculum to anticipate such problems.

Please take proper safety precautions during any laboratory investigation.



Additional Instruction and Practice

Students who have performed at the Accelerated or Proficient level on the OGT may benefit from additional instruction and practice. Students with Accelerated level performance typically demonstrate solid knowledge and reasoning abilities in the sciences. Students with Proficient level performance typically recognize and explain concepts, processes and relationships underlying natural phenomena. Click here for a complete description of student performance levels.

If your students need additional instruction and practice, consult with your colleagues and examine your curriculum for activities that address the performance indicators. Supplement your instruction by having your students make models, draw pictures, do kinesthetic activities and use graphic organizers. Here are some examples of additional activities you might want to try.

Please take proper safety precautions during any laboratory investigation.

Activity 1

Fossils and Geologic Time

Click here * for "Fossils and Geologic Time", a lesson in which students explain how geologic time can be estimated by rock sequences and fossil correlation. This contributes to student understanding of the history of life on Earth based on observable scientific evidence in the geologic record (Earth and Space Sciences, Benchmark C). Students may also develop understanding of the historical development scientific theories about the history of Earth (Earth and Space Sciences, Benchmark F) and how these theories have changed over time (Scientific Ways of Knowing, Benchmark B).

Activity 2

Energy: The U.S. in Crisis?

Click here * for "Energy: The U.S. in Crisis?, a case study of the California energy crisis of 2001. Students will describe the finite nature of Earth's resources and how human activities can deplete these resources (Earth and Space Sciences, Benchmark D). Students may also compare benefits and risks from political, economic and social perspectives and learn how science and technology, including the development of alternative fuels, can inform public policy of fossil fuel use (Science and Technology, Benchmark B).

Activity 3

Sea-Floor Spreading Model

Click here * for a series of lessons to help student understanding of sea-floor spreading and continental drift. Students will explain sea-floor spreading and continental drift using magnetic reversals as scientific evidence. This activity contributes to student understanding of the process that moves and shapes Earth's Surface (Earth and Space Sciences, Benchmark E). Students will also construct, interpret and apply physical models that represent evidence for continental drift (Scientific Inquiry, Benchmark A).

*This link contains resources or information that may be useful. These resources were not written to align specifically to Ohio's Academic Content Standards. The inclusion of a specific resource is not an endorsement of that particular resource, or any of its contents, by the Ohio Department of Education. Teachers are advised to preview all sites before using them with students.



Advanced Work

Students with Advanced level performance consistently demonstrate superior knowledge and ability to integrate understanding of scientific principles. Click here for a complete description of student performance levels.

Talk to your colleagues and use your curriculum to come up with activities and problems that go beyond the grade-level indicators. Here is an idea you might try.

Please take proper safety precautions during any laboratory investigation.



Defining Drought

Students are expected to summarize the relationship between the climatic zone and the resultant biomes, and explain climate and weather patterns associated with certain geographic locations and features (Earth and Space Sciences, Benchmark B). Click here * for a lesson that addresses this benchmark in which students describe the weather patterns associated with drought and resultant effects on ecosystems. Students will also describe ways human activities, including dam building, deforestation and irrigation, can alter the water cycle (Earth and Space Sciences, Benchmark D) and assess the benefits and risks of these activities (Science and Technology, Benchmark A).

*This link contains resources or information that may be useful. These resources were not written to align specifically to Ohio's Academic Content Standards. The inclusion of a specific resource is not an endorsement of that particular resource, or any of its contents, by the Ohio Department of Education. Teachers are advised to preview all sites before using them with students.