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Exploring Nature Science Education Resource:

Life Science, Earth Science, and Physical Science Resources for K-12

Grade 6-8 - MS-ESS3: Earth and Human Activity

Grade 6-8 - MS-ESS3: Earth and Human Activity

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Disciplinary Core Ideas

ESS3.A: Natural Resources
• Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for many different resources. Minerals, fresh water, and biosphere resources are limited, and many are not renewable or replaceable over human lifetimes. These resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes. (MS-ESS3-1)

ESS3.B: Natural Hazards
• Mapping the history of natural hazards in a region, combined with an understanding of related geologic forces can help forecast the locations and likelihoods of future events. (MS-ESS3-2)

ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
• Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. But changes to Earth’s environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things. (MS-ESS3-3)
• Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise. (MS-ESS3-3),(MS-ESS3-4)

ESS3.D: Global Climate Change
• Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities. (MS-ESS3-5)

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Use the Template and Resource Links to Fulfill NGSS

l. Goals:

  1. Understand that humans depend on Earth's resources (land, air, water).
  2. Understand that many of Earth's resources are limited and not renewable in human life spans (minerals, clean water, clean air).
  3. Understand that Earth's resources are not evenly distributed around the planet, as they were, and continue to be, distributed by the planet's geoscience (volcanoes, weathering, rock deposition.
  4. Understand that knowing about natural hazards, where they occur and warning signs of their arrival are important to protecting communities and allow protective measures to be in place (tornado warming alarms and shelters, volcanic eruption and tsunami evacuations, winter storm warnings, etc.).
  5. Understand how human activities have affected the biosphere with water, land and air usage and polluting.
  6. Understand that growing human populations increased our effect on the biosphere.
  7. Understand that humans can and should develop ways to protect Earth's resources (on which we depend for life).
  8. Understand that human actions have affected created climate change and understanding and this will help lead to useful solutions.

Essential Questions:

  1. How do Earth's resources provide humans with the things they need to live?
  2. Which of Earth's resources have become limited because of the actions of humans?
  3. How are Earth's resources distributed around the planet unevenly?
  4. What have humans learned about natural hazards and how to predict them and protect ourselves from them?
  5. How have humand actions affected the biosphere?
  6. How does growing human population affect the Earth's resources?
  7. In what ways have humans begun to try to protect Earth's resources?
  8. In what ways have humans begun to address our effect on climate change?

NGSS Note: Think, question, entertain ideas.

 

ll. Introductory Activities to Assess Prior Knowledge

A. Simple Activities - that assess your students’ understanding of the effect of humans on Earth's resources.

Global Warming - Comic Relief Activity

Rotten Game - How Long Does it Take to Decompose?

Global Climate Change Multiple Choice

B. Simple Activities - that assess students’ understanding of how we predict and protect from natural hazards.

Winter Storm Multiple Choice

C. Brainstorming Session
Question: How are we affecting Earth's resources (water, land, air)?
1. Break students down into groups of 3-4.
2. Ask students to generate a list of the different ways humans are affecting Earth's resources (including climate).
3
. Discuss


lll. New Knowledge - Text

Read about Earth's resources and how humans affect them.

Acid Rain

Coral Reefs in Peril

Deforestation

Desertification

Endangered Species - The Giant Panda

Global Warming and Climate Change

Habitat Loss

Over-Fishing Our Oceans

Pollution (Light)

Pollution (Noise)

Pollution (Ocean)

Too Much Trash

Wetlands - Their Important and Why

Global Warming and Climate Change

Read about Earth's natural hazards and how we try to protect ourselves from them.

Storms - Hurricanes

Storms - Hurricanes (Basic Readers)

Storms - Thunderstorms

Storms - Thunderstorms (Basic Readers)

Storms - Tornadoes

Storms - Tornadoes (Basic Readers)

Examples of Models (depicts the concepts expressed in the reading):

Ask students to look at the two models illustrating global warming and climate change and explain how each illustrates the concept.

Global warming, climate change
Global warming, climate change


lV. Experiments, Activities, Model-making (Critical Thinking)

Inquiry
related to human over-use and destruction of Earth's resources:

Smog-making Activity

Use critical thinking to devise ways to protect people from natural hazards. Read about wetlands and how they protect us from natural processes (storms) that produce natural hazards (flooding). Knowing this, what actions do you think we should take to help protect us from storm flooding?
Wetlands - Their Important and Why

Human Actions: Sometimes human actions combine with natural processes to create new natural hazards. Read about acid rain and its effect on us. Use critical thinking about ways we can reduce this hazard.

acid rain

 

Authentic Performance - Understanding by Design (UbD) assessment tool.
Wetlands Value - Authentic Performance
Use critical thinking to complete this Authentic Performance Activity and deepen understanding about the how wetland naturally reduce the natural hazards of natural processes like: storms, tides and wave action.

 

 

 

Wetlands value authentic performance

V. Summarize Knowledge - Enduring Understandings

  1. Humans depend on Earth's resources (land, air, water).
  2. Earth's resources are limited and not renewable in human life spans (minerals, clean water, clean air).
  3. Earth's resources are not evenly distributed around the planet, as they were, and continue to be, distributed by the planet's geoscience (volcanoes, weathering, rock deposition.
  4. Knowing about natural hazards, where they occur and warning signs of their arrival are important to protecting communities and allow protective measures to be in place.
  5. Human activities have affected the biosphere with our usage of water, land and air and their rising pollution levels.
  6. Growing human populations increased our effect on the biosphere.
  7. Humans can and should develop ways to protect Earth's resources (on which we depend for life).
  8. Human actions have affected created climate change and understanding and this will help lead to useful solutions.

     

Vl. Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS) - Middle School Earth Science

Disciplinary Core Ideas

ESS3.A: Natural Resources
• Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for many different resources. Minerals, fresh water, and biosphere resources are limited, and many are not renewable or replaceable over human lifetimes. These resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes. (MS-ESS3-1)

ESS3.B: Natural Hazards
• Mapping the history of natural hazards in a region, combined with an understanding of related geologic forces can help forecast the locations and likelihoods of future events. (MS-ESS3-2)

ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
• Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. But changes to Earth’s environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things. (MS-ESS3-3)
• Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise. (MS-ESS3-3),(MS-ESS3-4)

ESS3.D: Global Climate Change
• Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities. (MS-ESS3-5)

Science and Engineering Practices

Asking Questions and Defining Problems
Asking questions and defining problems in grades 6–8 builds on grades K–5 experiences and progresses to specifying relationships between variables, and clarifying arguments and models.
• Ask questions to identify and clarify evidence of an argument. (MS-ESS3-5)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis.
• Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings. (MS-ESS3-2)

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
• Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.
• Construct a scientific explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the students’ own experiments) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future. (MS-ESS3-1)
• Apply scientific principles to design an object, tool, process or system. (MS-ESS3-3)

Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Engaging in argument from evidence in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to constructing a convincing argument that supports or refutes claims for either explanations or solutions about the natural and designed world(s).
• Construct an oral and written argument supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon or a solution to a problem. (MS-ESS3-4)

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns
• Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data. (MS-ESS3-2)

Cause and Effect
• Relationships can be classified as causal or correlational, and correlation does not necessarily imply causation. (MS-ESS3-3)
• Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems. (MS-ESS3-1),(MS-ESS3-4)

Stability and Change
• Stability might be disturbed either by sudden events or gradual changes that accumulate over time. (MS-ESS3-5)

 

Connections to Engineering, Technology and Applications of Science

Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World
• All human activity draws on natural resources and has both short and long-term consequences, positive as well as negative, for the health of people and the natural environment. (MS-ESS3-1),(MS-ESS3-4)
• The uses of technologies and any limitations on their use are driven by individual or societal needs, desires, and values; by the findings of scientific research; and by differences in such factors as climate, natural resources, and economic conditions. Thus technology use varies from region to region and over time. (MS-ESS3-2),(MS-ESS3-3)

Connections to Nature of Science

Science Addresses Questions About the Natural and Material World
• Scientific knowledge can describe the consequences of actions but does not necessarily prescribe the decisions that society takes. (MS-ESS3-4)

Grade 6-8 - MS-ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
Grade 6-8 - MS-ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
Grade 6-8 - MS-ESS3: Earth and Human Activity

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