This cross-curricular unit about the geology of Earth contains background information, a detailed glossary, Earth facts, and 20 hands-on activities for the classroom, including a culminating project.
- Following Directions
- Chart paper
- Markers for chart paper
- Push pins or other methods for displaying chart paper on classroom walls
- Writing paper, at least one sheet per student
- Poster paper, one sheet per student
- Markers, colored pencils, or crayons
Set Up and Prepare
- Prepare sheets of chart paper for Knowledge Charts activity. One should read "What We Know About Earth" and the other "What We Want to Know About Earth." You will fill out these sheets with the class in the second activity.
Activity 1: Word Banks
Step 1: Use sheets of chart paper to create word banks to display in the classroom. The banks will serve as a basis for language and word study throughout the unit.
Optional: Make multiple word banks divided into categories. One word bank could list students' feelings or impressions about Earth, while another could be scientific terms used to describe Earth.
Step 2: Encourage students to add words as the unit progresses.
Activity 2: Knowledge Charts
Step 1: Discuss with students the facts they already know about Earth. Write down the students' comments on the "What We Know About Earth" chart.
Step 2: Ask students what questions they have about Earth. Write down their questions on the "What We Want to Know About Earth" chart. Write students' initials next to their comments.
Step 3: Hang the charts side-by-side on a classroom wall.
Step 4: Review and add to the charts regularly throughout the unit.
Step 5: Toward the end of the unit, if your instruction has not answered specific questions on the "What We Want to Know About Earth" chart, ask the students who wrote the questions to do independent research to find the answers.
Activity 3: Acrostic Poetry
Step 1: Distribute the writing paper and pencils. Explain to students that they will be writing acrostic "Earth" poems. If you have not written acrostic poems in class before, briefly explain the concept. Encourage students to use words collected in the word banks, as well as rhyme, alliteration, and other figures of speech.
Step 2: Write out your own acrostic poem as an example for the class (or use the example poem below).
Example Acrostic Poem
A ll together
R acing through space
T here's room for us all
H ere on _.
Step 3: Have students design posters for their poems on the back of their writing paper.
Step 4: Distribute the poster paper and markers, colored pencils, or crayons for students to create their poster designs.
Step 5: Ask student volunteers to present their posters to the rest of the class. Discuss any rhyme, rhythm, alliteration, word choice, line pattern, or illustration that is appropriate.
Step 6: Display the acrostic poems in the classroom or have students save them for the end of the unit.
Optional: This activity could be used for evaluation if repeated at the end of the unit. How have students' attitudes towards Earth and their feelings and knowledge about Earth changed and developed?
Adapted from "The Earth," Senior Topics. Published by Ashton Scholastic in Australia.