Quarter 1

Unit I: Materials and Processes that Shape a Planet

 Goal 1.  The student will demonstrate the ability to use concepts of system analysis to identify major topics in geology and to discuss their relationship to other fields of Earth and Space Science.

Objectives - The student will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe the components of the physical Earth as a system (inner core, outer core, mantle, crust).
  2. Explain and give examples of the dynamic balance between matter and energy within and on the physical Earth.
  3. Give examples of how changes in the physical Earth affect other Earth systems and human activity.

Goal 2. The student will demonstrate the ability to describe and classify materials that make up Earth.

Objectives - The student will be able to:

  1. Illustrate the chemical structure of the atom and describe characteristics of protons, neutrons, electrons, and the nucleus.
  2. Distinguish among compounds, mixtures, molecules, and isotopes.
  3. Use selected properties to identify common rock forming mineral groups, including carbonates, halides, oxides, silicates, sulfates, and sulfides.
  4. Describe the physical characteristics of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, including crystal size and shape, mineral and chemical composition, density and origin.

Goal 3. The student will demonstrate the ability to explain how rock formation, weathering, sedimentation, and rock reformation constitute a continuing "rock cycle" in which the total amount of material stays the same even as its form changes.

Objectives - The student will be able to:

  1. Describe how convection, density, and the law of conservation explain the movement of materials within the rock cycle.
  2. Describe the constructive and destructive processes that drive the rock cycle, including sedimentation, lithification, crystallization, defomation, deposition, erosion, melting, cooling, metamorphism, subsidence, and weathering.
  3. Explain the role of gravity and natural agents (water, wind, glaciers) on Earth (landform changes) and how they impact the rock cycle.
    • Predict the impact of moving water on a landscape over time.
    • Analyze the life cycle of a river.
  4. Explain the principles of hydrology, including evaporation, transpiration, surface and groundwater flows, aquifers, porosity, water retention, permeability, particle surface area, desalinization, and sources of water contamination and pollution.
  5. Describe current efforts and technologies used to study Earth's land features, including spectroscopy, remote sensing, GIS, GPS, imaging, and topographic mapping using satellite and ground-based data.