Day 1 “What’s inside the earth?

” Students will use inquiry skills to predict what is inside the Earth. (MI: Science.S.IP.E.1) In this lesson, we worked together to create a KWL chart to document the knowledge students began the unit with. After completing the K and the W on this chart, I showed students their workbooks they would have for the unit. They completed the first page requiring them to make predictions about what they thought was inside the earth. Using colors and labeling, students drew a picture of their thinking.

Day 2 Comparing the earth to an apple Students will compare and contrast the layers of the Earth and an apple. (MI: Science.E.SE.3.11) In this lesson we used apples as models of the inside of the earth. We discussed what a model is and how it helps us better understand science. We then read pages 10-15 in Earthquakes and Volcanoes by Deborah Merrians to give students a basic understanding of what is actually inside the earth. Next I gave students half an apple and asked them to think and write about how the inside of the earth is similar and different to the inside of an apple. Guided Reading Integration The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth by Joanna Cole Students will ask questions to support their comprehension of informational text. (MI: ELA.R.MT.3.1) We continued the work with questioning we had done the previous day. I again helped students realize the difference between informational and fiction questions to help them think about the science contained in this book. After orally reading the second third of the book, I asked students to record five wondering questions about the informational information in the book. Students were allowed to work in pairs or independently.

Day 3 Layers of the earth Students will name and create a model of the layers of the Earth. (MI: Science.E.SE.3.11) We reviewed what students learned in the previous lesson about the layers of the earth. We used this knowledge to color and label a picture of the inside of the earth. We then made predictions about the possibility of traveling to the center of the earth. After writing about their predictions, they drew a picture about their prediction. All students believed it would be impossible to journey to the center of the earth and provided great reasons about why this was not possible. Guided Reading Integration The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth by Joanna Cole Students will ask questions to support their comprehension of informational text. (MI: ELA.R.MT.3.1) We finished reading this Magic School Bus book and concluded our work on questioning. Students showed excellent improvement in the questions they thought about as they were reading. The students showed they understood the difference between fiction questions and nonfiction questions. Again, they had to write five wondering questions about the nonfiction information presented in their reading today.

Guided Reading Integration The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth by Joanna Cole Students will ask questions to support their comprehension of informational text. (MI: ELA.R.MT.3.1) Using a class set of this book, we will work on the comprehension strategy of questioning as we remember some of the information we had learned previously about rocks and minerals. In this lesson it was important to stress the importance of quality questions and the difference between questions about the fiction aspect of the story and the informational aspects. After working together as a class, students will develop 4 of their own wondering questions.

Day 4 Characteristics of each layer Students will name and describe characteristics of each layer of the Earth. (MI: Science.E.SE.3.22) To begin this lesson, we reread the pages about the inside of the earth from Earthquakes and Volcanoes to review characteristics of each layer of the earth. Also, we used the posters and charts in our classroom to add important distinguishing characteristics about each layer to our workbook. We then discussed plate tectonics and Pangaea using pictures and simulations from the internet projected onto the T.V. screen. Students were very interested in the way the earth has changed. Guided Reading Integration Volcanoes by Chuck Garofano Students will ask qeustiosn to support their comprehension of informational text. (MI: ELA.R.MT.3.1) Without thinking about anything but reading, we read the first part of the book titled “The Eruption of Vesuvius.” After we were done reading, we thought about what happened, when, where, why, and how. Students recorded what they remembered on a flip worksheet. I then explained that it is often helpful to have questions in mind when we are reading to help us understand what we are reading better. I instructed students to go back and read again, thinking about the questions and record the information they remembered.

Day 5 Push those plates! Students will be able to illustrate the different motions in which the plates of the earth move. (MI:Science.E.SE.3.22)
We did a hands-on experiment that illustrates to students the movement of the tectonic plates and the results that occur. I passed out the materials students needed. I demonstrated each movement with my own materials, showed a picture of what the results should be on a PowerPoint slide, and allowed the students to do the movement themselves. I also showed students a virtual simulation of moving plates using http://www.seed.slb.com/en/scictr /watch/living_planet/mountains.ht m. Once students had simulated all the movements with their graham crackers, they completed a page in their workbook.

Day 6 Volcano introduction and parts Students will demonstrate an understanding of the natural process of volcanic explosions and how they affect the surface of the earth. (MI: Science.E.SE.E.2) We began the lesson by watching a United Streaming Video about volcanoes. After the movie we discussed what we learned. We then talked about and labeled the parts of volcanoes to give students an understanding of the unseen parts of a volcano.

Guided Reading Integration Volcanoes by Chuck Garofano Students will demonstrate their comprehension through written responses to questions they answered using informational texts. (MI: ELA.R.CM.3.1)

Guided Reading Integration Many informational books at grade level about volcanoes Students will demonstrate their comprehension through written responses to questions they answered using informational texts. (MI: ELA.R.CM.3.1) We continued what we worked on in the previous lesson. I reminded students about what I had noticed about the work they had done in the previous lesson. Some students needed to think about other questions that were more broad and easier to answer. I again modeled explicitly what students should be doing as they are reading for answers. This modeling helped many students. All students at least found answers for two of their questions allowing us to move on to the next part of this

We began the lesson by asking questions about volcanoes that will guide our reading. I modeled thinking about and recorded questions and then released students to do it independently. After they had written their questions, they read through the book keeping their questions in mind and recording the answers when they came across them. Modeling is extremely important in this lesson because students have not had a lot of experience reading for information.

Day 7 Volcano Experiment #1 Students will use inquiry skills to generate hypotheses and record observations to learn about the formation of a volcano. (MI: Science.S.IP.E.1) I began the lesson by explaining what the different parts of the cookie/toothpaste model represented. I explained what I was going to do and asked students to record prediction. After we discussed predictions students made, I performed the experiment and students drew pictures of their observations. They recorded how the model was like a volcano. This lesson was great to give students a visual of the inner workings of a volcano and get an introduction to the inquiry process. Guided Reading Integration Informational Volcano Posters Students will demonstrate their comprehension through written responses to questions they answered using informational texts. (MI: ELA.R.CM.3.1) I went through students work from the previous lesson and marked the question and answer I expected students to create their poster about. This ensured the question/answer was quality and that the class had a variety of information represented. Students first wrote the question they researched at the top and the answer on the bottom. After it was checked by myself for spelling and punctuation, they illustrated their response. We displayed these posters on our science bulletin board.

Day 8 How do volcanoes form? Students will orally describe and illustrate how a volcano grows and changes the surface of the earth. (MI: Science.S.RS.3.11) I read The Magic School Bus Blows It’s Top by Joanna Cole aloud to the class. We discussed the formation of underwater volcanoes as we read through the book. After our discussion, students illustrated the process in their workbooks, showing how the ocean floor changes after several volcanic eruptions and eventually builds up enough to become an island, like Hawaii.

Day 9 Richter scale Students will understand how earthquakes occur, the changes they cause to the earth, and the way they are detected and measured. (MI: Science.E.SE.3.22) We began the lesson by discussing how earthquake occur and they types of destruction they cause. We will then look at a map of real time earthquakes that are happening around the world using the following website: http://www.exploratorium.edu/f aultline/index.html. Students will see how many earthquake are occurring everyday. I next explained how earthquakes are detected and measured. Students then created their own inventive scale to measure the destruction earthquake cause. Guided Reading Integration Book Clubs: Earthquake in the Early Morning by Mary Pope Osborne Students will use book clubs to productively discuss the reading they have done and demonstrate their comprehension. (MI: ELA.S.DS.3.1) I introduced book clubs and explained what they would be doing. I had arranged groups that had students of different levels. Each group had a different color journal to help separate them more easily. After I explained my expectations, I let the groups get to work. Each group had a assigned place to meet in the room. These book clubs were a very effective way to learn about earthquakes while working on comprehension.

Guided Reading Integration Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens by Patricia Lauber Students will think about author’s word choice to support their comprehension. (MI: ELA.R.CM.3.1) We began the lesson by modeling thinking about word choice as we read orally. As a class, we thought about words the author used to help the reader visualize and comprehend what was occurring. We also talked about why these were good words. After reading several pages, I released students to try it on their own. Most students found several good words but struggled to record why these were good words to help the reader. This is a skill that students need additional support with.

Day 10 The Great San Francisco Earthquake Students will investigate the destruction an earthquake can cause to gain a better understanding of how they change the surface of the earth. (MI: Science.S.IA.3.14) Two days prior to this lesson, students began investigating the San Francisco earthquake in the computer lab using the internet. We began the lesson by allowing students to share their initial findings. Next I read parts of …If you lived at the Time of the Great San Francisco Earthquake by Ellen Levine. I asked students to add to the notes they had about the earthquake in their journals to gather details required to write a news article. Guided Reading Integration Book Clubs: Earthquake in the Early Morning by Mary Pope Osborne Students will use book clubs to productively discuss the reading they have done and demonstrate their comprehension. (MI: ELA.S.DS.3.1) We continued the second day of book clubs. In this lesson students read chapters three and four. They completed their book club journals. We also began discussing the nonfiction science facts we were learning through this book. They began recording their findings in the chart at the back of their book club journals.

Day 11 The Great San Francisco Earthquake Students will investigate the destruction an earthquake can cause to gain a better understanding of how they change the surface of the earth. (MI: Science.S.IA.3.14)
We continued reading about the San Francisco earthquake to spend one last day gathering information and details for our news articles. Today I created my own article about the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens to help students understand the types of details they needed to be listening for. I also showed the book on the document camera so students could follow along and see the words and illustrations. We ended my making a list of description about the earthquake.

Day 12 Newspaper Article Students will demonstrate an understanding of the destruction of earthquakes through a written newspaper article. (MI: ELA.W.PR.3.1) We began writing our newspaper articles in this lesson. I spent half the lesson discussing the important features of a newspaper article (the 5 Ws, details, anecdotes). We read back through the article about the volcano eruption and identified these features. We put the list of description we created up and let the students get to work on their articles. About half the students were really imaginative the first day. Others took longer to get the hang of it. Guided Reading Integration Book Clubs: Earthquake in the Early Morning by Mary Pope Osborne Students will use book clubs to productively discuss the reading they have done and demonstrate their comprehension. (MI: ELA.S.DS.3.1) Students completed their forth day of book clubs. They read chapters seven and eight today and continued making connections to the science information they are learning through the book. I also tried to get students to have more of a discussion about what they are reading, rather than just completing the journal. I put a question on the T.V. to discuss with their group. At the end we discussed the question as a class.

Guided Reading Integration Book Clubs: Earthquake in the Early Morning by Mary Pope Osborne Students will use book clubs to productively discuss the reading they have done and demonstrate their comprehension. (MI: ELA.S.DS.3.1) It was the third day of book clubs. Students continued to do a good job completing their book club journals and working together. It was important to ensure students were on task and helping each other, as they were getting a little lazy. We continued thinking about science connections we discovered in the book.

Day 13 Newspaper Article Students will demonstrate an understanding of the destruction of earthquakes through a written newspaper article. (MI: ELA.W.PR.3.1) Students continued writing their newspaper articles. I read a few examples of good articles from the day before. Also, there was a minor earthquake in Nevada, so we looked at an actual newspaper article from a local newspaper. This example seemed to help students understand what they needed to write. All students finished their writing today. Some of the students who struggled just wrote the 5 Ws and rearranged them into a logical sequence. Other students included great detail. Guided Reading Integration Book Clubs: Earthquake in the Early Morning by Mary Pope Osborne Students will use book clubs to productively discuss the reading they have done and demonstrate their comprehension. (MI: ELA.S.DS.3.1) Students finished the book today. They continued to work on their comprehension strategies and made one last connection to science. In addition to the comprehension strategies, students also completed their self-evaluation of their performance in their book club. Most students were fairly accurate about their work. Overall, book clubs were very successful. It was a good way for students to think about all the comprehension strategies they know.

Day 14 Introduction to Erosion Students will identify and describe natural causes that change the surface of the earth. (MI: Science.E.SE.3.22) We began this lesson with a discussion about what things outside the earth can change it and how. We then discussed how these forces cause erosion and what exactly erosion is. I showed students examples of landforms formed by different forces of erosion. To finish the lesson, I asked students to illustrate a landform and write a sentence or two about how erosion formed it.

Day 15 Water Erosion Investigation Students will describe erosion an dhow it plays a role in changing the surface of the earth. (MI: Science.E.SE.3.22) In this lesson we investigated how erosion impacts different types of land. The students were put into groups. Each group was given material (sand, gravel, or both). They made predictions about what water would do to a mountain made of their material. They used the inquiry process to construct a mountain, observe the effects of water, and make a conclusion. Students did extremely well with this and ended the investigation understanding how powerful erosion is.

Day 16 Erosion Video and Wrap-up Students will identify and describe natural causes that change the surface of the earth. (MI: Science.E.SE.3.22) We watched the video Erosion: Earth is Change to visualize the impact erosion can have on the surface of the earth. I asked students to think about the new information they are learning about erosion. After the movie, we spent a few minutes discussing what we saw. I then introduced students to the idea of weathering and how it was related to erosion.

Day 17 Acid Rain Experiment Students will perform the step of inquiry to discover the difference between chemical weathering and water weathering. (MI: Science.S.IP.E.1) I showed students more examples of how weathering impacted the earth’s surface using a PowerPoint. After we discussed the different things that cause weathering, we made predictions about how chemicals in the air impact the land. We did an investigation to find out the effects of acid rain compared to plain water. This experiment was successful but the results are difficult to see which makes it more difficult for students to really understand the impact of the chemical on the chalk.

Day 18 Erosion or Weathering? Students will compare and contrast two outside forces that cause change to the earth. (MI: Science.E.SE.3.22) In this lesson, we thought about the differences and similarities between weathering and erosion. Using a Venn diagram we compared the two outside forces. This activity helped students understand the subtle differences between these forces and wrapped up our study of outside forces.

Day 19 Unit Wrap-up We finished the unit today by completing our KWL chart, adding the information we learned about how the earth changes. I required all students to contribute at least one idea to our chart. Students also finished the last page in their workbook. This was the summative assessment for the unit and asked students to write one interesting fact they remember about each different force that changes the earth. We also had volcano ice cream sundaes as a celebration.

Unit Reflection Overall, I believe the unit was a success. It is evident that students ended the unit with a strong understanding of the different forces that work to change the surface of the earth. The KWL chart illustrates students came to the unit with very little prior knowledge about the layers of the earth, volcanoes, earthquakes, erosion, and weathering. By the end of the unit everyone knew several facts about all of these forces and was able to recall them without outside help. In addition to the KWL chart, the summative assessments each student completed on the last day of the unit show that students left with an understanding of the forces that change the earth’s surface. All students were able to independently write at least two facts they learned in the unit, most successfully wrote four different facts. The parent rubrics, which were sent home with the completed science workbooks, also indicated that almost all students were able to independently explain what the student had learned while completing the workbook. This shows that students are able to talk about what they have learned and share the information. More evidence of student learning still appears when students point out connections in books they are reading or shows they see on T.V. The workbooks were a great part of the unit because students had something to draw or write about during almost every lesson. This forced students to think about what they had learned in each lesson and reflect on it in their own ways. Without this kind of assessment and understanding, students may have been more apt to tune out during the lessons and therefore leave the unit with less understanding. Planning the unit was time consuming, but paid off when each day was already laid out before the unit started. It was easy to plan each day. I simply had to gather the materials needed for the lesson that was already planned. I was surprised at how accurately I followed my original plan. Very few aspects of the unit changed once I began teaching it. I reflected on every lesson which helped me think about ways to change the lessons I had coming up next. Creating the workbooks was a great way to make sure I had copied all the worksheets students needed. I will definitely use this idea in another unit because it is a great way to stay organized and have assessments of students’ work in one place after each lesson. During the lesson, I found technology to be bigger help than I had planned. Because the information students learned within the unit is not something that is easy to illustrate, using pictures and simulations from the internet were extremely helpful and benefited the students. Also, integrating so much reading about the topics we were learning about into guided reading time was so beneficial because students already came to each science lesson with at least a little background knowledge about the topic. In addition to helping students understand the science, it gave us a chance to focus some attention on informational text and practice our comprehension skills on this kind of text. The investigations that occurred throughout the unit created valuable learning experiences for students. When students were able to make predictions and think about how the investigation represented the earth, they really applied their knowledge and had to think about what they observed. Not only were the activities fun for them, but students learned a great deal and were able to gain a better understanding of the natural phenomenon we study but do not typically see in everyday life. The unit calendar was the most helpful part of the unit plan. It forced me to think about the ways each lesson connected to the standards and benchmarks third graders are required to meet. It also helped me plan the learning experiences and ensure students had enough exposure and background to complete each activity. Also the reflection I did after each lesson was so helpful in planning the next day. After reflecting, I was able to see where students needed more support and planned for that additional scaffolding in the next lesson. As I was teaching, I felt like each lesson helped inform the next one. Each day felt like an instructional cycle with each lesson building on what we had learned in the previous lesson.

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