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Science - Elementary Curriculum
Science - 5th Grade
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Lesson Plans  
Standard 2
Students will understand that volcanoes, earthquakes, uplift, weathering, and erosion reshape Earth's surface.
Objective 2
Explain how volcanoes, earthquakes, and uplift affect Earth’s surface.
  • Geological Processes
    This activity is designed as a game board that will allow students to deepen their understanding of the effects of weathering, erosion; uplift, sudden changes (e.g. flash flood, avalanche), earthquakes and volcanoes on the geological features of Earth.
  • Landforms in a Tub
    Students will use common household items to build landforms and simulate weathering and erosion.
  • Moving the Earth
    Students use their hands to investigate how earthquakes and uplift change the Earth's surface.
  • Plate Tectonics and Mountain Building
    The Theory of Plate Tectonics is explored through the use of the Landform kit from the Utah Geological Survey. Students visualize the plates covering our earth by studying a map called the “Dynamic Planet”. This map illustrates that earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain building occurs predominantly at plate boundaries. By learning about the three types of plate boundaries, students model the four types of mountain building.
  • Researching Relief Maps
    The activities are designed to have students investigate what geological forces created some of Earth’s topography and then predict what forces will probably act upon it in the future. Students will investigate areas of the world, United States and Utah to determine what geological features are located on Earth and make predictions about what they think will happen in the future to that area.
  • TRB 5:2 - Activity 2: Volcanoes
    Students will learn many things about volcanoes, including what causes them to erupt, the dangers that they pose, the benefits that they provide.
  • The Changing Earth
    The students will be able to use models to demonstrate the effect of mountain building, weathering and erosion forces on the surface of the Earth.
  • Utah's Geological History
    This activity is designed to familiarize the students with the vocabulary, investigate the geological changes that Utah has gone through over time, and develop an understanding that uplift creates the mountains and valley areas on Earth’s surface and that fault lines are often in earthquake zones.
  • Virtual Field Trip
    Students will participate in 8 activities that illustrate different processes happening with the land around us.

UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Richard Scott and see the Science - Elementary website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - DIANA SUDDRETH .  
These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.
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