Earth Science-Grade 6

  
      The Earth Science Program for Grade Six (6) focuses on the history of Earth and those forces that has helped shape and support life as it stands today.  We will begin our exploration with the Big Bang Theory and examine a variety of celestial bodies that compose our universe.  We will interview some of the individuals whose discoveries provided the groundwork for our understanding of how the Earth was formed and its relationship to other occupants of our solar system.  We take a close look at how life began and struggled to adapat to an ever changing environment. The Earth Science Program introduces a variety of special topics and project based learning activities often presented in a multi disciplinary instructional format.  This is accomplished through a growing assortment of  ground breaking discoveries, featured articles, cutting edge videos and hands-on activities.  

     Below you will find an assortment of featured articles, videos and activities that complement the Earth Science Program.  Follow the links to learn more.

 The Big Bang Theory (YouTube) (46 min)
     As primitive man looked out over the horizon, he struggled to understand what he observed.  He soon discovered that understanding the natural world was the key to his survival and for the next few thousand years he would attempt to connect with the stars.  Mankind would eventually realise that in order to understand who we are, we must first discover where we came from and so, our journey through time begins.  Planet Earth is over 4.5 billion years old and is the product of a profound event that we are still working hard to understand.   So, what better place to start than in the beginning with the origins of the Big Bang Theory.  
CRITICAL THINKING ESSAY
VIDEO
WORKSHEET
 The Origins of Life through Rocks (NOVA) (49.53 min)
     Our understanding of how life first began on Earth continues to broaden with each new discovery and new challenges to established thinking.  This video entitled "Lifes Rocky Start" takes on a very different perspective and provides a rock solid arguement that minerals and rocks were essential in the evolution of the very first life forms on Earth.  The evidence is compelling and opens the door for further research and throughtful discussion.  Students will practice their note taking skills before digging into the worksheet, critical thinking essay, word search and other activities.  
DRAWING ACTIVITY
Trilobite
VIDEO
WORKSHEET
CRITICAL THINKING ESSAY
DRAWING ACTIVITY
Tube worms
 The Earth is Born (NOVA) (53.19 min)
     Four and a half billion years ago, the young Earth was a hellish place—a seething chaos of meteorite impacts, volcanoes belching noxious gases, and lightning flashing through a thin, torrid atmosphere. Then, in a process that has puzzled scientists for decades, life emerged. But how? Mineralogist Robert Hazen as he journeys around the globe. From an ancient Moroccan market to the Australian Outback, he advances a startling and counterintuitive idea—that the rocks beneath our feet were not only essential to jump-starting life, but that microbial life helped give birth to hundreds of minerals we know and depend on today. It's a theory of the co-evolution of Earth and life that is reshaping the grand-narrative of our planet’s story.

     This video provides us with an excellent timeline on how Earth was formed and the many changes that occured during this process.  The video highlights important concepts such as glaciation, plate tectonics, continental drift, the Green house Effect and many more.  Our exploration of Earth's early life begins after the Big Bang and will conclude prior to the evolutionary explosion that occured during the Cambrian Epoch. 
DRAWING ACTIVITY
VIDEO
WORKSHEET
WORD SEARCH
CRITICAL THINKING ESSAY
VOLCANO
WORKSHEET
  Hydrothermal Vents (YouTube.com)
 
 
 The hydrothermal vent was recently discovered along the Ring of Fire in the Pacific Ocean.   Scientists were amazed to discover a completely new ecosystem never seen before.  Living in a toxic wasteland of boiling water filled with toxic elements from deep within the Earth's crust were hundreds of new organisms.  These creatures are not found anywhere else on Earth and live in complete darkness.   Click on the tab in order to access the YouTube video and the worksheet. The supplemental video provides some amazing footage of the vents.
CRITICAL THINKING ESSAY
VIDEO
WORKSHEET
DRAWING ACTIVITY
Tube worms
 Paleoworld (YouTube)
     A study of marine life would not be complete without first taking a closer look at how life began some 500 million years.  One of the most fascinating periods in the fossil record depicts giant creatures the size of school buses roaming the vast oceans looking for prey.  But man has often struggled with his understanding of how prehistoric life evolved and many of his early attempts at identifying early dinosaurs were often met with gross errors and mistaken identity.  Without sophisticated tools, limited resources and questionable motives, early fossil hunters were often driven by a lust for fame and glory sometimes resulting in catastrophe.  This first installment of the Paleoworld Series describes early fossil hunters and some of the mistakes that were made.
WORKSHEET
VIDEO
 First Life with David Attenborough/ ORIGINS (PBS) (YouTube) 58 min.
     One of the most fascinating periods in prehistoric life is also one of the least understood.  Almost 500 million years ago, there was an explosion of life with almost 10,000 new lifeforms suddenly emerging.  Every type of animal body plan from arthropods to molluscs suddently appeared during this evolutionary explosion.  First Life (BBC) with David Attenborough reveals one of the most detailed studies of the very first life forms to emerge on this planet.  This video is rich with amazing imagery and some of the latest discoveries surrounding the emergence of the very first living creatures. However, some of the material may not be suitable for middle school students but go to 42:42 to begin the Cambrian Period.  ORIGINS (PBS) narrated by Neil DeGrasse Tyson offers an equally  excellent depiction of how life began and how early Earth was formed.
ORIGINS
VIDEO
 Attenborough and the Sea Dragon (PBS-2018) 53 min.
     A remarkable 200-million-year-old fossil - the bones of an ichthyosaur, a giant sea dragon - has been discovered on the Jurassic coast of Britain. David Attenborough joins the hunt to bring this ancient creature's story to life. Using state-of-the-art imaging technology and CGI, the team reconstruct the skeleton and create the most detailed animation of an ichthyosaur ever made. Along the way, the team stumble into a 200-million-year-old murder mystery - and only painstaking forensic investigation can unravel the story of this extraordinary creature's fate.
VIDEO
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