6th Grade Earth and Space Science
Albertville High School
University of Montevallo, B.S
Jacksonville State University, M.S.
1989-1991 Middle School Math, Spanish Fort School, Baldwin County
2006-2007 6th Grade English, Douglas Middle School
2007-2015 6th Grade Math, Douglas Middle School
2015-Present 6th Grade Earth and Space Science, Douglas Middle School
- Bell Ringers
We will be following the Alabama Course of Study, 6th Grade Earth and Space Science.
Earth and Space Science
Grade 6 students are energetic and curious. They are maturing at a rapid rate and are in a transitional stage characterized by physical, social, and cognitive changes. The sixth-grade classroom environment addresses these changes by providing a balance between elementary and middle school practices. While these changes lead students toward emotional and academic independence, sixth graders continue to need guidance. They also need an environment that both supports and challenges them as they become more responsible.
Content standards challenge students to discover their world, their planet, and Earth’s place in the universe. Students are provided opportunities to learn important scientific facts and to build conceptual understanding of scientific principles, laws, and theories. Students must understand and communicate scientific concepts in order to be scientifically literate. Inquiry-based instruction allows them to develop critical-thinking skills and problem-solving abilities needed in the field of science.
Grade 6 content focuses on the disciplinary core ideas in the Earth and Space Science domain. The first Earth and Space Science core idea, Earth’s Place in the Universe, describes the universe as a whole and addresses its grand scale in both space and time. The second core idea, Earth’s Systems, encompasses the processes that drive Earth’s conditions and its continual change over time. The third core idea, Earth and Human Activity, addresses society’s interactions with the planet. Integrated within the content standards are the disciplinary core ideas of the Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science (ETS) domain, which require students to employ tools and materials to solve problems and to use representations to convey various design solutions. ETS standards are denoted with an asterisk (*).
Earth’s Place in the Universe
1. Create and manipulate models (e.g., physical, graphical, conceptual) to explain the occurrences of day/night cycles, length of year, seasons, tides, eclipses, and lunar phases based on patterns of the observed motions of celestial bodies.
2. Construct models and use simulations (e.g., diagrams of the relationship between Earth and man-made satellites, rocket launch, International Space Station, elliptical orbits, black holes, life cycles of stars, orbital periods of objects within the solar system, astronomical units and light years) to explain the role of gravity in affecting the motions of celestial bodies within galaxies and the solar system (e.g., planets, moons, comets, asteroids, meteors).
3. Develop and use models to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system (e.g., scale model representing sizes and distances of the sun, Earth, moon system based on a one-meter diameter sun).
4. Construct explanations from geologic evidence (e.g., change or extinction of particular living organisms; field evidence or representations, including models of geologic cross-sections; sedimentary layering) to identify patterns of Earth’s major historical events (e.g., formation of mountain chains and ocean basins, significant volcanic eruptions, fossilization, folding, faulting, igneous intrusion, erosion).
5. Use evidence to explain how different geologic processes shape Earth’s history over widely varying scales of space and time (e.g., chemical and physical erosion; tectonic plate processes; volcanic eruptions; meteor impacts; regional geographical features, including Alabama fault lines, Rickwood Caverns, and Wetumpka Impact Crater).
6. Provide evidence from data of the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to explain past plate motions.
7. Use models to construct explanations of the various biogeochemical cycles of Earth (e.g., water, carbon, nitrogen) and the flow of energy that drives these processes.
8. Plan and carry out investigations that demonstrate the chemical and physical processes that form rocks and cycle Earth materials (e.g., processes of crystallization, heating and cooling, weathering, deformation, and sedimentation).
9. Use models to explain how the flow of
Earth’s internal energy drives a cycling of matter between Earth’s surface and
deep interior causing plate movements (e.g., mid-ocean ridges, ocean trenches,
volcanoes, earthquakes, mountains, rift valleys, volcanic islands).
10. Use research-based evidence to
propose a scientific explanation regarding how the distribution of Earth’s
resources such as minerals, fossil fuels, and groundwater are the result of
ongoing geoscience processes (e.g., past volcanic and hydrothermal activity,
burial of organic sediments, active weathering of rock).
11. Develop and use models of Earth’s
interior composition to illustrate the resulting magnetic field (e.g., magnetic
poles) and to explain its measureable effects (e.g., protection from cosmic radiation).
12. Integrate qualitative scientific and
technical information (e.g., weather maps; diagrams; other visualizations,
including radar and computer simulations) to support the claim that motions and
complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions. a.
Use various instruments (e.g., thermometers, barometers, anemometers, wet
bulbs) to monitor local weather and examine weather patterns to predict various
weather events, especially the impact of severe weather (e.g., fronts, hurricanes,
tornados, blizzards, ice storms, droughts).
13. Use models (e.g., diagrams, maps, globes,
digital representations) to explain how the rotation of Earth and unequal
heating of its surface create patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation
that determine regional climates. a. Use experiments to investigate how energy
from the sun is distributed between Earth’s surface and its atmosphere by
convection and radiation (e.g., thermal energy transferring through a pan to
its handle, warmer water in a pan rising as cooler water sinks).
14. Analyze and interpret data (e.g., tables,
graphs, maps of global and regional temperatures; atmospheric levels of gases such
as carbon dioxide and methane; rates of human activities) to describe how
various human activities (e.g., use of fossil fuels, creation of urban heat
islands, agricultural practices) and natural processes (e.g., solar radiation,
greenhouse effect, volcanic activity) may cause changes in local and global
temperatures over time.
15. Analyze evidence (e.g., databases on human
populations, rates of consumption of food and other natural resources) to
explain how changes in human population, per capita consumption of natural
resources, and other human activities (e.g., land use, resource development,
water and air pollution, urbanization) affect Earth’s systems.
16. Implement scientific principles to design
processes for monitoring and minimizing human impact on the environment (e.g.,
water usage, including withdrawal of water from streams and aquifers or
construction of dams and levees; land usage, including urban development,
agriculture, or removal of wetlands; pollution of air, water, and land).*