Lesson Plan

Physical Features of the Earth

Desert sandstones and snow-capped mountains
NPS photo by Neal Herbert

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Grade Level:
Fifth Grade
Subject:
Earth Science, Geology
National/State Standards:
Utah State Standard Core Curriculum Topic, Standard Two: Students will understand that volcanoes, earthquakes, uplift, weathering, and erosion shape Earth's surface.
Keywords:
erosion, weathering, earthquakes, uplift, arch formation, fossil, fault, deposition, geologic layers

Overview

Students assemble jigsaw puzzles in the classroom informing them about the different types of rock and the rock cycle. At a field trip site, students examine a limestone layer to find fossils and make clay models to reenact movement along a local fault. They explore and model the formation of arches, and learn the names and deposition histories of the rock layers surrounding them. Back in the classroom, a mapping activity demonstrates what causes many earthquakes: plate tectonics.