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Department of geology/Environmental Science, James Madison University (JMU)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Paper models of crystals and cleavage. PDF, printable. 

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Earth Learning Idea (ELI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Carry out a laboratory demonstration of the first stages in the chemical weathering of limestone. Quarter-fill a small glass beaker or a boiling tube, with some water of neutral pH and add some Universal indicator. Ask what will happen if a pupil blows steadily into the water through a straw (it...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
SaveOnEnergy
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Help students understand the science of electricity with this animated guide. Produced by SaveOnEnergy.com, the guide explains how electricity works, from atoms to power plants.

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Physics Central
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Follow the adventures of Spectra, a middle school superhero who possesses the powers of a laser beam. Through eight volumes (with a ninth on the way), Spectra and friends meet and overcome challenges and obstacles through physical science, addressing topics such as power, force, heat energy,...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this activity you will measure changing weather conditions prior to, during, and after a storm.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Train like an astronaut, read about future missions, and more!

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The presence of water in solid, liquid, and gaseous forms is one of the primary factors that distinguished Earth from its neighbors in the solar system. In this activity, students will toss a globe to collect data on whether there is more surface water or land on earth.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
2015, The Nature Conservancy, PBS LearningMedia
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The purpose of these activities is to introduce students to the factors that contribute to desertification and solutions that have been implemented in the Sahel region of West Africa, corresponding with the video Farming the Desert from the series EARTH A New Wild. The lesson includes an in-...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity uses the Earthquake Machine, a mechanical model that illustrates the earthquake cycle, as a tool to investigate the behavior of fault systems. In the activity groups of students are presented with a claim about earthquakes. Using the Earthquake Machine, students design an...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Basic geometric forms such as cubes, octahedra, rhombohedra, and tetrahedra may be made by folding flat paper or envelopes, both reasonably priced starting materials. These may be used to help visualize solid forms in crystallography and mineralogy and numbers of them may be used to create unit...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Tags: geology
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

WeatherSchool @ AAAS was developed by researchers at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to help you explore how different factors -- time of year, location, or elevation -- work together to produce the day-to-day weather you experience in your local community as well...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
2010, PBS LearningMedia
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

LPB's Climate Change Challenge helps middle school students understand the causes and effects of climate change on our environment.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
Penguinscience
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Like animals everywhere, Antarctic penguins are adjusting, or not, to changes in their habitat brought by warming temperatures. With extensive field research on their existing colonies, and a 45,000 year-old record contained in deposits of their bones and egg shells, we know more about how...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this lesson, students examine seismic evidence to determine that the Earth must have a layered internal structure and to estimate the size of Earth's core. Students are divided into two teams (theoreticians and seismologists) to test the simplest hypothesis for what is inside of the Earth:...

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Use this document to help middle level students deepen their understanding of how everyday products like a soccer ball impact the environment in different ways. Most people -- adults and students alike -- don't give much thought to manufacturing processes and are unaware of the effects on the...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
EarthLabs
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

EarthLabs units offer sequences for learning science concepts through hands-on experiments and data analysis. Using satellite imagery, numerical data, computer visualizations, and video, students explore Earth system processes and build quantitative skills that enable them to objectively...

JOI Learning
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The JOIDES Resolution is an amazing ship that contains all the equipment necessary to drill into the ocean floor for samples of rock and sediment: a derrick, drill pipe, drilling tools, and drill bits. Once the cylindrical core sample arrives on the rig floor, the drill crew passes the 10 m core...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8
Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Few schools are within walking distance of a federally designated wilderness. However, many schools are within walking distance of land with wild elements. Students can look for examples of places with wild elements on or near their school grounds. Then they can duplicate the activity in a...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8
United States Department of Energy (DOE)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

As far back as ancient Greek and Roman times, people built structures that created an indoor environment suited to growing plants throughout the year. This enabled the gardener to establish a measure of control over growing conditions and extend the growth period into the colder seasons of the...

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5
American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

To describe Earth's vast history, scientists use a geologic timescale. They divide it into long segments of time called eras. Each era is further divided into periods. Working in a small team, you will create a poster presentation about one of the periods in Earth's history. You can use...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This Web site contains selected USGS educational resources that may be useful to educators in primary school grades (Kindergarten to Grade 6). Many of these resources can be used directly in the classroom (see Resource Symbols) or will be useful in classroom lessons or demonstration activities...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

NASA’s Gravity and Climate Experiment (GRACE) is a mission to track the impact of climate change on the planet’s vast stores of freshwater, saltwater, and ice. A pair of satellites, GRACE effectively “weighs” Earth’s shifting water resources month by month to detect where water is accumulating...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8
Exploring Earth
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

To learn anything about a star, astronomers must analyze its light. They accomplish this by pointing a telescope at the star to gather its light and then using a spectroscope to spread the light into a spectrum. By comparing and analyzing patterns in the spectra of many stars, astronomers have...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

We walk around on soil all the time, but how often do we think about what's in it? If you have ever looked closely at soil, you probably saw that it is made up of various types of particles and has various materials mixed in with those particles (rocks, twigs, water, air, worms, insects, and...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
University of California, Museum of Paleontology (UCMP)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students will create a two-dimensional contour map of a submerged area from a simulated survey using sounding techniques. This activity goes along with the "Building a Topographic Model" activity, where students built a 3-D model of a landform above sea level.

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The rock cycle is the combination of all the processes that act to break down rocks, move sedimentary materials from place to place, and produce new rocks. In this investigation, students will discover what happens to rocks under lots of pressure and heat through a simulation that uses crayon...

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The apparatus consists of a heavy object that is dragged steadily with an elastic cord. Although pulled with a constant velocity, the heavy object repeatedly slides and then stops. A small vibration sensor, attached to a computer display, graphically monitors this intermittent motion. This...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Scripps Classroom Connection (SCC)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This 2-week lesson plan uses a variety of activities to provide an engaging unit on the Solid Earth -- from an overview of the layers, to details of crustal processes, especially plate tectonics. Activities included are (1) a lab on density and differentiation, (2) an activity on understanding...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
2012, William A. Prothero, Jr.
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The purpose of this site is to disseminate and discuss cutting edge Earth science education inquiry activities, such as data rich explorations and simulations. It also features discussions of new pedagogies, ideas for new resources, and issues of interest to students of Earth science, whether...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This website is a great place for visual learners. Here, you can control the path of the sun throughout the year. Change hemispheres, time of day, month, and more.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Park Service (NPS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In "Climate Science in Focus (Earth as a System)," students will learn about the four Earth systems and how they are connected. Broken into eight days, these lessons require 58 minutes to complete. Students explore topics including climate and weather, carrying capacity and animal adaptations,...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary has educational resources for learning about the effects of increased acidity in the oceans. Watch video lectures on ocean acidification, or download hands-on activities to explore the topic. For example, the game Help Nemo Find His Home! (grades...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Colorado State University (CSU)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Earthquakes can provide a useful context for teaching or reviewing many basic physics concepts, such as sliding and static friction, forms of energy and conversion from one to another, and the elastic properties of materials. Conducting the following lesson provides an opportunity for students...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9
Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this activity, you will use a computer model, Seismic Explorer, to examine patterns of earthquakes below Earth’s surface and relate earthquakes to plate boundaries and movement.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
2006, WGBH Educational Foundation, PBS LearningMedia
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Fossils provide a valuable record of the plant and animal life and environmental conditions from millions, even billions of years ago. In this lesson, students create their own fossils, and then use multimedia resources to learn how real fossils form and what scientists can learn from them.

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5
ESRI
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Locating crucial energy resources involves examining phenomena under, on, and above Earth’s surface. Some of these phenomena change frequently, such as winds. Others, such as oil and coal deposits, are products of long series of geologic processes. Yet all are geographic in nature — they occur...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Geologists take advantage of decay of natural radioactive elements to determine the age of rocks, which can help us understand earth history. One example of this dating method is using volcanic ash layers to help determine the age of ash-bearing horizons in ice cores. Ice cores provide important...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Below are instructions for making a simple paper model of the magnetosphere, out of a single sheet of paper. The black and white image can be copied in an ordinary xerox machine and may be colored by you or by students in whichever way is preferred. However, if you have a color printer,...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Ocean Explorer's Education Theme Pages present ocean science topics like Archaeology, the Arctic, Bioluminescence, Cold Seeps, Deep-Sea Corals, Seamounts, and Vents and Volcanoes. Each page has links to essays, lessons, multimedia interactive activities, career information, and associated past...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Tags: oceans, noaa, volcano
Listenwise
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Teachers often want help finding stories, aligning them with the curriculum, and writing lesson plans. Listenwise, a listening and comprehension tool available online, helps teachers do just that by bringing authentic voices and compelling nonfiction stories to the classroom. Targeted for middle...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

You will create a model of a watershed with paper. By observing how surface water flow is determined by the shape of the land, you will visually and dramatically observe the physical characteristics of a watershed, and investigate the impacts of human land use decisions.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Sun-Earth Days is comprised of a series of programs and events that occur throughout the year. Each year we wrap a fresh new thematic approach around Heliophysics science while highlighting scientists, their missions, and research. We provide resources, programs and events that make the latest...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this activity, students will use California precipitation totals and evapotranspiration data to calculate and graph water deficits and surpluses. These spreadsheet models will help students understand droughts and the movement of water in the water cycle.

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8
2006, WGBH Educational Foundation, PBS LearningMedia
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Using this Lesson Plan, students study satellite data and explore an example of long-term climate change to learn about the seasons, changes in climate, and the role of Earth’s tilted axis.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Soil scientists often examine soils and record soil data outside. Soil is not just topsoil; it includes other horizons (soil layers) underneath the topsoil. So soil scientists use shovels or soil augers to get samples of many soil horizons. They record soil colors, textures, and types of living...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4
Arkansas Geological Survey (AGS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students will work together to characterize the geology of a gravel bar by conducting their own specific experiment.

Grade Level: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Park Service (NPS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This is the National Park Service's site for kids of all ages. If you love our National Parks, Monuments and Historic Sites, this site is for you. If you are new to our National Parks, we hope this site helps you experience how wonderful they can be. We've recently updated this site to make it...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
2011, Zach Miller
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This webpage is dedicated to sharing of 8th-grade physical and earrth science resources.

Grade Level: 8
PBS LearningMedia
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Earth's polar regions may seem remote, but they are an integral part of the entire Earth system. For example, pollution from other areas affects Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems, and changes in the icy landscapes of the polar regions may influence global ocean circulation patterns and accelerate...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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Orion Nebula
Curriculum Materials
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Explore NASA Science brings you the latest news from NASA! Browse through information about the solar system, Sun, Earth, Missions, and more.

artist's concept of Cassini during the Saturn Orbit Insertion (SOI) maneuver
Classroom Activities
National Science Foundation (NSF)

The National Science Foundation provides answers to The Big Questions about astronomy, detailing our place in the cosmos and where it all came from. Interactive view through the telescope also available.

Horsehead Nebula, Bernard 33
Classroom Activities
Space Telescope Science Institute

Amazing Space has resources on all your astronomical needs: the solar ystem, black holes, stars, telescopes, history, and more. We are the Education Group of the Space Telescope Science Institute's Office of Public Outreach. We promote the science and majestic beauty of the universe to the...

Hubble telescope image of Galaxy NGC 3310
Classroom Activities
Smithsonian Institution

Welcome to our collection of children's online astronomy activities. In th efollowing six chapters are hundreds of fun explorations into astronomy as a classroom tool for learning how to theorize, experiment, and analyze data. The activities are fully illustrated and contain detailed, step-by-...

Wind speed and direction from Project Vortex
Curriculum Materials
American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT)

The AAPT ComPADRE Digital Library is a network of free online resource collections supporting faculty, students, and teachers in Physics and Astronomy Education. each of the collections contains materials designed for a specific group or course.

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The Education Resources Network aggregates geoscience education resources from a variety of providers. The goal is to provide visitors with the widest possible collection of curricula, classroom activities, teacher professional development opportunities, science education standards, virtual field trips, teaching ancillaries and much more.

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