Day-Long Workshop Outline

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EarthComm World

Day -Long Workshop Outline

Stage Activity Time


Introductions of facilitators

Logistical check (parking, restrooms, etc.)

Overview of morning, mentioning the central questions given below

Introductions of participants

Introductions of general purpose: To get to know EarthComm

The central questions in this workshop format are:

  • What is EarthComm?
  • How might your teaching change (or not) when you use EarthComm?
  • How might students' learning change when they use EarthComm?



  • What are your goals coming into the workshop?
  • What questions do you have coming in?
  • What goals do you have for an Earth science curriculum?



EarthComm "Goals and Expectations"

Student Expectations

Teacher Expectations

End the discussion of general goals by relating some of what has been said to the intended goals of EarthComm as given in "Overview of EarthComm," which may be handed out separately or found in the front matter of any teacher's edition.


Begin Volcanoes chapter:
Present opening for Volcanoes

  • Volcanoes and your community
  • Chapter Challenge
  • Expectations

Initiate Activity 1: Where are the volcanoes?


Introduce 5-E model

Discuss Volcano activity 1 in terms of the 5-E model


  • Getting Started


  • Investigate


  • Think It Over


  • Find Out More
  • Inquiring Further


  • Applying and Understanding What You Have Learned
  • Preparing the Chapter Report

Discuss how chapter elements contribute to the 5-E model  


  • Chapter Introduction
  • Chapter Challenge
  • Activities in chapter


  • Completing the Chapter Report
Handout: EarthComm Curriculum Design
Initiate Activity 2: Volcanic Landforms 1:15
  Break (15 minutes) 1:45
Evaluation At the conclusion of the break, discuss the first two activities 2:00
Engage Begin discussion of EarthComm Key Concepts 2:15

Discuss the first two key concepts


  • Chapter Challenge relates to impact on student


  • Activity 1 relates content to community

The ideas of relevance and community call for a different treatment of content than is typical in many Earth science curricula.

Discuss the concept of systems in general


Show the overhead "Earth Systems" and discuss.


Have the participants consider ways in which different Earth systems (spheres) interact to create flows.

Read through one of the four remaining activities in the chapter. If time allows, and if materials such as geologic maps and rocks are available, they can be handed out and participants can work through activity 5, "Volcanic History Of Your Community."

Hand out the essay "Why Use An Earth Systems Approach?" and ask participants to read it during the lunch hour.

This section of the morning is intentionally flexible so that it can be made more or less structured in response to the group, and time. (Note that the fourth key concept, inquiry, has not been addressed yet. That will follow lunch.)

Closure for morning

Lunch 3:00

Open afternoon section

  • Go over Checkpoints and discuss how issues will be addressed
  • Review the three key concepts addressed thus far: relevance, community, and systems.
Engage Both the community concept and the system concept are open ended, which leads into the final key concept of inquiry. 4:10

Initiate chapter 3 in the Earth's Natural Resources module, "Water Resources and Your Community."

Pace the groups through the first two activities in this chapter.

Note: Other chapters may be used here. It would be good to learn of local interests prior to the workshop and arranging to do chapters that suit those interests.

Show the image "A Model of Scientific Inquiry" and discuss.

Discuss "Correlation to the National Science Education Standards."

Elaborate Share and discuss the "Outcomes of Inquiry-Based Science Education"  

Have participants return to their groups and discuss the role of inquiry in the two activities done so far

While both of the prior activities were inquiries of a sort, they did not involve the students in actually carrying out the plan by which data were obtained (other than direct measurement of the building, if that was actually done.) In activity 3, the students do devise such a plan, and are able to carry it out. In the limitations of a workshop it is not likely that groups can complete this plan, but it would be possible for students.

Activity 4 can be completed quickly, assuming the data are available. 5:20
Break (as convenient)

Activity 5 and activity 6.
Discuss "Managing Collaborative Group Learning." 6:15
Initiate discussion of assessment. 6:30

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AGI's professional development programs for teachers are supported by generous contributions from corporate contributors of the American Geosciences Institute Foundation, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation, and ChevronTexaco.