Physical Science 43

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Planet Earth II

Earth is the fifth largest of the planets in the solar system — smaller than the four gas giants, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, but larger than the three other rocky planets, Mercury, Mars and Venus. Earth has a diameter of roughly 8,000 miles (13,000 kilometers), and is round because gravity pulls matter into a ball, although it is not perfectly round, instead being more of an “oblate spheroid” whose spin causes it to be squashed at its poles and swollen at the equator.


Day 1 – Introduction
Day 2 – Virtual Textbook


2:36 Plate Tectonics Explained

9:21 Plate Tectonics

7:39 Plate Tectonics – A Documentary


Compare Contrast and Debate

Background: Nearly 75% of the continental surfaces are covered by sedimentary rocks, although they form about 5% of the crust. About 10% of sedimentary rocks are limestones. 

  • Position A: The importance of limestone as a building material makes it among the most important rock-types for high school students to recognize and understand.
  • Position B: While limestone is an important building material, there are several other more-important rock types which should be recognized and understood by students.

Instructor Resources

Standard Daily Material
  • Day 1 – Standard material – introduction day
  • Day 2 – Standard material – reading day
  • Day 3 – Standard material – make a presentation
  • Day 4 – Standard material – give a presentation
  • Extra! – Enrichment and remediation options
Other Topic Specific Resources
  • PS43 Moving Air.tns
  • PS43 Ocean Currents.tns
  • PS43 Stream Erosion.tns
  • PS43 Tilting Earth.tns
  • PS43 Bellringer Environmental Conditions Affecting Life on Earth.tnsp

Special Notes

Instructor Emphasis:

  • Science & Engineering Practice: Use mathematical and computational thinking.
  • Cross-Cutting Concept: Scale, Proportion, and Quantity.