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Mastering Middle School Earth Science: Hands-On Activities/Labs/Games! (Q4)

Stephanie Newton, BSc
Average rating:4.8Number of reviews:(86)
In this activity-based Earth Science class, we will learn rocks, fossils, natural disasters. Let's build a volcano! This is Q4 of my middle school science series, based on 7th grade standards - 5th, 6th, & 8th graders welcome. #academic

Class experience

US Grade 5 - 8
Follows Teacher-Created Curriculum
Aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
8 lessons//8 Weeks
 Week 1
Lesson 1
Rock Cycle (Igneous, Sedimentary, Metamorphic Rocks)
Nearpod slides and activities Rock Cycle Lab Rock Cycle Diagram Weekly quiz
 Week 2
Lesson 2
Fossils, Relative Dating of Earth's Materials
Nearpod slides and activities Landscape Drawing and Labeling Activity Gather Fossils Weekly Quiz
 Week 3
Lesson 3
Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes, Tsunamis
Nearpod slides and activities Plate Tectonics Lab Earth Science Storytime: Well-known Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes Weekly quiz
 Week 4
Lesson 4
Volcanoes, Earthquakes, and Tsunamis
Nearpod slides and activities Build and Erupt a Volcano (Elephant Toothpaste, anyone?) Weekly quiz
 Week 5
Lesson 5
Water, Ice, Erosion
Nearpod slides and activities Edible Erosion Lab (weathering, erosion, glaciers, icebergs, landslides, mudslides) Glacier Calving Video Weekly quiz
 Week 6
Lesson 6
Weather, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Lightning
Nearpod slides and activities Lightning Lab Earth Science Storytime: Well-known Tornadoes/Hurricanes/Lightning Strikes Bingo Weekly Quiz
 Week 7
Lesson 7
Climate Zones
Nearpod slides and activities Climate Zones Breakout/Escape Room Find and describe your climate zone Weekly Quiz
 Week 8
Lesson 8
Earth's Energy and Resources
Nearpod slides and activities Bingo Research your local power company (how do they get energy?)
Students will learn various aspects of earth science. Please see the syllabus in the course description for a detailed list of all concepts taught. Learners will be able to identify different types of rocks, understand how fossils have formed rock layers, describe how plates shift and cause some areas to be earthquake prone, identify weather tools, identify different types of clouds, and understand how various weather patterns and natural disasters occur. After this course learners will be fully prepared to move onto 8th grade science topics.
I have a BS degree in Nutrition and Food Science (pre-med track) from Florida State University. I later became a certified middle school science teacher and taught middle school science in the Florida public school system for 5 years. I have been an online teacher for over 2 years. I'm also a "hybrid-homeschool" momma :)
Homework Offered
Learners will be assigned homework each week. Homework will involve the following activities: creating foldables, or independent projects. Homework should take no more than 1 hour most weeks. Keep in mind that you are the "administrator" of your learner's homeschool education, so if there are too many assignments given you may modify the amount of homework you require your learner to turn in.
1 - 2 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
Learners will be assessed through foldables, independent and class projects, labs, and quizzes. If you wish for me to issue the learner a grade, please let me know when you register for the course.
Grades Offered
Feedback will be sent about Nearpod activity slides. Grades will be based on lesson quizzes and any labs/projects that are turned in.
Lesson videos are broken up between Nearpod activity slides to keep learners engaged.

Doing the hands-on portion of the labs is not required, however it will definitely make the class more fun for learners! There are usually follow-up activities that ARE required even if the hands-on portion is not done (a lab report, post-lab questions, a nearpod activity, etc.). Often you can make substitutions for some items (or only do a portion of the lab) if it is difficult to get some of these items. I usually strive to do labs that only require items commonly found around the home. 

Turning in your assignments: you can take a picture(s) of your labs/activities and either upload them to the classroom (under the appropriate week’s post), or send it to me privately through Outschool in a message. 

Week 1: 

Rock Cycle Lab: 3 crayons (all different colors, label peeled off), carrot peeler, 3 squares of aluminum foil (about 12 inches x 12 inches), a ceramic mug filled with water, access to a microwave (or hot water from the tap), assistance from an adult for the carrot peeler

Rock Cycle Diagram: printer paper to print pdf

Week 2: 

Paper, colored pencils/crayons

Week 3: 

Plate Tectonics Activity: 2 square graham crackers, whipped cream/cool whip, a plate (other crackers and gel-like substances can be used, such as mayonnaise, but it won’t be tasty/edible at the end of the lab!)

Week 4: 

*Volcano material (day 1): 
disposable tin tray (a sheet pan will do if you don’t have the tin tray), glue (any kind), plastic or glass bottle/jar, 6 cups of flour, 2 cups of salt, 2 cups of water, 2 TBSP of cooking oil, food coloring (optional; suggested colors - red, green, black, or orange), mixing bowl, measuring cup, measuring spoon (tablespoon), spatula or whisk for mixing

*Lava (day 2): 
Option 1 (basic recipe): 2 cups of warm water, food coloring (preferably red), 1 tablespoon of dish soap, 2 tablespoons of baking soda, vinegar (1-2 cups)
Option 2 (elephant toothpaste recipe): ½ cup hydrogen peroxide (6% is best, but 3% will do), 1 tablespoon (one packet) dry yeast, 3 tablespoons of warm water, 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap, food coloring (preferably red)

Week 5: 

Weathering/Erosion Model: Several marshmallows (any size), about 10 crushed oreos (or other cookie), choc/strawberry/corn/maple syrup (pick one), jelly beans or other small candy, optional: blue jello (one small container), small baking pan or pie tin or plate.

Week 6: 

Lightning activity: small plate, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, plastic spoon and/or a styrofoam item (cup, bowl, or plate, etc.)

Science Bingo: printer paper to print pdf

Week 7: 


Week 8: 

Science Bingo: printer paper to print pdf
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
Evolution and Creationism will not be taught in this course, however feel free to contact me if you would like for me to share with you the unit materials (slides/worksheets/foldables) on the topic of Evolution, as this is one of the national standards for 7th grade. I am also happy to set up a private tutoring section to walk your child through this unit. I do not have materials on Creationism (Outschool only permits secular topics). 
Please monitor your learner's use of scissors.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses CK12.org, YouTube, Nearpod, and Wikipedia.
Average rating:4.8Number of reviews:(86)
Hello, welcome to my "classroom" :). My classes are listed below, but first...a little about me! 

I am a certified middle school science teacher and taught for 5 years in the public school classroom. My educational background is in... 
Self-Paced Class


weekly or $130 for all content
8 pre-recorded lessons
8 weeks of teacher support
Choose your start date
1 year of access to the content

Completed by 16 learners
Ages: 10-14

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