Geology and Plate Tectonics Unit: Overview


Standards:  State Standards covered by the unit are listed on the following pages.


Unit sections:  The unit encompasses three large sub-units and four smaller sub-units:

The large sub-units are:

Stories in Stone,

Plate Tectonics,

Prentice Hall Unit 1 “Plate Tectonics and Earth’s Structure,”

The small sub-units are:

            An Earthquake Hazard Video,

            Edible Rocks,

Journey to the Center of the earth, and

Classification activities (possibly from Math for Girls). 


The order of these units will be determined by availability of materials.  Teachers at each school need to share materials from the CIF kits.  Lessons can be adjusted to do subunits in an order to best share materials.


Classification activities and Edible Rocks should be completed before Stories in Stone.  Journey to the Center of the Earth should be completed before Plate Tectonics.


Unit Timeline:  The unit will require approximately eight weeks to complete.  The timeline on the following page will need to be adjusted as needed by availability of materials and the needs and interests of the students.


Prentice Hall Unit 1:  Readings were selected from Prentice Hall based on their relevance to State Science Standards. Other readings may be selected as indicated by student interest.  Activities from GEMS guides should support student conceptual understanding of the readings.  Readings should support and supplement activities from GEMS guides.  Reading activities from Strategic Teaching and Learning should be used to facilitate student reading.



Math for Girls and Other Problem Solvers.  Math/Science Network, Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1981.


Plate Tectonics: The Way the Earth Works.  Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, 2002.


Stories in Stone.  Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1995.


Strategic Teaching and Learning: Standards-Based Instruction to Promote Content Literacy in Grades Four Through Twelve.  California Department of Education, Sacramento, 2000.