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  • Grade Levels : Grades 6-8

Grades 6-8

Grade 6-8 Term

In this Earth Science activity students will read and learn about the different types of precipitation. They will understand and demonstrate where air masses come from and what type of weather they are most likely to bring: continental polar, maritime polar, continental tropical, maritime tropical, continental arctic, maritime arctic. Students will then go to Intellicast.com and analyze the current surface weather maps as well as a deeper inspection of their local state surface analysis.

Earth Science Weather Lab
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In this earth science lab students will flip M&Ms/Skittles to help them gain a better understanding as to what absolute dating is. Students will learn what radioactive elements are and how scientists use this understanding to give an age to rocks and fossils. Students will create a spreadsheet and create a graph that will visually demonstrate the half-life of Carbon 14. There are 6 word problems that they will analyze to help them understand how to use a half life graph.

Earth Science Absolute Dating
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In this Earth Science Lab students will gain an understand of what relative humidity and dew point are. There are four parts to the lab. The first part will help them understand the relationship between the ability to evaporate and humidity. Students will then use psychrometers to determine the humidity outside as well as inside. They will calculate the wet-bulb depression and then use the relative humidity chart to determine the percent of water in the air outside and inside the classroom.

Relative Humidity Lab
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In this lab/demonstration the teacher will demonstrate how convection currents in the atmosphere occur. This demonstration is very visible and can easily be done without any special equipment except for a hot plate. Students will fill out a science lab sheet that has them hypothesize and then diagram how air currents are moving. As part of the lab students will get some reinforcement as to what high and low air pressures are and what causes them. Students will also be able to demonstrate their previously gained knowledge of density.

Air convection
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This is an entertaining newscast that interviews scientists and what they have to say about the movie San Andreas.  I show this video in class to demonstrate reality vs Hollywood.

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This is an edited version of the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.  This video does a great job telling the story of the tsunami from video of those who survived.  Make sure you have tissues because there are some sad parts.  I edited out any corpses that were videoed as well as any usage of bad language and too close of view of people wearing inappropriate clothing that might get teacher in trouble.  I did my best to make this video classroom friendly.

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When discussing tsunamis it is good to discuss that some tsunamis can reach hundreds of feet high if the conditions are right.  In 1958 that is what happened after an landslide generated a 1720 foot tsunami.   This video interviews two survivors that were swept up over the tree line during this tsunami.  They are lucky to be alive.

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When discussing tsunamis it is good to discuss that some tsunamis can reach hundreds of feet high if the conditions are right.  In 1958 that is what happened after an landslide generated a 1720 foot tsunami.  This video shows a scientist discussing evidence found that Lituya Bay has had other tsunamis this big in the past.

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This is the section of the film called The Impossible, where the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami hit a resort.  I play just the clip of the tsunami.  It does a really great job showing how tsunamis move.  It also shows how tsunamis are not limited to just one.  They usually come in multiples.  I show this video to introduce tsunamis to my class.  It is in a foreign language, but that's ok because I play most of it with the sound off as we discuss what they are seeing.

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In this video of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake students will see some the of shaking that occurs.  This is where I discuss P and S waves as well because you can actually see when the two wave hit.  Also there is footage of one of the buildings being collapsed.  I show this video as part of my Daily Dose of Destruction series.

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