Myp unit planner

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MYP unit planner

Unit title
Unit 3 Earth’s Systems; Rocks and Minerals/Plate Tectonics


Megan Bonafede and Claudia Murphy (2013-2014)

Subject and grade level

Science Year 1

Time frame and duration

8 weeks

Learner Profile

Inquirer, thinkers, communicators

Stage 1: Integrate significant concept, area of interaction and unit question

Trans disciplinary Theme/Global Context

Global contexts provide shared starting points for inquiry into what it means to be internationally minded. Intercultural understanding and global engagement through these contexts build on the powerful themes of global significance that structure teaching and learning in the PYP.

Significant concept(s)

What are the big ideas? What do we want our students to retain for years into the future?

How the world works/Scientific and technical innovation

Geoscience processes provide resources needed by society but also cause natural hazards that present risks to society; both involve technological challenges, for the identification and development of resources and for the mitigation of hazards.

The Earth is a dynamic system that is constantly changing.

MYP unit question

What processes are in place that cause change?


What task(s) will allow students the opportunity to respond to the unit question?

What will constitute acceptable evidence of understanding? How will students show what they have understood?

Scientific Investigation

Which specific MYP objectives will be addressed during this unit?

D Scientific Inquiry

-with guidance, articulate the problem or research question to be test by a scientific investigation consistent with the level of complexity of the units of work covered

-ask questions of the type: “What will happen if?”, “Why does this happen when?”, and make predictions (“If I do this, then this will happen…”), consistent with the level of complexity of the nits of work covered.

E Processing Data

-with guidance, analyse data/information to identify trends, patterns and relationships, and use the data to convey understanding/interpretation

F Attitudes in Science

-work effectively as individuals and as part of a group by collaborating with others

Which MYP assessment criteria will be used?

Criterion D: Scientific Inquiry

Criterion E: Processing Data

Criterion F: Attitudes in Science

Stage 2: Backward planning: from the assessment to the learning activities through inquiry


What knowledge and/or skills (from the course overview) are going to be used to enable the student to respond to the unit question?

What (if any) state, provincial, district, or local standards/skills are to be addressed? How can they be unpacked to develop the significant concept(s) for stage 1?

What interactions between the air, water, and land function as forces to form and change rocks and minerals?

-Draw or make a model of the earth showing layers (lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere)

-State that rocks are made of minerals.

-Identify mineral samples based on physical properties using identification tests- streak, hardness, cleavage and luster, and reaction to acid.

-Examine several common fossils and match them to their environment of formation, and the order in which they existed throughout time (superposition).

-Explain how a fossil forms and what type of rock it is usually found in, and why.

-Identify the three classes of rocks (metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary) and describe their formation.

-Use a diagram of the rock cycle to determine geological processes that led to the formation of a rock type

-Describe the process of weathering

-Describe soil formation (citing weathering) and list each of its components.

-Explain how sediment is transferred through the agents of gravity, wind, water, and glaciers.

How does continuous change in Earth’s surface occur?

Define and explain the processes behind earthquakes, volcanoes, ocean basin formation, and mountain building.

  • Plot the location of recent earthquake and volcanic activity on a map and identify patterns of distribution

Using a model, label the layers of the earth and describe the properties of each layer including temperature, pressure, and composition.

Describe the difference in wave behavior in different layers of the earth and what these differences signify (that there are different layers).

Explain that movements of the crust cause layers to become faulted, folded, or displaced.

State that the evidences of continent shape, and geological feature and fossil correlation suggest that Continental Drift did occur.

The Earth’s crust is broken into plates that float on the plastic upper mantle.

Convection cells in the mantle are responsible (the force) for the movement of the continents.

Identify the direction of plate movement given a world plate map with the different types of plates labelled with their geological features.




Mountain Building

Ocean basins


Heat flow

Convection current



Outer core

Inner core

Earthquake waves




Displaced layer



Continental drift

Plate tectonics



Convection cells

Sea floor spreading

Mid-ocean range












Physical property


Mineral streak

Mineral hardness

Hydrochloric acid



Rock cycle

Geologic processes






Agents of metamorphism-heat, pressure, chemicals




Organic material






Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

MS-ESS2-1. Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the processes of melting, crystallization, weathering, deformation, and sedimentation, which act together to form minerals and rocks through the cycling of Earth’s materials.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the identification and naming of minerals.]

MS-ESS2-2. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth’s surface at varying time and spatial scales. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on how processes change Earth’s surface at time and spatial scales that can be large (such as slow plate motions or the uplift of large mountain ranges) or small (such as rapid landslides or microscopic geochemical reactions), and how many geoscience processes (such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and meteor impacts) usually behave gradually but are punctuated by catastrophic events. Examples of geoscience processes include surface weathering and deposition by the movements of water, ice, and wind. Emphasis is on geoscience processes that shape local geographic features, where appropriate.]
MS-ESS2-3. Analyze and interpret data on the distribution of fossils and rocks, continental shapes, and seafloor structures to provide evidence of the past plate motions.

Next Generation Science Core Ideas

ESS1.C: The History of Planet Earth

Tectonic processes continually generate new ocean sea floor at ridges and destroy old sea floor at trenches. (HS.ESS1.C GBE) (secondary to MS-ESS2-3)

ESS2.A: Earth’s Materials and Systems

All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and matter cycling within and among the planet’s systems. This energy is derived from the sun and Earth’s hot interior. The energy that flows and matter that cycles produce chemical and physical changes in Earth’s materials and living organisms. (MS-ESS2-1)

The planet’s systems interact over scales that range from microscopic to global in size, and they operate over fractions of a second to billions of years. These interactions have shaped Earth’s history and will determine its future. (MS-ESS2-2)
ESS2.B: Plate Tectonics and Large-Scale System Interactions

Maps of ancient land and water patterns, based on investigations of rocks and fossils, make clear how Earth’s plates have moved great distances, collided, and spread apart. (MS-ESS2-3)

Approaches to learning

How will this unit contribute to the overall development of subject-specific and general approaches to learning skills?

Information Literacy

-Selecting and organizing information

-making connections between a variety of resources

-researching from a variety of sources using a range of technologies

-identifying primary and secondary resources

-inquiring and applying knowledge and concepts


-making connections


-presentation skills using a variety of media

-using and interpreting a range of content-specific terminology

Learning experiences

How will students know what is expected of them? Will they see examples, rubrics, templates?

How will students acquire the knowledge and practise the skills required? How will they practise applying these?

Do the students have enough prior knowledge? How will we know?

Teaching strategies

How will we use formative assessment to give students feedback during the unit?

What different teaching methodologies will we employ?

How are we differentiating teaching and learning for all? How have we made provision for those learning in a language other than their mother tongue? How have we considered those with special educational needs?

General Skills: Students will follow safety procedures, use appropriate units for measured or calculated values, recognize and analyze patterns/trends, classify objects according to and established scheme, develop dichotomous key, sequence events, identify cause-and-effect relationships, and interpret results.
General Skills: Safely and accurately use the following measuring tools: metric ruler, balance, stopwatch, graduated cylinder, thermometer, spring scale, and voltmeter.
-Plot locations on the Earth’s surface using latitude and longitude, indicate its position on a map and determine the latitude and longitude of a given location on a map

-Generate and interpret field maps including topographic maps.

-Model the Layers of the Earth

-Determine the amount of the surface of the earth that is covered with water.

-Discuss all the formats of water found on the earth – ground water, glaciers, icebergs, lakes, oceans, and water vapor.

-Show a Moh’s scale of hardness and look at several samples at several levels relate the hardness of everyday objects to the chart (fingernail, penny, nail, glass).

-observe different fossils

-Compare and contrast different samples of rocks from rock cycle

-demonstrate how rocks weather

-Look at soil under a magnifier and look at components.

-Plot process of a rock cycle diagram

-Plot occurrences on maps and draw conclusions.

-Use a slinky to simulate the difference between wave behavior in different mediums or layers of the earth.

-Label and identify layers of the earth using a model or diagram.

-Use foam layers or models of geologic cross sections to sequence events.

-Sequence events and show that layers begin or are laid down horizontally.

-Label the processes that could have caused different strata situations.

-Field trip to view road cuts or stream beds, etc…

-Cut out continents and try to fit them back together.

-Look at fossil similarities on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

-Match fossils and mountain ranges on both sides of the Atlantic- Africa and South America.

-Model the process of breakup with sponge continents and soapy water.

-The student will describe the process of convection using a model, sketch, or drawing.

-Show a model of convection using a hot plate and various materials.

-Calculate the rate of movement of the continents over time (Interdisciplinary with math)

-Reference the inferred properties of the Earth’s Interior Chart from the ESRT

-Plot earthquake locations of a world map using longitude and latitude.

-Locate areas of future seismic activity.

-Sketch in the direction of movement for the plates.

Formative Assessments

-Quick writes

Teaching Methods

-Use of graphic organizers

-Short answer responses

-Cornell Notes

-Philosophical Chairs

-Socratic Seminars

-WICOR Strategies

-Other AVID Science specific strategies

Differentiated Teaching

-Pre-teaching vocabulary

-Graphic organizers

-Use of small group read alouds

-Guided notes

-Scaffolded questions


What resources are available to us?

How will our classroom environment, local environment and/or the community be used to facilitate students’ experiences during the unit?



-Encarta CD

-AVID Write Path Science Guide

Ongoing reflections and evaluation

In keeping an ongoing record, consider the following questions. There are further stimulus questions at the end of the “Planning for teaching and learning” section of MYP: From principles into practice.
Students and teachers

What did we find compelling? Were our disciplinary knowledge/skills challenged in any way?

What inquiries arose during the learning? What, if any, extension activities arose?

How did we reflect—both on the unit and on our own learning?

Which attributes of the learner profile were encouraged through this unit? What opportunities were there for student-initiated action?

Possible connections

How successful was the collaboration with other teachers within my subject group and from other subject groups?

What interdisciplinary understandings were or could be forged through collaboration with other subjects?


Were students able to demonstrate their learning?

How did the assessment tasks allow students to demonstrate the learning objectives identified for this unit? How did I make sure students were invited to achieve at all levels of the criteria descriptors?

Are we prepared for the next stage?

Data collection

How did we decide on the data to collect? Was it useful?

Figure 12

MYP unit planner

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