Formal Elements of Design

This assignment is given in my Concepts and Criticism class in the first quarter. The class has 9th and 10th grade students, all have been identified as gifted in the Visual Arts. The introduction to the assignment will take 1 class, 1 class studio work day, and 2-3 classes for critique, depending on number of students. Allow for in-depth critique. (classes are 1 hour)

Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Plate Tectonics

Students will investigate and understand geologic processes such as plate tectonics by relating earthquake and volcanic activity with all plate boundaries.

Materials & Resources

USGS Data sheet – Latest Earthquakes in the World*, USGS Data sheet – Recent Volcanic Activity*, a world map indicating plate boundaries and one without plate boundaries



Mapping Distances

 The students will learn how to interpret the map key and determine distances from city to city.

Materials & Resources

 Maps for all groups, string for all students, highlighters, pencil, paper, calculators, push pins.

Natural Hazards to Human Disasters

Students will

  • describe aspects of natural events that pose threats to humans and impacts of these events on people, in writing and through discussion;
  • use scientific vocabulary to summarize research about natural hazards; and
  • compare and discuss the relative dangers posed by tornadoes, volcanoes, and earthquakes (and, possibly, other natural hazards).

Why Natural Disasters Occur: Exploring Plate Tectonics

Students will

  • define and describe plate tectonic activities including earthquakes and volcanoes;

explore different plate tectonic settings

Latitude, Longitude and Direction

The objective of this lesson is for the students to learn latitude, longitude and compass rose direction and how to use this on a map and to beginning learning about how to use google maps for checking answers

Materials & Resource:

Lamented world map, a visa vi pen, sheet of places to be plotted on map using the latitude and longitude of each.  Construction paper, scissors, black construction paper.


Cloud Identification

Students will recognize and name the various types of clouds and understand their relationship in earth’s atmosphere and how they affect weather.

Materials & Resources

Unit Organizer: The Atmosphere

Power Point class notes: Clouds and Precipitation (Clouds I, 2, 3)

Chart/Textbook showing types of clouds

Set of 20 laminated cloud pictures- one set per group of 2 or 3 students

Area large enough to spread pictures out into groups

Colored pencils, pencils

Scientific Method

The objective for the students is to become familiar with the scientific method.  The scientific method is throughout the year therefore the students need to know this method to conduct scientific experiments.

Materials & Resource: paper to make object,  paper to write on, directions, and pencil or pen.

School Yard Study

Students will plan and conduct an investigation that will correlate temperature, moisture and light to plant species growing in an area.

Materials & Resources

A school yard plot or other suitable area accessible from your school, Vernier LabQuest equipment with probes for temperature, soil moisture and light sensor, plant identification keys….. trees, woodland plants, grasses, a meter stick

Middle of Year Review

Objectives (UKD’s) The objective of this lesson is to review for the first semester or the end of the year.  It is a group activity that can be used with any of the units that we do.

Materials & Resource: A paper that has a triangle on it that looks like the triangle used in the show $20,000 pyramid, it is called “Things associated with” by Dan Mulligan.  Need small sticky notes.  A pen and a review page to help with subjects and information.