Our Solar System

TSWBAT describe the properties of the terrestrial planets and gas giant planets.

TSWBAT identify the unique nature of the planet Pluto

TSWBAT compare Earth with the other planets of our solar system.


Meteorology: Weather Watch Activity, Graph and Analyze Data

Students will graph and analyze weather data.              Materials & Resources

Unit Organizer: Meteorology: The scientific study of weather.

Vocabulary Words: completed using Linking Strategy

Slot Outline Notes from power point presentations.


Pencil, colored pencils

Weather report page from local newspaper: all the same (one paper per group) &/or Data from Internet with one computer per group or information projected on screen in front of room

Worksheets with assignments



Reading Topographic Maps

The student will gain an understanding of topographic maps and demonstrate their basic understanding of how to read a topographic map.

Materials & Resources

Potato, knife, marker, prepared handouts, topographic maps.


The student will investigate and understand how to read and interpret a road map of Virginia. (direction & measurements of distance; location of latitude & longitude; scales; diagrams). The student will identify that a road map is one of the types of specialized maps used today.

Climate and Zone

Climate activity, working with partner

Plate Tectonics/Continental Drift

Plate Tectonics Lab

Fossil Footprints: Nature of Science

Students should be able to:

  1. Differentiate between terms ‘fact’ and ‘inference’
  2. propose explanations and make predictions based on evidence,
  3. recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions,
  4. understand that scientific explanations are subject to change as new evidence becomes available,
  5. understand that scientific explanations must meet certain criteria.  First and foremost, they must be consistent with experimental and observational evidence about nature, and must make accurate predictions, when appropriate, about systems being studied. They should also be logical, respect the rules of evidence, be open to criticism, report methods and procedures, and make knowledge public. Explanations of how the natural world changes based on myths, personal beliefs, religious values, mystical inspiration, superstition, or authority may be personally useful and socially relevant, but they are not scientific.

Nature of Science

Students should be able to:

  1. Differentiate between terms ‘fact’ and ‘inference’
  2. Using observations, list facts about the object
  3. Using observations, list inferences about the object
  4. Based on facts and inferences, predict a design and construct a model

that replicates the actions and reactions of the demonstration object

Experimental Design: Using the Scientific Method

Students should be able to:

  1. Plan, conduct, and write-up a scientific investigation using experimental design
  2. Collect measurement data (mass, volume, density, using the most appropriate tools)



  • Jigsaw activity with the layers of the atmosphere and teach the class about each layer
  • Construct pie charts of the atmospheres of different planets and the 3 different Earth atmospheres over history
  • Fill in notes
  • Present the answers to the class about their layer in the atmosphere

Write 3 sentences about what they have learned today that they didn’t know before