WHAT IS GEOLOGY?
Begin this unit by reviewing the definition of geology so
that students are aware that it is the scientific study of
the Earth and earth processes. To assess their basic knowledge
of geology, describe the geological cycle which consists of
the processes of uplift, erosion, and deposition. Ask students
to brainstorm where they could find examples of these three
processes in their community.
HOW OLD IS THE EARTH?
Ask students to brainstorm how old the Earth is. Write their
guesses on the chalkboard, and use them to assess the students'
range of knowledge and to set the stage for showing the video.
Teachers might give a brief overview of the geologic eras
and epochs so students realize when the last ice age occurred
and what kinds of life were present on earth at that time
(no humans!). (An interesting extension of this lesson might
be to invite students to ask their parents and neighbors how
old they think the Earth is and then "teach" the
adults.) Some geologists argue that the Great Ice Age is not
over yet. If all of Earth's history were compressed into one
year, with Earth forming at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, the Great
Ice Age only began at 7 p.m. on December 31
we are still part of December 31. The bottom line is that
the Earth is still changing. Warning: the next ice age is
predicted for 70,000 years from now!
EROSION AND FLOODS
Review the definition and causes of erosion. Find examples
of erosion at home or at school. Look for places where water
collects after a hard rainstorm. Note how the presence of
the water both does and does not impact the soil and plants
nearby. Talk to adults about how they prevent erosion by using
landscaping, composting, changing the slope of a hill, adding
plants, adding plastic netting, etc. Ask how they protect
their property from erosion.
SHOW AND TELL GLOSSARY
To help students prepare for the geology vocabulary words
that are included in the video "Ice Age Flood,"
assign each student one of the words in the glossary.
Ask them to SHOW and TELL what their geology word means by
creating a large poster explaining in words and also showing
in a drawing or sketch what their term means. Have the students
share these posters with the class. When the vocabulary terms
come up during the video, you might wish to stop the video
to refer students to the appropriate poster to remind them
of the definition, and invite the student who prepared the
poster to personally help explain his or her word.
FREE-WRITING/FREE-DISCUSSION PREPARATION FOR "ICE
To assess students' knowledge about Ice Age geology, ask them
to answer the following questions in writing or through class
discussion. Clarify terminology as the need arises.
· How long ago did the Ice Age occur?
· Where do you think the Lake Missoula flood started?
Where do you think it flowed?
· What kind of geologic evidence do you think an ice
age flood would leave behind?
· How do you think a flood that occurred in the past
might affect your life today?