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Layer by Layer

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Summary

Students will identify the process by which the Grand Canyon was formed and identify the different geological materials that comprise the various layers of the Grand Canyon.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will identify the process by which the Grand Canyon was formed and identify the different geological materials that comprise the various layers of the Grand Canyon.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Science

Grades

  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Five
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Rock formations
  • Geological timeline
  • Geological layer

Terms and Concepts

  • Reverse (back)
  • Obverse (front)
  • Primary rock layers
  • The Grand Canyon
  • Erosion

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector
  • 1 overhead transparency  of each of the following:
    • “Arizona Quarter Reverse” page
    • “Erosion  Equation” worksheet
    • “Layer by Layer” worksheets (2 pages)
  • Copies of the following:
    • “Arizona Quarter Reverse” page
    • “Erosion  Equation” worksheet
    • “Layer by Layer” worksheets (2 pages)
    • “Canyon Clues” worksheet
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Chart Paper
  • Markers
  • 1 copy of text that gives information about erosion. For example:
    • Rock Cycles:  Formation, Properties, and Erosion by Rebecca Harman
    • Erosion (Early Bird Science) by Joelle Riley
    • Erosion (Earth Watch) by Cherie Winner
  • 1 copy of text that gives information about the Grand Canyon. For example:
    • A Grand Canyon Journey:  Tracing Time in Stone by Peter Anderson
    • Exploring the Grand Canyon (Grand Canyon Association) by Lynne Foster
    • In Search of the Grand Canyon:  Down the Colorado with John Wesley Powell by Mary Ann Fraser
  • Computers with Internet Access
  • Black permanent marker
  • 16 oz. water bottles with labels removed
  • Small funnels
  • Colored sand (10 different colors)
  • Scissors

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency  of each of the following:
    • “Arizona Quarter Reverse” page
    • “Erosion  Equation” worksheet
    • “Erosion  Equation” worksheet completed
    • “Layer by Layer” worksheets (2 pages)
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • “Arizona Quarter Reverse” page (1 per student)
    • “Erosion  Equation” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Layer by Layer” worksheets (1 of each page per student)
    • “Canyon Clues” worksheet (1 per pair)
  • Locate a text that gives information about erosion (see examples under “Materials”) and mark appropriate passages to read in class.
  • Locate text that gives information about the Grand Canyon (see examples under “Materials”) and mark appropriate passages to read in class.
  • Arrange to use the school computer lab for one class session.
  • Bookmark Internet sites that contain information about the Grand Canyon.
  • Prepare work stations for Session 5 by setting up the “Layer by Layer—Part 2” worksheet, “Canyon Clues” worksheet, sand, water bottles, scissors, and funnels for each student pair.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/308.pdf.

Sessions 1 and 2

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the transparency or photocopy of the “Arizona Quarter Reverse” page.  Locate Arizona on a classroom map.  Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  2. With the students, examine the Arizona quarter.  Have the students identify the different elements, including the Grand Canyon.
  3. Introduce the term “erosion” and write it on a sheet of chart paper. Ask the students to brainstorm the meaning of the word.  Record student answers on the chart paper.
  4. Distribute the “Erosion Equation” worksheet to the students.  Display the transpar­ ency of the “Erosions Equation” worksheet.  Review the instructions and answer any questions. Ask the students to complete Part I of the worksheet during the reading.
  5. Introduce the students to the selected text about erosion.  Read the text aloud to the students and attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts.  During the reading, guide their completion of  Part I of the “Erosion Equation” worksheet by filling in the transparency of the “Erosion Equation” worksheet while having the students complete their own worksheets.
  6. Review Part 1 of the “Erosion Equation” worksheet with the students.  Check for student understanding and answer any questions.
  7. Ask the students to re-define the term “erosion” using their “Erosion Equation” worksheet.  Record student answers on the chart paper (use a different-colored marker than the first time).
  8. Introduce the students to the selected text about the Grand Canyon.  Read the text aloud to the students and attend to unfamiliar vocabulary during the reading. Add the terms “Grand Canyon” and “geological layer” and their definitions to the chart paper.
  9. Ask the students to identify any relationships they see between the terms “erosion,” “Grand Canyon,” and “geological layer.”  Discuss and record student answers on the chart paper.
  10. Guide the students through completing Part 2 of the “Erosion Equation” worksheet.
  11. Check for student understanding and answer any questions.  On chart paper, write the completed erosion equation for the Grand Canyon.
  12. Collect the “Erosion Equation” worksheets from the students.

Sessions 3 and 4

  1. Review the erosion equation created during the previous session with the students. Ask the students to re-state the relationship they see between the terms “erosion,” “Grand Canyon,” and “geological layers.” Answer any student questions.
  2. Distribute the “Layer by Layer” worksheets to the students.  Display the transparen­ cies of the “Layer by Layer” worksheets.  Review the directions on the “Layer By Layer” worksheets with the students and answer any questions.
  3. Explain to the students that they will be researching the Grand Canyon and its characteristics.  Explain to the students that they will need to research the geological layers of the Grand Canyon and label the diagram that is at the bottom of the worksheet.
  4. Take the students to the computer lab and allow them time to do their research. Also allow the students to access print resources in the classroom or library.
  5. Allow the students time in class to complete the “Layer by Layer” worksheets. Review the completed “Layer by Layer” worksheets with the students in class. Allow the students to make corrections to their “Layer by Layer” worksheets and then collect them.

Session 5

  1. Redistribute the “Layer by Layer” worksheets to the students and answer any remaining student questions.  Divide the students into pairs.
  2. Have each student pair sit at a workstation that has been set up with one “Canyon Clues” worksheet, one water bottle, one funnel, scissors, and 10 small cups each filled with a different color of sand.
  3. Explain to the students that they will be re-creating the geological layers of the Grand Canyon using the colored sand and their “Layer by Layer” worksheets. Explain that they will read the descriptions on the “Canyon Clues” worksheet at their workstations and match each description with the correct geological layer on their “Layer by Layer” worksheets.  Each description and layer will have a corre­ sponding color of sand. The students will then use the diagram on their “Layer by Layer” worksheet to correctly layer the sand from the bottom to the top geological layer.
  4. Have the students cut out each of the Canyon Clues once they have identified the layers.  Have them put the clues in the correct geological order on their desks before using the sand. Visit each workstation to check on student progress.
  5. Once the students have completed the “Canyon Clues” worksheet and used sand to recreate the geological layers of the Grand Canyon, have them place the lids on their water bottles.  Collect the completed worksheets and water bottles.  Have the stu­ dents clean up their workstations.
  6. Display the “Layer by Layer” worksheets and “Grand Canyon” water bottles around the classroom.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to research one layer of the Grand Canyon. Allow students to work in groups to complete the “Canyon Clues” worksheet.
  • Reduce the number of clues from 10 to 5.  Have five of the clues already completed and allow students to fill in the remaining five layers.
  • Have information about the Grand Canyon and erosion already assembled into level-appropriate material and available as research packets.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students research current events articles related to erosion and the impact on such things as farming, land development, and wildlife.  Have students share their findings with the class.
  • Have students research other geological formations that were shaped by erosion. Compare and contrast these geological formations with the Grand Canyon.  Have students create a poster which includes pictures and data with their findings.
  • Have students look at other quarter designs and locate geological formations that are pictured on these quarters.

Use the students’ class participation, worksheets, and “Grand Canyon” water bottles to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.4 Language
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.4.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why).
    • Form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.
    • Use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.
    • Order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).
    • Form and use prepositional phrases.
    • Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.
    • Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).
  • L.4.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use correct capitalization.
    • Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.
    • Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.
    • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.5 Language
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.5.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences.
    • Form and use the perfect (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked) verb tenses.
    • Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.
    • Use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor).
  • L.5.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation to separate items in a series.
    • Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.
    • Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It’s true, isn’t it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?).
    • Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.
    • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.6 Language
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.6.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).
    • Use intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.
    • Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
    • Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others' writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.
  • L.6.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.4.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
  • RI.4.5. Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.
  • RI.4.6. Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.4.7. Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
  • RI.4.8. Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
  • RI.4.9. Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.4 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.4.1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RI.4.2. Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • RI.4.3. Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.5.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
  • RI.5.5. Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.
  • RI.5.6. Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.5.7. Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
  • RI.5.8. Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).
  • RI.5.9. Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.5 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.5.1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RI.5.2. Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • RI.5.3. Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Craft and Structure
Standards:

  • RI.6.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
  • RI.6.5. Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
  • RI.6.6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • RI.6.7. Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
  • RI.6.8. Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
  • RI.6.9. Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: RL.6 Reading: Informational Text
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Key Ideas and Details
Standards:

  • RI.6.1. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • RI.6.2. Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
  • RI.6.3. Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.4 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.4.7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • W.4.8. Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.
  • W.4.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 4 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions].”).
    • Apply grade 4 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text”).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.5 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.5.7. Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • W.5.8. Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.
  • W.5.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., how characters interact]”).
    • Apply grade 5 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point[s]”).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.6 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.6.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
  • W.6.8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
  • W.6.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres [e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories] in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics”).
    • Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not”).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Text
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound–letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Using Technological Information
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Earth and Space Science
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Properties of Earth materials
  • Objects in the sky
  • Changes in earth and sky

Discipline: Science
Domain: 5-8 Content Standards
Cluster: Earth and Space Science
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Structure of the Earth system
  • Earth’s history
  • Earth in the solar system

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Research
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and nonprint texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.