Science SCI.V.1.1 ...

Grade: 6
Strand V:
Using Scientific Knowledge in Earth Science
Standard 1:
Geosphere - All students will describe the earth’s surface
Benchmark 1:
Describe and Identify surface features using maps.
Constructing and Reflecting:
SCI.I.1.1 - Generate scientific questions about the world based on observation.
• Construct questions for each of the investigations suggested below to guide the design of the investigation.
SCI.I.1.4 - Use metric measurement devices to provide consistency in an investigation.
SCI.I.1.5 - Use sources of information in support of scientific investigations.
SCI.II.1.1 - Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of claims, arguments, or data.
SCI.II.1.3 - Show how common themes of science, mathematics, and technology apply in real-world contexts.
SCI.II.1.5 - Develop an awareness of and sensitivity to the natural world.
Vocabulary / Key Concepts
Land forms:
• plains
• deserts
• plateaus
• basins
Maps showing local and regional surface
• Great Lakes
• local topography
• plains
• deserts
• plateaus
• basin
• Great Lakes
• rivers
• continental divide
• mountains
• mountain range
• mountain chain
Maps- relief, topographic, elevation
Maps showing global surface features:
• continents
• ocean floors
Knowledge and Skills
Students will recognize and interpret diverse
local and global landforms, considering
landforms found on the continents, as well as
those found on the ocean floor (plateaus,
mountains, plains, etc.).
Students will examine and identify these
features using a variety of maps and other
Students will Interpret different kinds of maps to
identify local and regional landforms.
Maps are just one of the tools that scientists use to
identify surface features of the Earth. Depending on
the type of map, information given in the map’s key
can be used to describe the Earth’s surface
Coloma Resources
US Raised Relief Maps
US Relief Maps
Michigan Relief Maps
Microsoft Encarta on Laptops under
“Maps” icon
Other Resources:
Earth and Moon Viewer
Topozone – topographic maps
National Geographic – Maps and
National Geographic – Map Links – Maps,
Atlases and Globes
Michigan Teacher Network Resources
Landform Identification - Cerritos College
Department of Earth Science On-Line
Tutorial Center
Satellite Image of Michigan
National Atlas – Make your own maps
Tapestry of Time and Terrain - USGS
Videoconferences Available
For more information, see or call Janine Lim
471-7725x101 or email [email protected]
Reading Topography from the Indiana State
The Ocean Floor from the Ocean Institute
Ice Age from the Cranbrook Institute of
6th Grade Science Curriculum
Technology Resources
V.1.MS.1 Describe and Identify surface
features using maps.
Focus Question: How do different types of maps
help us identify surface features?
Using topographical and ocean floor maps,
students create a model of a specific
geographical area focusing on existing
surface features and the surrounding area.
Students orally communicate their model and
interpret how the model correlates to the map.
Students turn in their model and the maps
they used to create the model.
(See instructional example)
Students communicate in writing, their personal
definition of “surface features.”
Students work together to develop one common
definition. The teacher should be sure that the
definition includes both features of the ocean floor
and traditional above ground features.
Students may not automatically consider the midocean ridge a surface feature.
Once a community definition of surface feature is
complete, the class could brainstorm specific surface
features and their locations in the world.
Working in groups, students will use a variety of
maps (i.e. satellite imaging, topographical, physical,
and relief) to compare and contrast a designated
area anywhere in the world.
The teacher will pose the question, “If you were
going to create a 3-D model, which map would you
Each student will choose a specific geographical
area and focus on a surface feature to research.
Students will show an in-depth understanding of
their selected surface feature by presenting the
information to the class. In the presentation,
students will describe in detail the characteristics of
the surface feature and the uniqueness of their
selected surface feature compared to other surface
features. After all presentations, students will show
an understanding of the variety of surface features
by identifying different features from stations of
topographical maps.
(See assessment)
Scoring Rubric
(Give students rubric before activity.)
Criteria: Accuracy of model:
Apprentice - Transfers few map features to
a model correctly.
Basic - Transfers some map features to a
model correctly.
Meets - Transfers many map features to a
model correctly.
Exceeds - Transfers all map features to a
model correctly.
Criteria: Correctness of labels:
Apprentice - Model illustrates at least two
correctly labeled surface features.
Basic - Model illustrates at least four
correctly labeled surface features.
Meets - Model illustrates at least five
correctly labeled surface features.
Exceeds - Model illustrates six or more
correctly labeled surface features.
Criteria: Presentation of model:
Apprentice - Presents information that
explains the correlation between at least two
surface features
Basic - Presents information that explains
the correlation between at least four surface
Meets - Presents information that explains
the correlation between at least five surface
Exceeds - Presents information that
explains the correlation between six or more
surface features.
Teacher Notes:
Land forms are the result of a combination of constructive and destructive forces. Constructive forces include
crustal deformation, volcanic eruption, and deposition of sediment, while destructive forces include weathering
and erosion.
Focus Question
• How do different types of maps help us identify surface features of the Earth?