Sample Student Work (task and standards)

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Sample Student Work (task and standards)
The Course
Sixth Grade Earth Science
The Task
The student will produce a short paper discussing how a rapid
change in the rate of continental drift might affect the world.
Circumstances of the Assignment
The assignment was for an individual, but could be done as a group project. It took more than one
class period to get all of the parts completed.
Relevant Standards:
S6E5: Students will investigate the scientific view of how the earth’s surface is formed.
S6E5d: Recognize that lithospheric plates constantly move and cause major geological
events on the earth’s surface.
S6E5e: Explain the effects of physical processes (plate tectonics, erosion, deposition,
volcanic eruption, gravity) on geological features including oceans (composition,
currents, and tides).
Commentary:
You have done a good job of organizing your ideas in a logical format. I noticed you have
formulated paragraphs that reflect the main ideas of your paper. However, there is little mentioned
about how continental drift will impact geological features of the earth. The statements you include
about the movement of the continents are not accurate, and you should support any comments you
make about continental drift with scientific evidence regarding this movement.
You state that increasing the rate of continental drift will result in wars and will have negative
effects on the production of agriculture. In your next draft, try to incorporate how this physical
process will impact the geological features of the earth. Also, focus less on the societal impact of
continental drift and more on how the movement of the lithospheric plates will impact Earth’s
characteristics (i.e. oceans, volcanoes, earthquakes, etc.). At the end of your paper, summarize the
points you’ve made in a concluding paragraph.
Assignment: The student will produce a short paper discussing how a rapid
change in the rate of continental drift might affect the world.
Student Work
If the rate of continental drift were to increase from 1-5 cm per year to 105
miles per day, the geography will change greatly. North America will move
northward and be very close to Asia. But the main movement would be with
Africa. It would probably connect to Eurasia. Also, Antarctica will move slightly
northward.
Since all of these movements will occur, the economics of each country will
change. Georgia will begin to grow what is the normal crop for people living
along the Canadian border. This will probably be wheat. Many places will be
forced to change the crops that they normally grow as well. They would also
be faced with the problem of selling equipment that they own because it will
not be able to harvest, plant, or tend to the new crops. I believe that this will
cause many problems.
If the continents moved into new locations, it will also effect politics.
Eurasia will possibly become Eurafasia. And Hawaii will become closer to Asia,
this will probably cause them to change countries. Also, Greenland will join to
Canadian country. The piece of land that breaks off of Africa will form a new
ocean, and possibly a new country. Also, Antarctica will move into a warmer
and more suitable climate. A piece of it will eventually join to South America.
This will cause people to want to claim Antarctica, which breaks a law and will
spark wars. Many wars will also occur in other places where land moved to a
new location. The world may be destroyed by our wars.
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