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CKSci Grade 4 Unit 4: Processes that Shape Earth

CKSci Grade 4 Unit 4: Processes that Shape Earth


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About This Lesson

In this unit, students explore the dynamic nature of Earth, including the layers of our planet: the inner core, the outer core, the mantle, and the crust.

As they explore the ever-changing earth and the processes that drive change, students see the effect of continental drift and how actions in the mantle cause major changes in Earth’s crust. Mountains may be formed when large parts of Earth’s crust push against each other.

In addition, students explore other surface-transforming processes, including weathering, erosion, and other changes to the earth over time. Also, by studying rocks, rock layers, and fossils, geologists find even more evidence that the structure of Earth’s surface has changed over time.

Some natural geological events that change Earth’s surface—such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and mudslides—can be hazardous to people. Understanding the large-scale processes behind these events can help people engineer safeguards, such as earthquake-resistant buildings, that consider potential damage and danger.

This is a problem-based unit, which means that students, over the course of all the lessons, build up to a culminating capstone activity. Every lesson is designed to help students publish or present their findings to their community.

Number of Lessons: 13

Instruction Time:

  • Each Lesson is designed to be completed in one 30–45-minute class period. Some lessons may take more than one class period.
  • Some single-day activities and performance tasks might require setting aside a longer block of time.
  • This Unit should be completed in 21 classroom days.
  • A Pacing Guide is provided within the Teacher Guide.
  • A complete list of Materials needed to complete the unit is provided in Online Resources.




February 22, 2024
7.15 MB


Lesson Plan
February 22, 2024
28.22 MB


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