Grade 4 Earth Science

The Changing Earth

Written By:
Lauri Dahlin
Hortencia Garcia
Christina Mavaro
Kathleen Tomscha

Developed in Conjunction with K-12 Alliance/WestEd

All 4th Grade Earth Science Lessons and Literature can be Downloaded here

Download Complete Grade 4 Earth Science Lessons

Introduction and Conceptual Flow Narrative 1 Download PDF
Conceptual Flow Graphic 3 Download PDF
Pre-Assessment A (Assessment File) Download zip (3 PDF's)
Lesson 1 Rapid Processes Change Landforms 4.1 Download zip (4 Files)
Lesson 2 Rockin” Roots 4.2 Download zip (3 Files)
Lesson 3 Slowly Reshaping Earth’s Landforms 4.3 Download zip (2 Files)
Lesson 4 Introduction to the Rock Cycle 4.4 Download PDF
Formative Assessment #1 B (Assessment File) Download PDF
Lesson 5 Sorting Rocks Using Properties 4.5 Download PDF
Lesson 6 Transforming Rocks 4.6 Download zip (4 PDF's)
Lesson 7 All About Minerals 4.7 Download zip (2 Files)
Lesson 8 Minerals Have A Crystalline Structure 4.8 Download zip (2 PDF's)
Lesson 9 Mystery Minerals 4.9 Download zip (4 Files)
Post-Assessment C (Assessment File) Download zip (4 PDF's)


Download Earth Science Introduction and Conceptual Flow Narrative PDF

Grade 4

Earth Science: The Changing Earth
Introduction and Conceptual Flow Narrative

Introduction: The Grade 4 Earth Science Unit focuses on the Earth’s continuous process of change. All of the Grade 4 California Science Content Standards for Earth Science are addressed in this unit. By the end of the unit students will know: Earth changes and is shaped through slow and rapid processes. Through a series of hands-on investigations students will experience the effects of weathering and erosion. Students will learn how to identify rocks and minerals via their properties. The Grade 4 Earth Science Unit is presented to students through a series of investigations, experiments, active learning experiences, questions, and assessments. Assessments include: pre-, post-, and 1 formative assessment.

Conceptual Flow Narrative: The Grade 4 Conceptual Flow Narrative for Earth Science: builds on the concepts presented on conceptual flow graphic by describing the concept(s) addressed in each lesson and the links that connect each lesson to the next. Lessons are linked to the previous lesson and the lesson that follows via a conceptual storyline. This ensures the development of student understanding as students progress from one concept to the next.

After students have completed the Pre-Assessment, they begin their exploration of earth science with Lesson 1, “Rapid Processes Change Landforms.” In this lesson students learn that rapid processes, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, and severe wind, quickly change landforms. A Powerpoint presentation and video clip of the Mount St. Helen’s eruption help students experience rapid earth processes that change landforms.

In the previous lesson, students learned about rapid processes that change the Earth. In Lesson 2, “Rockin’ Roots,” students learn that weathering causes rocks to break down. Students experience weathering as the result of acid rain, roots, freezing and thawing of water. A Powerpoint presentation is included in the lesson to illustrate the effects of weathering.

In Lesson 2 students learned about the effects of weathering. In Lesson 3, “Slowly Reshaping Earth’s Landforms,” students learn that erosion by moving water, air, or ice, is a process that transports Earth materials. A Powerpoint presentation is included in the lesson to illustrate the effects of slow processes that change landforms. In the next lesson students learn that rocks are transformed through the rock cycle.

In Lesson 4, ”Introduction to the Rock Cycle,” students learn that weathering and erosion are processes of the rock cycle.

After Lesson 4, students complete Formative Assessment #1. This assessment is aligned to the learning objectives of Lessons 1-4 and provides feedback to the teacher, students, and parents about what students have learned in the beginning of the unit. The teacher is able to use information from this formative assessment to determine if additional instruction is necessary for student understanding of the concepts presented in Lessons 1-4 before proceeding to the next section of the unit.

In Lesson 5, “Sorting Rocks Using Properties,” students learn that rocks can be identified by their properties. In the next lesson students learn that rocks can also be identified based upon how they are formed.

In Lesson 6 “Transforming Rocks” students learn rocks can be identified as igneous, metamorphic, or sedimentary by the way they are formed.

In Lessons 7, “All About Minerals,” students learn the differences between rocks and minerals. A Powerpoint presentation provides additional support for student understanding of this concept.

In the previous lesson students learned that rocks are made of organic materials and minerals such as quartz, calcite, feldspar, mica, and hornblende. In Lesson 8, “Minerals Have a Crystalline Structure,” students make crystals to deepen their understanding of the difference between rocks and minerals.

In the previous lesson, students learned how minerals are formed, and that they have a crystalline structure. In Lesson 9, “Mystery Minerals,” students learn how to test common minerals and use Moh’s Hardness Scale and a Mineral Reference Sheet to identify minerals based on their properties (color, luster, streak, and hardness.)

After Lesson 9, students complete a post-assessment to determine their overall understanding of the concepts presented in the unit.

Download Earth Science Conceptual Flow PDF

  1. Nora MacFarlane Reply

    Dear Science Matters Team,

    These units are wonderful! I am moving from 3rd to 4th grade this coming year, and I am searching for current science materials. Do you have a date for when the Earth Science unit will be posted?

    Thank you,
    Nora MacFarlane

    • sbsciencematters Reply

      Check the site! All of the units are up and running:)

  2. shawna baker Reply

    Can we get the lessons?
    shawna baker

  3. lyndsay piette Reply

    I would love to use the 4th grade processes of the changing earth unit, but I cannot download the files. It says they are zipped. I have tried on multiple computers and still cannot download the entire unit. Is there anything you can do? Thank you for your time.

    • sbsciencematters Reply

      Does the File start to Download? Did you open the .zip file once it finished downloading?

      Exactly which lessons are you referring to? I do not see any lessons named “Processes of the Earth”. is it: Lesson 1 Rapid Processes Change Landforms?

      Please clarify which lesson your trying to download and i will help. Thanks

  4. Amber Reply

    Thank you!

  5. Leah Reply

    I love this curriculum. However, I am unable to correctly upload the pre-assessment. When it loads it is a post assessment. Other than that I feel I have struck gold!

  6. Michelle Reply

    Hello! This is awesome. Are your lessons Next Generation standards based? Thanks so much!

    • sbsciencematters Reply

      These units were designed the Pre-Existing Framework. However, many teachers are adapting them for the new framework, which may require topics to move between grade levels. Feel free to browse around and make changes as needed.

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