California’s Landscape

An Earth Science Short Course
for San Francisco Unified School District Teachers

Are you feeling a bit shaky about teaching earthquakes?
A bit adrift about plate tectonics?
Do the topics of weathering and erosion make you want to crumble?
Use the topic links below to view presentations and activities from a 2001-2002 short course designed to help San Francisco teachers of earth science understand the major standards-based topics included in the newly adopted California Science Standards for 6th and 9th grades.

Jump to: Course Outline | Presenters | Additional Resources

Course Outline:

Session Topics

Plate Tectonics Part I
Layers of the Earth, lithospheric plates, evidence for continental drift, major geologic events as a result of plate tectonics

2 Plate Tectonics Part II
Distribution of earthquake and volcanoes; a closer look at earthquakes

Earth Materials Part I
The rock cycle, types of rock stories within the rocks

4 Earth Materials Part II
Weathering and erosion, rivers and streams, beaches
5 Landforms
Major features of California geology, the story of Mt. Diablo, a look at San Francisco Bay
6 Field Trip
The Geology of San Francisco. Sites visited: Twin Peaks, Corona Heights, Fort Point, Baker Beach, and Fort Funston.

Course Presenters:

This course was presented by the UC Museum of Paleontology, the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco State University, the Bay Area Earth Science Institute, the US Geological Survey, and the SFUSD Project INQUIRES.

Additional Resources:

  • Earth and Space Science Scope & Sequence offers related lessons, activities, and resources. In addition, it includes 6, 9, and 12 week course outlines. Though created to support 9th grade teachers in the San Francisco Unified School District (and referencing Science Probe I and II textbooks published by South-Western Educational Publishing), this resource will be valuable to any middle or high school earth science teacher.
  • Earth Science in the News, a monthly feature, takes a recent news story and puts it in perspective with related Web pages and activities for the classroom.
Updated September 3, 2002

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