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Geothermal Greatness

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Summary

The teacher will discuss the concepts of the water cycle and the layers of the Earth. The teacher will introduce the concept of geothermal features. Students will then research how geothermal features are formed and the differences between the two main types. Students will show their findings and results through a project of their choice.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America The Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

  • Students will understand that the water cycle is influenced by temperature, pressure, and the topography of the land.
  • Students will understand the differences between various types of geothermal features.
  • Students will create a product to demonstrate knowledge of geothermal features.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Science

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies
  • Technology

Grades

  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Individual work

Terms and Concepts

  • Geothermal
  • Hot spring
  • Fumarole
  • Geyser
  • Volcano
  • Lava
  • Crust
  • Mantle
  • Core
  • Evaporation
  • Condensation
  • Precipitation
  • Runoff
  • Sublimation
  • Sunlight

Materials

  • 1 photocopy of the following worksheets:
    • "Water Cycle" worksheet
    • "Geothermal Greatness" worksheet
    • "Tell Us More!" worksheet
    • "How Does It All Happen?" worksheet
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Copies of texts that give information about the water cycle
  • Chart paper
  • Writing and drawing materials

Preparations

Worksheets and Files

  1. Introduce the students to the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.  The program is described at www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/atb.  Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the reverse, and "obverse" is another name for the front.  With the students, examine each of the five 2010 quarter designs.  Locate each of the sites on a class map.  Answer any student questions.
  2. Our country has many beautiful national parks and forests.  Ask the students what they know about national parks and forests like Yosemite, Yellowstone, Mount Hood, Hot Springs, and the Grand Canyon.  Ask them to identify where these sites are located.
  3. With the students, discuss various geothermal features (hot springs, geysers, fumaroles, mud pots) in our national parks and forests and what causes them.
  4. Tell the students they will be researching to find out more about geothermal features.  Complete the "Water Cycle" worksheet with the students.  Discuss how lakes and rivers are examples of sources for the water cycle.  Using chart paper, review the layers of the Earth with the students.  As a class, discuss how the water cycle and layers of the Earth are important building blocks of information for geothermal features.  Have the students identify portions of the water cycle and where they occur in a geothermal feature.
  5. Using available text and Internet resources, allow the students time to research various geothermal features.  Have the students record their findings on the "Geothermal Greatness" and the "How Does It All Happen?" worksheets.  Have the students complete the "Tell Us More!" worksheet to summarize what they found.
  6. Have the students discuss the results from the worksheets with each other and then decide which project to complete on geothermal features.
  7. Have the students work independently on their selected projects from the project plan and present them to the class.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs or small groups.
  • Allow students to use a scribe to complete their worksheets.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students' participation in class discussions.
  • Evaluate the students' worksheets and projects to see whether they have met the lesson objectives.
  • Use the rubric to evaluate performance on the final product.
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.5 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 5
Cluster: Range of Writing
Standards:

  • W.5.10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.6 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 5
Cluster: Range of Writing
Standards:

  • W.6.10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.5 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 5
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.5.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
  • W.5.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
    • Link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially).
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.
  • W.5.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
    • Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
    • Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.
    • Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Science
Domain: 5-8 Content Standards
Cluster: History and Nature of Science
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
Standards:

  • Science as a human endeavor
  • Nature of science
  • History of science

Discipline: Science
Domain: 5-8 Content Standards
Cluster: Earth and Space Science
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
Standards:

  • Structure of the Earth system
  • Earth’s history
  • Earth in the solar system