• Describe daily changes due to rotation, seasonal changes due to the tilt and revolution of the Earth, and tidal impact due to the
gravitational interaction between the Earth and moon.
• Develop a cause and effect model for the shape of the Earth explaining why the circumference around the equator is larger than that
around the poles.
• Compare combustion and nuclear reactions (fusion and fission) on a conceptual level. Identify fusion as the process that produces
radiant energy of stars.
• Identify the forms of energy (electromagnetic waves) produced by the sun and how some are filtered by the atmosphere (X-rays, cosmic
• Summarize how energy flows from the sun to the Earth through space.
• Explain how the tilt of the Earth’s axis results in seasons due to the amount of solar energy impacting the Earth’s surface.
• Explain differential heating of the earth’s surface (water temperature vs. land temperature)
• Explain how solar energy is transformed into chemical energy through photosynthesis.
• Explain how the earth’s magnetic field protects the planet from the harmful effects of radiation.
Seasons Study Guide Season's simulation interactive
Tides Study Guide Tides simulation interactive
Sun's Energy Study Guide bending light simulation, radio waves & electromagnetic fields simulation, other
• Explain the rock cycle in enough detail to relate the cycling of materials - formation and destruction of the three major rock types to the
forces responsible: physical and chemical weathering, heat and pressure, deposition, foliation and bedding. The forms of energy that
drive the rock cycle include heat and mechanical (gravitational potential) energy.
• Explain how various mechanisms (mantle convection, ridge push, gravity pull) drive movement of the lithospheric plates.
• Infer the relationship between the type of plate boundary and the locations of various features such as ocean trenches, mountain ranges
and mid-ocean ridges. (Relate to the development of the theory of plate tectonics and geologic time.)
• Compare magma and lava. Locate volcanoes and relate back to plate boundaries. Explain volcanic effects on the lithosphere and relate
back to plate boundaries (convergent, divergent, transform) including lahar (mud) flows and ash in the atmosphere.
• Describe the anatomy of an earthquake. Locate earthquakes – epicenter and focal point – and relate to different types of plate
boundaries. Explain how the release of energy of various types of earthquakes relates to magnitude, and P and S waves.
• Summarize the major events in the geologic history of North Carolina and the southeastern United States. Explain how current geologic
landforms developed such as Appalachian Mountains, fall zone, shorelines, barrier islands, valleys, river basins, etc. using the geologic
Plate Tectonic Readings
Geological Activity Readings
Rock and Processes
Igneous Rock Classification
Lithification of Sedimentary
Sedimentary Rock Classification
Metamorphic Rock Classification